I just got done watching the greatly appreciated Britney Spears episode of "How I Met Your Mother" and I couldn’t help but notice a few things along the way:
1. There is obviously a lot of things going on behind the scenes with the show right now. CBS has been looking for a justifiable reason to cancel the show and the show’s creators and executive producers (Carter Bays and Craig Thomas - two guys I worked for at Letterman) responded by pulling the ultimate stunt casting move of all time by bringing in Britney Spears and Sarah Chalke from "Scrubs" (PS - it has been awesome to see the show getting so much attention on websites and on magazine covers the past week. It’s just a shame it’s not because of how great the show is but whatever).
2. In the first three years of the show this was the first episode written by Carter, Craig, and Chris Harris (another Letterman writer that they brought over to "HIMYM") and this was only the fifth episode written by Carter and Craig in the last two years. To me this says that they were taking this ep very seriously and they knew there was a lot riding on it. They knew that with having Britney and Sarah there was potential for it to get out of control in the wrong hands and they even brought in Chris to help keep it grounded. I could be reading waaaay too much into this but that instantly struck me when I saw the writing credits at the beginning of the show.
3. Britney was actually kind of funny. The dialogue overall felt a little forced at times and first 20 minutes of the episode were kind of awkward because it featured so much of Ted, Sarah (playing Ted’s dermatologist), and Britney (playing the office receptionist) and relegated the rest of the (stellar) cast to a complete supporting role but that leads me to...
4. How it was all worth it for the "two minute date" at the very end. That was completely epic and one of the creative sitcom moments I have ever seen. Did you also notice that there were NO edits in that scene? Amazing.
5. And that leads me to my fifth and final point. For the last three years I have been killing myself telling people about this show and trying to get people to watch. For whatever reason people don’t and it will probably get cancelled. People will keep complaining that there’s nothing good on television and CBS will continue failing to connect with younger viewers because they couldn’t realize that they had something there to pave the way all this time. But after seeing that "two minute date", I just felt sorry for everyone that didn’t get to see it. Instead of feeling sorry for myself for liking yet another show that will be prematurely axed, I was proud that I have been there along and I got to witness something truly special.
The ratings will come out tomorrow around 12:00 p.m. EST and hopefully the Britney cameo and media pub will give it a little spike. A 7.2 rating/12 share would be awesome, however unlikely, but something like a 6.6/10 would have to get the attention of CBS (the show has consistently been in the 4.8/7 - 5.9/9 range for the last two seasons).
I actually think next week’s ratings - without Britney - will have more to do with the hope of future seasons.
But I honestly don’t care anymore. All the emphasis going into tonight was on Brit (and she delivered) but Carter and Craig knew that they needed something more to keep people coming back next week and that’s why we got the "two minute date" and that kind of thinking has been the driving force to the continual brilliance of the show.
Watch or don’t, it doesn’t matter anymore.
I did and you missed it.