britney spears on how i met your mother

Spoiler: It’s NOT Britney Spears.

The talk about tonight’s episode of How I Met Your Mother was all “Britney Spears, Britney Spears.” And that worried me.  HIMYM is a fantastic sitcom that fights a losing battle with ratings each week.  By all accounts, creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas could have whored themselves out for ratings and given a major role to the TMZ-fueled meltdown machine.  Thankfully for fans of good comedy, though, they kept her part small in favor of a much more talented actress — Sarah Chalke. That should let us stop talking about Brit and talk about what’s really important; did we just meet Ted’s future wife?

The problem with HIMYM is that sometimes, in my old age, I forget past details or miss hidden clues concerning motherhood possibilities.  I guess that’s more my problem than HIMYM‘s, though.  My point is this: Sarah Chalke == Mother?

HIMYM is getting close to being canceled, so it is expected that they are going to be answering the title’s question soon.  Sarah Chalke is a veteran comedy actress, and has played a romantic female lead on HIMYM‘s most comparable show, Scrubs. And she has played it well; maybe better than anyone I can remember. Her Scrubs experience sets her up perfectly for the new job, since both shows expertly balance intelligent humor with honest personal drama.

The episode set her up for either a big reveal or a big letdown, when she mentioned that she left her St. Patricks’s Day party early (as we know Ted’s future wife did). If anyone can see any reason why she can’t be the mother, of maybe some past details that make it even more likely, please let me know.

As for the quality of the episode itself, it varied.  At first, it scared me. I didn’t want this to become a vehicle for cheap ratings tricks, so I had my guard up.  It wasn’t until we first saw Chalke’s face that I relaxed a little bit and enjoyed the episode.  After that, the quality picked up as well. She and Ted had good chemistry, and Barney’s mustache trick was completely incredible. Some classic HIMYM gimmicks, like sneaking into the office to check out Ted’s prospect and the multi-date (which I have been personally tricked with before). And the final scene, with the two-minute date, was perfect Ted mushiness.

Overall, it was a funny episode, probably because they didn’t overuse Spears. Because no matter what you hear, she wasn’t very good. I actually got nervous as she almost tripped over her lines at the end. Her character was funny enough, and seeing her play someone who was overwhelmingly innocent was cute in an ironic sense, I guess. But she was an average actress at best, and her turnaround at the end (That scene you saw 12,000 times during the first two rounds of the NCAAs, where she wants to have sex, and Barney says “I like you!”) was completely unnecessary.  God, it’s making me mad just thinking about it.