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"How I Met Your Mother," "Californication"

By admin Published: October 29, 2007

When logic and proportion have fallen ... after the jump.

Much as "Californication" loves Warren Zevon, after tonight's season finale I was thinking "White Rabbit." Even if a show is about a messed-up character (or many messed-up characters), there has to be some logic to it, or at least a sense of what the characters consider logic. None of that in the finale.

Why would a woman, seeing Hank standing with a girl, not think that he wanted tampons for her? (And yes, we could figure that the woman was PMS-ing, but that doesn't make it any more logical.) Why would Karen go through with the wedding, when she had a perfect out -- and then run off with Hank? It can't just be that he seemed loving and mature. (This is Hank, and a second season looms.)

And why is no one visibly disturbed that Mia is going to get to steal Hank's book after all? (Didn't Charlie condemn for that stunt earlier in the same episode?) What we had here was a lot of false trails and one trick designed so that Showtime could run that promo about staying for the last 30 seconds, when that last event -- Karen's flight -- should have happened long before.

But here's the thing. I dislike countless aspects of this show and I keep watching. And I'm not sure why. I think it's like a big, bad novel of the sort I suspect Hank actually wrote (for all his claims otherwise), where as painful as it is to read, you still wonder where it's going next -- and hang in through all the implausibilities and bogus moments just to get to the end. At least we're at a season's end, if not a series end. But I would have been quite content if this were the latter. I don't have enough energy and time for all the good TV I want to watch, let alone something bad that I tune to compulsively.

Now, you're probably wondering what all this has to do with "How I Met Your Mother." Two things. First, that's a show where people do behave in a way that, as weird as it sometimes can be, is logical for the characters as we know them, and for the show overall.

Second, I wasn't all that crazy about tonight's episode. Better than "Californication," but still not better than good "HIMYM."

I liked bits of it. They made the Porno Ted story interesting for much longer than I expected, and they can usually make something out of a Marshall crisis of conscience. But aside from the "sex architect" clip and reactions at the end, I didn't get any big laughs. And I don't want "HIMYM" to impress me only in a formalist, nice-structure way. I want some funny.

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