How I Met Your Mother "Nannies" Review: We're Back to Treading Water

How I Met Your Mother S08E03: "Nannies"

Remember last week when I mentioned that How I Met Your Mother has a reputation for treading water sometimes? Well, this week’s episode’s arms must be exhausted.

What'd "Nannies" really accomplish? After hiring a nanny to watch baby Marvin while Lily returned to work, Lily’s dad surprised everyone by actually being a good grandfather, earning his daughter’s trust. Barney tried to rebound from breaking up with Quinn by throwing himself back into single life, only to discover he’s not able to charm the ladies as easily as he used to. And finally, Ted and Robin argued over who was in a better relationship, only to quietly realize their relationships with Nick and Victoria are pretty crummy. Boom. That was the entire episode.

HIMYM's season premiere gave off the impression that the series was planning to keep things moving this season, that it didn’t have any time to waste. The show is most likely ending after this season, and there is (was?) a certain amount of urgency to wrap up the story Ted’s been telling his kids for the last seven years. But "Nannies" didn’t take us anywhere. In last week’s episode, Ted announced the dawn of the Autumn of Break-ups, so we already knew that Ted and Robin won’t stay with Victoria and Nick. Also, I’m pretty sure we saw Barney struggle with returning to his womanizing ways after he broke up with Nora the first time.

If HIMYM is going to insist on going back to taking things slow, can we at least get to know its characters? Going into this season, people really, really liked Victoria. Some liked her even more than they liked Robin. Ashley Williams had always great on HIMYM, and there was a lot of potential with her coming back for Season 8. But tonight's episode transformed Victoria from the girl of Ted’s dreams into a caricature. She leaves dishes in the sink and doesn’t flush the toilet? Thanks for the character development, guys.

And what’s the deal with Nick? Are we supposed to feel anything toward him? What was the point in bringing back a semi-established character if he’s just a plot device? I would love to see Robin get one final, great romance before she reunites with Barney, but I guess that’s not going to happen. Poor Robin. Don left her to take the job she passed up. Kevin wanted to have kids. And now Nick is a cryer.

What I’m really trying to say here is, HIMYM showrunners, you guys are blowing it. I know you love this show—how could you not? We love this show too, and if Season 8 is our last year with Ted, Robin, Marshall, Lily, and Barney, we want our final months together to be great. We’re invested. Stop introducing characters who don’t matter. Don’t bring back fan favorites like Victoria only to tear them down. If you need Ted to have a crappy girlfriend, bring back Blah Blah or the awful girl who went for the Naked Man. Don’t ruin a character we loved. We’ve followed these folks for seven years; we’ve experienced heartbreak with them and cheered them on. We want to see their story get the ending it deserves. Please stop treading water. Please start being legendary.



NOTES & QUOTES


– I’m always mixed on Chris Elliott’s Mickey. It was nice to see Lily learn that her dad wasn’t always an awful father, but unlike Marshall’s dad, Mickey is kind of one-dimensional. He does something dumb, Lily doesn’t trust him, he redeems himself. We saw this last season when Marshall and Lily moved to the suburbs and Mickey reluctantly helped Marshall find the fuse box.

– While some of Barney’s efforts failed, Bangtober allowed us to once again hear the “Bang, Bang, Bangity Bang” song.

– Barney to Robin about his Bangtober swag: “Robin, I expensed seven grand on merch. This is happening.”

– Robin to Lily after learning Lily’s dad’s house burned down: “I had no idea Naked Man Who Runs Into Inferno to Rescue Potato Salad was Mickey.”

– Okay, baby Marvin is pretty cute. Nice work, Marshall and Lily, on creating an adorable fictional baby.

– Mickey to flashback Lily when trying to figure out which horse to bet on: “When’s your birthday?” Sad Lily: “Today...”

– Ted and Victoria are already making plans for weddings in the future? According to Barney’s rule, you don’t make plans with a girl that will take place further in the future than the amount of time you’ve been dating the girl. How long have Ted and Victoria been dating now? Five months? Ted once dumped Stella after she invited him to her wedding’s sister six months in advance, even though they had only been dating for three months. Where’s the consistency, HIMYM?

Heynannynanny.com, the site that Marshall and Lily were using to find a nanny for Marvin, is a real site. Well, not real as in a real site where you can actually find a nanny, but real as in it exists on the internet. After leaving Barney in a Dumpster with a wrongfully placed pacifier, the nannies apparently turned heynannynanny.com into a warning to all prospective nannies to not date Barney Stinson. The site lists a few of Barney’s aliases, including Swarley, Lorenzo Von Matterhorn and Ted Mosby, while also pointing out that Barney is not “endowed like Tommy Lee,” “a SNANA engineer whose mission is to intercept a sn-asteroid,” or “the inventor of cookies.”

– Barney to Marshall and Lily after they exposed his nanny scheme: “I’d introduce you to little baby Edgar, but, one, he’s napping, and, two, he doesn’t exist.”

– I was really hoping Mrs. Buckminster would turn out to be a Mrs. Doubtfire-type character. In retrospect, that would’ve made it really awkward after Barney slept with her.

– Is this the first time a HIMYM character who was shown eating a sandwich was actually eating a sandwich? I was worried that Mickey had gotten high and then took Marvin to the park.

Comments (31)
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one question:

what job did Lilly go back to?

as far as i can remember, Lilly quits her job at the school and has no career as a painter and was followed by wedding prep n then making a baby then pregnancy.
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She was a teacher
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Wow, how I agree with this review. Only that I don't like so much Victoria... I hope this season will ameliorate with time.
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I was worried about Mickey's sandwich, too!

And did anyone else notice the couple scenes with pans where they weren't needed? This whole episode felt rushed and sloppy.
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Just because Victoria wasn't "the one" does not mean that she wasn't a great character. And lots of fans loved Victoria and many wanted her to be the mother. I just hate it when shows bring a loved character back just to destroy them to show why it wouldn't have worked. Victoria deserves better than the treatment she is getting this season. She was good last year, and everything she did was in character, but now the writers are trying to change her and it is not working. Also, I think we should have spent more time on the whole Ted/.Victoria relationship. We see her run away from her wedding and then BAM five months later. They shouldn't have skipped all that. We have missed out.



The same can also be said of Robin and Nick. We see him for 30 seconds just after they have started dating, and then suddenly it's five months later. Robin clearly cares for him, but we as a viewer do not, because we know absolutely nothing about him because nothing has been developed, so it will have no impact on us when it ends. We knew that Barney and Quinn were going to break up, but it was still powerful to watch cause we had grown invested in their relationship, and had the time to really like Quinn. Nick is a non entity, as a result of very bad writing.



The season premiere was great - one of the best episodes of the show, but episode two was quite weak, despite its good ending and three was a nothing episode, the only interesting part being the Lily/Mickey relationship, which I thought was done well. HIMYM is better than this, and as this could be the final season, it needs to improve very quickly.
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HIMYM is so low this season, i hope at least we get to know who the mother is and end this crap series
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Okay two things,One is that the episode sucks.I cant agree more with you on that.



Second,Victoria??Seriously??She was never going to be "the one".You could always tell that from the first season she was in.So,all the "Dont ruin a character" makes no sense to me coz she was not a great character to begin with.
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She was better than Robin. True story ;)
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Everyone is better than Robin. True story!
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Haha. Totally thought that with the sandwich too, lol.
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Please let Victoria get better. I'm still holding out that she's the Mother because of the magic of season one but that magic got a little scuffed in last night's episode. Please, please let Victoria get better.
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The times when HIMYM was treading water......... from Series 3 onwards...........It's been a joke for years.
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Definitely worst episode of the season, but i Wouldn't call it terrible, I still laughed a few times, seeing classic Barney was fun, and I can already see the bangtoberfest t-shirts being made. One fault is this episode didn't conquer any ground, unlike the first two which established something, this was filler, unfortunately it wasn't good filler.
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This was a lame episode. How many times have we seen these same tired "hire a nanny" gags on sitcoms past? And Robin & Ted's battle was a snore. Barney's behavior was grotesque. And you're exactly right that they totally dropped the ball with characterization on Victoria and Nick. Right about Mickey too, it's like the writers are hypnotized by the allure of the actor rather than writing a good character, but Chris Elliott can do other things than be doofy and bizarre.
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The nanny was Tina (Kim Shaw) from I Just Want My Pants Back (a show I really liked), but unfortunately even her appearance couldn't make this episode bearable.
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I don't believe how badly they are ruining Victoria for everyone. HIMYM .. you suck.
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This episode was LEGEN ...

Wait for it ...

Dreadful. This episode was Legen-Dreadful. It was really, really, REALLY bad. It was even worse than that joke I just made. Dare I say it was the worst episode of HIMYM ever? No? Okay, but it was still pretty damn bad.

Sure, I laughed out loud a few times. I smiled during the closing scenes with Lily and her Dad. But a few laughs and one heartfelt moment come nowhere even close to making up for the horrendous display of just plain lazy writing we witnessed.

Victoria is a slob?! Nick is a man-baby?!

I appreciate the fact we already (sorta) know who Ted and Robin end up with, and that their current relationships are doomed to fail, but does it have to be so fucking redundant?

When the terribly conceived, manufactured reasons for the eventual demise of two relationships have no basis whatsoever in reality or believability, the age lines of a 7 season show become more pronounced. I hate to say it, but HIMYM is becoming a tacky parody of itself. Some of the cutaways and flashbacks honestly reminded me of Family Guy. And that is NOT a compliment.

BUT

I still have hope. Dexter was at its very worst last season. An ultimate low for a show that used to be one of the best on TV. But by (so far) masterfully playing the final card in its deck, it has become appointment television again.

HIMYM has the ability to do the same. I just hope they haven't waited too long.
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I thought this episode was alright. Although I did enjoy these theories that Ted and the Mother had already gotten a divorce! haha



http://electronichearth.com/himym/how-i-met-your-mother-nannies-proof-that-ted-will-divorce-the-mother/
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All based on the score of a game on the TV inside a TV show? Shows always have games with scores and lineups that never happened. I think they're stretching. Also, going out of their way to misunderstand when they show specifically says it is the fall of 2012 and has already demonstrated that by giving us the first of the promised breakups.
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Yeah, Can't say I really enjoyed this one. I didn't hate it but it was a bore save for one moment. The main reason being this episode, as the review suggests, accomplished nothing.



Admittedly the ending with Mickey being a good grandfather to Marvin is nice. I really enjoyed that bit but honestly could they not have done that or something similar before somewhere. You could have included that into last weeks episode or even the premier.



Michael Trucco. He was a loose end they managed to tie up and while I've got nothing against him (who does) but can someone please get rid of this guy. Anyone who knows me knows that I am no fan of Barney and Robin. But a few months ago they pulled the trigger and while annoyed to see Quinn (and Nora while I'm here) to go in favour of Robin. I at least liked that they got her out of the way. Can they please do the same to Michael Trucco?



Put these two together and shift the focus away them please. If this is the final season focus on Ted. I know Ted's isn't everybody's favourite character but personally I want to know why the Mother was "The One" why she worked, what is she like and so on.



The show done some great stuff in the last three years. To deny that is a foolish. But for me when Ted reassessed his life towards the end of season 7. I genuinely felt it was moving forward again.



But this felt like it just straight up told me, we're going around in circle for a few more weeks.



Sorry about the rant. Again this isn't a bad episode but it is boring. And at the wrong time boring get's people irritated, often for good reason.
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I think the 6 months ahead RSVPing was part of the one upmanship against Robin, therefore doesn't follow the normal dating rules.
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Yes... and it was the setup to Robin's winning move, because she was meeting the parents, which Ted hadn't done yet.
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Totally agree with you
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I'm kind of taken aback by some of your affections for Victoria. In my mind, she was always an expendable character whose only purpose was an obstacle for Robin and Ted. As soon as we found out she was a runaway bride, I knew the relationship wouldn't last. Ted doesn't get together with his dream girl that way, nuh uh.
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Agree they should have just broken up in the premiere. And if they're going to give Ted something to whine about at least let it be something legit. Someone being messy is fixed by you telling them about their mess. Also Victoria is a baker, she deals with food all day that requires a clean environment, she knows health codes, and like anyone else who cooks/bakes has adopted the whole clean as you go. I find it unbelievable that this wouldn't carry into her habits outside work.

And what is the point of Nick, seems like a waste I'd prefer Robin being alone or just going on dates than this.

Barney, Marshall and Lily were cool in this episode and made it not too bad.
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Totally agree with you, re. Victoria .. I hate these kind of character inconsistencies
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Until you remember that at the end of last season, Ted wound up doing all her dishes as penance for getting with Robin before actually breaking up with Victoria, and he was surprised by just how many dishes there were.
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Ted and Victoria should have broken up in the premiere when he realized she was 'almost what he wants, but not quite.' That would have been poetic. Now it's unfair to her and ruining her as a character.
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Seriously, did the writers of "Partners" take over writing this episode? Terrible episode.
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I'd believe it if the two switched off for last night as Partners was actually bearable last night
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I totally agree, why bring back Victoria only to make her annoying, also Robin needs a real boyfriend not just a meaningless relationship especially if they want to make us invested in a Barney reunion. And is it just me, but i don't like Lilly's dad that much. P.S. Heynannynanny.com is hilarious, check it out.
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