Last night's episode of How I Met Your Mother (what a cumbersome show name), called "Okay Awesome," was really surprisingly good. Not that the show hasn't been good so far, but this episode was a standout.
The story features the characters going to an exclusive club called Okay (Neil Patrick Harris's reaction, "Awesome!" gives us the episode title). This episode effectively captures everything that is horrible and obnoxious about clubbing, which is something I have never seen on TV before.
Normally when you see characters at a club, they converse with unrealistic ease. Here, the music drowns them out and we follow the conversation with subtitles. When the main character, Ted, realizes the girl he's hitting on can't hear him and is just nodding enthusiastically regardless of what he says, he starts testing her by spouting escalating nonsense. Until, of course, the music unfortunately cuts out just as he says something embarrassing.
Before that happens, she gestures for Ted to buy her a beer, and the show touches on how difficult it is to order drinks at a club, how drastic you must be merely to get a bartender's attention. It's funny because it's true. Using confusing hand signals, the bartender tries to communicate the price. It takes a while for Ted to get it, but eventually the bartender writes it on a napkin: Two beers? $34. Ha! Later, when Marshall (Jason Segel) ditches a wine-tasting party (where drinking was postponed as they waited for the wine to peak after opening) to join them at the club, he enthuses, "Finally, I don't have to wait half an hour for a drink." Cut to half an hour later when they have finally bought their drinks. Simple joke, yes. Truth.
Meanwhile, Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) is doing his best to sneak up on girls and start grinding with them without giving them a chance to look at him. When the girl finally turns around, he realizes with horror that she is his cousin. And thus we cover the territory of grinding with complete strangers.
Robin (the girl Ted met in episode one) was their connection to the exclusive club, since she's a newscaster and thus a minor celebrity. But she's thwarted in her attempt to enter the prestigious VIP room, and after exiting the club to make a phone call, the bouncer switches and she's unable to get back in. And here is how clubs make you feel like shit for not being good enough to get in.
Ted eventually bonds with the coat check girl as they talk about how clubbing sucks because everything that's supposed to be fun actually sucks. Like parades, and amusement parks, and parades. (Ted: "I really hate parades.") Maybe this means I'm not a fun person, but I found myself relating to this sentiment, too.
The episode ends with the characters taking a cab home, shouting at each other since they've all been deafened by loud music. Have we all been there? I think we have.
I'm surprised it's taken this long for a show to go there. I know Matt has given clubbing some good-natured ribbing in the Squelch, but I mean on TV. Maybe it is too nerdy for people to admit that they don't like clubbing. Anyway, good for HIMYM. Now this show just needs a nickname.