“How I Met Your Mother”: Enough with Britney

First off, I’m a huge champion of “How I Met Your Mother.” The cast is terrific, the writing consistently funny and the direction by Pam Fryman is stellar. So speaking from a fan’s perspective, last night’s episode left me disappointed.Britney

The first time Britney Spears appeared on the show a few weeks back, it was a great piece of stunt casting as showrunners Carter Bays and Craig Thomas integrated her character just enough so that we knew it was Britney but it didn’t interfere with how smoothly the rest of the actors work together and it didn’t take anything away from the storyline.

Not so much last night. It wasn’t that Britney’s character — a young woman who has a crush on Ted but sleeps with Barney to get even — was involved too much in the episode but, rather, Britney just plain can’t act. Period. She looked stilted and foolish in scenes with TV pros such as Neil Patrick Harris and Josh Radnor.

Ratings for “Mother” shot up for Britney’s first appearance, and for a show this good that has never received the high ratings it should — series just got the OK from CBS for another season, yeah! — any way to push the Nielsen meter is smart, but last night’s episode felt to me as if it had crossed a line in pimping to get viewers.

From Britney’s perspective, coming on as a guest star is a smart move. By working on “Mother’s” tight sitcom schedule, it helps keep her life straight — or straighter than usual — and makes her seem a bit more like a “normal” person and not just tabloid fodder.

But her exposure and rehab felt like it came at the expense of “Mother.” I’m hoping it doesn’t happen again next season.

— Stuart Levine

More TV

  • Harry Kane of England celebrates scoring

    World Cup Live-Stream: How to Watch England vs. Panama

    First off, I’m a huge champion of “How I Met Your Mother.” The cast is terrific, the writing consistently funny and the direction by Pam Fryman is stellar. So speaking from a fan’s perspective, last night’s episode left me disappointed. The first time Britney Spears appeared on the show a few weeks back, it was […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    'Portlandia': Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein Pick Their Proudest Musical Moments

    First off, I’m a huge champion of “How I Met Your Mother.” The cast is terrific, the writing consistently funny and the direction by Pam Fryman is stellar. So speaking from a fan’s perspective, last night’s episode left me disappointed. The first time Britney Spears appeared on the show a few weeks back, it was […]

  • NANTUCKET, MA - JUNE 23: (L-R)

    How Long Will TV and Film's Boom Market for Female Stories Last?

    First off, I’m a huge champion of “How I Met Your Mother.” The cast is terrific, the writing consistently funny and the direction by Pam Fryman is stellar. So speaking from a fan’s perspective, last night’s episode left me disappointed. The first time Britney Spears appeared on the show a few weeks back, it was […]

  • Actors Kit Harington and Rose Leslie

    'Game of Thrones' Stars Rose Leslie and Kit Harington Married in Scotland

    First off, I’m a huge champion of “How I Met Your Mother.” The cast is terrific, the writing consistently funny and the direction by Pam Fryman is stellar. So speaking from a fan’s perspective, last night’s episode left me disappointed. The first time Britney Spears appeared on the show a few weeks back, it was […]

  • Seth Rogen Says He Rejected Paul

    Seth Rogen Says He Rejected Paul Ryan's Request for a Photo

    First off, I’m a huge champion of “How I Met Your Mother.” The cast is terrific, the writing consistently funny and the direction by Pam Fryman is stellar. So speaking from a fan’s perspective, last night’s episode left me disappointed. The first time Britney Spears appeared on the show a few weeks back, it was […]

  • ROSEANNE - "Netflix & Pill" -

    'Roseanne': What's Next for ABC's Spinoff

    First off, I’m a huge champion of “How I Met Your Mother.” The cast is terrific, the writing consistently funny and the direction by Pam Fryman is stellar. So speaking from a fan’s perspective, last night’s episode left me disappointed. The first time Britney Spears appeared on the show a few weeks back, it was […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content