REVIEW: DELIVERY MAN

CAST

Vince Vaughn (Swingers)
Chris Pratt (Jurassic World)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
Andrzej Blumenfeld (The Pianist)
Simon Delaney (The Conjuring 2)
Bobby Moynihan (Duck Tales)
Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland)
Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction)
Matthew Daddario (Breathe In)

David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) is a hapless deliveryman for his family’s butcher shop, pursued by thugs to whom he owes $80,000. His girlfriend Emma, an NYPD officer (Cobie Smulders) is pregnant with his child. One day, David returns from work to find a lawyer representing a sperm bank (where he gave 693 donations and earned a sum of $24,255 during his student years) who tells him that the clinic gave his samples to women in the clinic and that he has fathered 533 children. Of those, 142 have joined a class action lawsuit to force the fertility clinic to reveal the identity of “Starbuck”, the alias he had used.David’s friend and lawyer Brett (Chris Pratt) represents him as he tries to keep the records sealed. He provides David with profiles of each party to the lawsuit: David searches for them, finding moments for random acts of kindness. David considers identifying himself; but, after the thugs assault his father, he agrees with his lawyer to counter-sue the sperm bank for punitive damages. He wins the lawsuit, receives $200,000, and keeps his identity a secret.David has regrets and thinks about revealing his identity. However, if he chooses to do so, he would lose the $200,000 that he won in the countersuit. He reveals to his father that he is Starbuck. His father decides to pay off David’s debt. David finally reveals his identity on Facebook. He goes to Emma’s house and finds that she is going into premature labor. At the hospital, his baby is born, he proposes to Emma, and many of the children show up to see him.I’m not a fan of Vince Vaughn. And the premise for this movie sounded terrible – the advert made it sound particularly slapstick, like it would basically be one long jerk-off joke. The title – as a play on words of “delivery” is cheap. But the film, once you get past the initial set-up of the character as one of life’s losers, is really good.

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REVIEW: WALKING TALL (2004)

CAST

Dwayne Johnson (Cental Intelligence)
Johnny Knoxville (The Ringer)
Neal McDonough (Arrow)
Michael Bowen (Kill Bill)
Ashley Scott (Birds of Prey)
Barbara Tarbuck (Short Circuit)
John Beasley (The Purge: Anarchy)
Kristen Wilson (Dr. Dolittle)
Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins)
Ryan Robbins (Sanctuary)
Michael Adamthwaite (Stargate SG.1)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)

Former U.S. Army Special Forces sergeant Chris Vaughn (The Rock) returns to his small home town in Kitsap County, Washington. Looking for work, he finds the local cedar mill was closed down three years prior by its heir, Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough), who opened a new casino that now accounts for the majority of revenue for the local area. Hamilton, who was also Vaughn’s school friend, invites him to a night of fun at the casino. While checking out the VIP lounge, Vaughn stumbles upon his childhood friend Deni (Ashley Scott), who is now working as a stripper. Later, he notices the craps dealer using loaded dice and demonstrates this to the patrons by placing a bet and calling out the roll before throwing the dice. When the floorman declares no payout, Vaughn instigates a fight. Although he beats down most of the security guards, he is subsequently subdued with a cattle prod and knocked unconscious. The security staff take Vaughn into the basement and Hamilton’s right-hand man and head of security Booth (Kevin Durand) tortures him by cutting his torso with a utility knife before dumping him on a roadside. He is found by a trucker and hospitalized, but recovers quickly.Vaughn goes to the sheriff, Stan Watkins (Michael Bowen), to press charges against the guards, but Sheriff Watkins refuses to allow him to do so because the casino is viewed as too important to the town’s economy, stating that because of its position, the casino is considered a “no fly zone”. After this, Vaughn also learns that his nephew, Pete (Khleo Thomas), experimented with crystal meth, which was sold to his friends by the casino security guards. Infuriated, Vaughn goes to the casino, and using a piece of lumber as a club, begins destroying casino property, and brutally beats the security guards when they attempt to stop him. Vaughn is apprehended by Sheriff Watkins and his deputies as he is driving away from the scene.In the ensuing trial, all of Hamilton’s security and staff testify against Vaughn. When the judge allows Vaughn to present his defense, he fires his appointed attorney, who is implicitly under Hamilton’s employ. After making a civic speech about the town’s great former self, Vaughn tells the jury and the rest of the town that if he’s cleared of the charges, he will run for sheriff and clean up the town. To further emphasize his plea, Vaughn reveals the grotesque scars on his torso from his being tortured by the casino staff. He is then acquitted and wins the election for sheriff. Upon taking office, he summarily dismisses the entire police force and deputizes his friend, Ray Templeton (Johnny Knoxville), whom Vaughn feels he can trust, as well as help Vaughn learn about narcotics (Templeton revealed earlier that he served time in prison after becoming a drug addict).Vaughn and Templeton find drugs on Booth and they take him into custody. In an attempt to make him reveal information on the town drug operation, they hold him captive in a garage and proceed to strip his truck into pieces in front of him, but he does not talk. Vaughn assigns Templeton to stand watch over his house, as he knows Hamilton will likely target his family. Vaughn himself remains at the sheriff’s office to supervise Booth. He is visited by Deni, stopping by under the pretense of bringing him food and reveals that she quit her job as the casino stripper. The two end up spending the night together in the office. The next morning, Watkins and his deputies arrive at the Sheriff’s office where they blow up Vaughn’s truck and fire upon the building with machine guns. Recognizing his dangerous predicament, Booth pleads for Vaughn to let him out of his cell, prompting Vaughn to use Booth’s perilous situation as leverage for information. Booth reveals that the old mill is where the drugs are being produced, but is immediately killed by the indiscriminate fire of the attackers. Vaughn manages to kill all of the attackers with Deni’s help.Vaughn’s parents’ house is attacked, but Templeton and Vaughn’s father are able to dispatch the gunmen. After ensuring their safety, Vaughn heads for the mill where he discovers a meth lab as well as Hamilton, calmly waiting in a control room. Hamilton attempts to kill Vaughn with the mill equipment by dropping him through a trap door, but Vaughn drags Hamilton down with him and the two fall through a chute. Vaughn, whose leg is injured, manages to tend to his injury in a nearby forest before Hamilton attacks him with an axe. The two fight for their lives, with Vaughn ultimately coming out on top by beating Hamilton with a nearby uprooted tree, breaking his leg. Vaughn repeats what Hamilton said to him earlier “You’re right, Jay. This does change our relationship. This is my town. You’re under arrest.” And Hamilton is arrested and taken into custody, with Templeton’s assistance, Vaughn shuts down the casino. In the closing scene it is revealed that the local mill is back in use.This movie is decidedly ‘heavier’ then Rock’s previous outings, dealing with more significant topics like prostitution and drugs, which gives it a more serious edge. Overall, I enjoyed Walking Tall, and would recommend it to anyone

REVIEW: A SERIES OF UNFORTANTE EVENTS – SEASON 1

MAIN CAST

Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
Patrick Warburton (Family Guy)
Malina Weissman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Louis Hynes (Barbarians Rising)
K. Todd Freeman (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Presley Smith
Tara Strong (Batman: The KIlling Joke)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Joan Cusack (Addams Family Values)
Aasif Mandvi (The Siege)
Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone)
Don Johnson (Machete)
Alfre Woodard (Luke Cage)
John DeSantis (Blade: The Series)
Sara Canning (The Vampire Diaries)
Rhys Darby (Yes Man)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
Will Arnett (The Lego Batman Movie)

Published between 1999 and 2006, A Series Of Unfortunate Events told the story of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, three intelligent and resourceful children who are orphaned when their parents are killed in a mysterious fire that destroys their home. Over the course of the books they are met with misfortune after misfortune as the evil Count Olaf attempts to get his hands on the money their parents left behind, with the orphans always just barely managing to escape Olaf’s clutches. Eventually they start to realise that there is more to Olaf and the death of their parents than they realise, and their attempts to survive converge more and more with a huge conspiracy that drags them deeper into a web of very furtive danger.

The books are oblique, absurd, repetitive and relentlessly dark. The last attempt at adapting them wrangled three books into one film along with a simplified version of the convoluted mystery that characterised the back half of the book series, which it chose to more or less resolve, while ramping up the buffoonery of Olaf and toning down his more menacing moments. All of these were choices that made sense from a commercial perspective; yet the film was met with a shrug. So when it was announced that Netflix was taking on the series, it was hard not to wonder just how that might look and whether it would be more successful than the last version. Adapting this series presents a challenge; a faithful retelling of the books runs the risk of being kind of repetitive, not to mention very expensive considering each book takes place in a different bizarre setting with a mostly different cast of supporting characters. So how do they manage it?

As it turns out, very, very well. And very faithfully to boot. The television series devotes two episodes to each book, with the first season covering the first four. Essentially this means that each individual novel gets more time than the film allowed for three, meaning that not only can the series depict just about every scene from each book, but it can embellish and explore certain aspects while threading new, fascinating subplots throughout the more familiar material. Consequently, the series offers something fresh and interesting for those unfamiliar with Snicket while being full of surprises and easter eggs for those who spent their childhoods scouring the books for clues, hints or things we might have missed. This is an adaptation that does fan service right. If you know the books reasonably well, you will have ample reasons to squeal with delight or gasp at your television while never once feeling like somebody is pandering to you.

Part of this is probably due to the heavy involvement of Daniel Handler, who wrote the teleplays for the four episodes. The tweaks the television series makes to the novels play more like minor corrections, the new subplots like we’re seeing important deleted scenes rather than anything added inorganically to fill screen time and above all the series just feels extremely true to the spirit of its source material in a way that the movie never quite did. Part of this is the dialogue, part of this is the theatrical set design and part of this is the fact that the series is unafraid to get dark.The first book, The Bad Beginning, features many disturbing elements but two that stand out are Count Olaf’s insidious plan to marry fourteen year old Violet Baudelaire in order to get his hands on her fortune, and an earlier scene in which a drunk, angry Olaf strikes Klaus across the face for talking back to him. The film included both these plot points, but they were both buried in lots of Jim Carrey mugging. This created the uncomfortable feeling that some awful stuff was being played for laughs, or at least that the impact of it was being softened to avoid upsetting anyone too much. The series does not shy away from either of these moments. The marriage plot is exactly as disturbing as it should be, while the attack on Klaus is followed by a loaded silence that lets you feel just how dreadful the circumstances of the Baudelaires and the man behind them is. When the humour does come it’s a welcome relief rather than an attempt to bury disturbing content beneath silly voices and kooky lines.Neil Patrick Harris walks a very particular tightrope in his portrayal of Olaf. The villain of the series is a terrible actor who uses a variety of ridiculous disguises and bizarre plots in his attempts to capture the orphans, but when all is said and done this man is still a dangerous murderer and serial arsonist. Predictably Harris is very funny, but it’s that crucial undercurrent of darkness that sells the character in a way that Jim Carrey didn’t quite manage and means that, no matter how much you’re laughing at him, you never forget the danger that he poses.

Elsewhere, the acting is just as strong. Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes are both excellent as Violent and Klaus respectively, while K. Todd Freeman threatens to steal the show as inept banker Mr Poe. Aasif Mandvi makes for a warm and endearingly quirky Uncle Monty while Patrick Warburton very quickly becomes the only Lemony Snicket you’ll be able to imagine. Where Jude Law in the film depicted the narrator as a softly spoken reclusive writer, Warburton is more of a droll noir detective, walking in and out of scenes to comment on proceedings with wry humour and occasional flashes of melancholy and gravitas. In short, he is a pitch perfect, if unexpected, take on arguably the most important character in the series.

One of the most distinctive things about the books was how it handled its tone; veering quickly from oddball humour to reflective sadness. The television series handles this with deft expertise; just watch how Snicket reacts in pained silence to the Baudelaires learning about their parents’ death even as Mr Poe fumbles breaking the news. The series is not quite as funny as the trailers may have led you to believe, but this isn’t a bad thing. It only means that humour never disguises just how dire the circumstances of the orphans are. We feel for Violet, Klaus and Sunny and we hate Count Olaf even as we chuckle at his one liners and over the top behaviour. It’s a balancing act that could so easily fall apart but never does due to the simple fact that everyone involved in this series knows exactly what they’re doing.The series feels fresh, new and different to just about anything that has ever been on television before. Netflix took a risk on this and evidently let the creators do exactly what they wanted in bringing the novels to life. At its heart, A Series of Unfortunate Events is about the fact that life rarely goes the way we want it to and trouble and treachery can strike at the worst possible times. And while they may not offer a permanent solution, intelligence, curiosity, decency and literacy are lights in the darkness, tiny glimmers of hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. The plight of the Baudelaire orphans, ultimately, is not a case of relentless misery being played for our entertainment, but a story of hope and resilience built around the honest truth that life isn’t fair. Perhaps the greatest trick of the book series, and now the TV show, is disguising a message of hope in a story of seemingly endless gloom. In that regard, this brave, funny, exciting, imaginative new show is as big of a success as anyone could have hoped for. It’s an absolute treat.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – THE FINAL PAGE – PART 1 & 2

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MAIN CAST

Josh Radnor (Mercy Street)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (Agents of SHIELD)
Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers)
Alyson Hannigan (Date Movie)
Bob Saget (Full House)

GUEST CAST

Ellen D. Williams (Bskets)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Peter Gallagher (Ameircan Beauty)
Alexis Denisof (Angel)
Marshall Manesh (The Brink)

PART 1

Ted’s new building is set to open and he invites his favorite architecture professor, Vinick, from his college days to the grand opening. The group says that Ted has put the professor in his “pit”, in that he has obsessed over him and hasn’t let him go since college. This is further confirmed when the professor declines the invite. Ted takes the group to Wesleyan, intending to unleash his wrath on Vinick. After hearing one of his inspiring lectures, Ted craves Vinick’s approval and shows him a sketch of the GNB building. Vinick is unimpressed and Ted brings a 3crD model, but Vinick views the attempt as pathetic. Ted realizes he has to move on.

Marshall and Lily explain they are in someone else’s pit. Daryl, a friend from college, became obsessed with the two, causing them to feel uncomfortable. They run into Daryl at Wesleyan, having formed a company selling hacky sacks named after the three of them. He invites them to his house; Marshall and Lily fear they will be killed, but find that Daryl’s company has become successful, and they unknowingly reject his offer to give them $100,000, claiming it was partly their idea. Daryl seems to accept that they don’t want any part of his life.

Marshall calls “Jinx” on Barney when they utter the same phrase simultaneously. Future Ted explains the group takes the game very seriously; Barney had previously broken the jinx out of mockery, but later had been hit by a bus, causing everyone to follow the rules whenever they’re jinxed. The group relishes Barney’s silence. Robin has someone in her pit, Patrice, and plans to fire her for getting together with the man she loves. She moves on and lets Patrice stay. Barney tricks Ted into saying his name by showing him a wedding ring, breaking the jinx. Barney explains that he’s serious and makes Ted promise not to tell anyone he plans to propose to Patrice.

PART 2

Ted’s new building is opening that night, but he is distracted by his promise to Barney; he winds up asking Robin to be his date to the gala when he loses the nerve to tell her. When Ted meets up with Robin, he tells her. Robin claims to be fine with Barney’s plans, she admits that she has still loved him for a long time, but cannot keep chasing after Barney if he will never feel the same way about her. Finally letting go of his pursuit of her, Ted takes Robin to the WWN building where Barney intends to propose to Patrice. Marshall and Lily are excited to have their first evening away from baby Marvin, thanks to her father Mickey taking care of him. Marshall hears about Barney and the two end up missing Marvin. They decide they are more content spending the night back home with him.

When Robin heads to the roof of the building, she sees no sign of Patrice. Instead she finds a page from Barney’s Playbook, titled “The Robin”. Barney had a long plan to get back together with Robin, which started with proclaiming his love for Robin and intentionally getting shot down. He went to Patrice for help and pretended to date her so that Robin would realize her feelings for him. When Barney arrives, Robin feels that she can’t trust Barney because of how he manipulated her to get to this moment. He still proclaims his love for her and proposes; Robin accepts, and they embrace and kiss. At the gala, a GNB executive proposes a toast to Ted. While Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lily are shown happily in their respective couplings, Ted stares out from the GNB building alone.

The second Part is one of the best episodes of the season, and a lovely ending. A great final Christmas on HIMYM.

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER -THE OVER-CORRECTION

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MAIN CAST

Josh Radnor (Mercy Street)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (Agents of SHIELD)
Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers)
Alyson Hannigan (Date Movie)
Bob Saget (Full House)

GUEST CAST

Chris Elliott (The Abyss)
Suzie Plakson (Red Eye)
Ellen D. Williams (Bskets)

Robin, Marshall, Lily, and Ted are trapped in different closets. Future Ted narrates how things came to be.  A week earlier at MacLaren’s, Marshall and Lily tell Ted and Robin that Marshall’s mother Judy is staying at their apartment. Judy tells Lily that having gotten over the death of her husband, she is ready to date again and she hooks up with Lily’s father Mickey, so Marshall seeks refuge in a closet. Noting Robin’s frustrations over Patrice and Barney dating, the gang claims that Barney has “over-corrected”. Robin says that Barney is just using Patrice to compensate for not trying to pursue her. Still in love with Barney, she tries to convince Patrice of his real intentions, but when it fails, she breaks into his apartment to steal a copy of the Playbook and show it to her. While trying to find it, she scrambles to hide in Barney’s bedroom closet as he arrives home. She calls Ted and asks him to distract Barney for her to escape.

Ted, who is angry at the gang for failing to return anything they borrowed from him over the years, helps out as Robin finally uncovers the Playbook. When Barney returns to the apartment to wait for Patrice in setting up a Christmas tree, Robin and Ted hide. Robin calls up Lily for help only to discover she is in a nearby closet; Lily needed a place to safely use her breast pumps after discovering that her father tried it out on himself. Robin leaves the Playbook on the bed for Patrice to see. While Patrice and Barney argue at the terrace, Robin, Lily, and Ted hide in another closet – just in time to see Barney confess to Patrice that he wants to change, starting by burning the Playbook. When they leave, Ted gets back his red cowboy boots and a label maker. He declares to never again lend the gang anything. Lily returns to the apartment, only to vomit after learning their parents hooked up. Barney consoles them at the bar, saying people can change. Robin asks Marshall, Lily, and Ted to hold an intervention for Barney – but the three hold it instead for her. Lily and Marshall tell Mickey and Judy that it’s okay for them to date, but when the parents admit just wanting to have sex.
There are a lot of laughs to be had here, its a great festive episode and is the rpecurser to the events of the next episode.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – SYMPHONY OF ILLUMINATION

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MAIN CAST

Josh Radnor (Mercy Street)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (Agents of SHIELD)
Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers)
Alyson Hannigan (Date Movie)
Bob Saget (Full House)

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GUEST CAST

Vicki Lewis (Finding Nemo)
Chase Ellison (Mysterious Skin)
Todd Grinnell (Hollywoodland)
Danielle Weeks (The Day Before)

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Instead of Future Ted narrating to his kids as usual, this episode opens with Robin telling her two kids about the time she revealed to their father that she was pregnant. The scene cuts to Barney and Robin in the bathroom of Marshall and Lily’s Long Island house, picking up from the end of the previous episode. Robin explains that she is a week late with her period, and has a doctor’s appointment to verify that she is pregnant. She also reveals that she and Kevin have not yet had sex, meaning that if she is pregnant, Barney is the father. Although Barney is giddy at the prospect of becoming a father (which causes Robin to faint), Robin is not happy and is still firmly against having children of her own (since it would mean an end to her desired career path). While helping Lily shop for baby furniture at “We B Babies”, Barney shares her feelings when he sees how the life of an old friend, “Insane Duane”, has changed since marrying and having children. Both Robin and Barney are relieved when the doctor informs them that Robin is not pregnant. For a day Robin celebrates not being pregnant, until she receives additional news from the doctor: she is unable to have children. Robin struggles to find a way to tell her friends, so she lies and says instead that she is disappointed at not making the Canadian women’s pole vaulting team.
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Meanwhile, Marshall wants to have better Christmas decorations than neighborhood rival Richard Holdman, planning an entire display which he names the “Symphony of Illumination” for the Long Island house. When he begins the installation, he gratefully accepts an offer of assistance from a neighbourhood teenager, Scott. However, Scott leaves him stranded on the roof, steals Marshall’s phone and uses it to his advantage when texting Lily, and throws a party in Marshall’s house. Though Marshall briefly relents, recalling his own antics when he was young, he is outraged when he sees Scott abusing a giant stocking that his late grandmother had knitted for Marshall’s future child. He remains stranded on the roof until Lily arrives, unwittingly paying Scott 50 dollars for his help, and then sees the damage Scott has caused inside the house during the party.
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The other friends notice that Robin has been acting strange lately, and try to figure out why. Though Ted and Lily jokingly guess that Robin hooked up with Barney, they dismiss the idea, to Barney’s relief, and Ted assumes that she is homesick for Canada. When Ted offers her plane tickets for a Christmas visit to his home town in Cleveland, Ohio, Robin dismisses the notion. When Ted attempts to find out what has upset her so he can try to make her feel better, she gets angry and tells him that he should not feel responsible for cheering her up before leaving. She goes on for a walk in Central Park, where it is revealed that the kids Robin is telling the story to exist only in her imagination, and she is only talking to herself on a park bench as she begins to come to terms with her bad news. She returns to the apartment to discover an intricate Christmas light display, animated and accompanied by vigorous AC/DC music, which Ted has erected. He tells her that while she doesn’t have to tell him what happened, he will never stop trying to cheer her up. Robin dissolves into tears and is comforted by Ted, as Future Ted tells his kids that Robin never had children, but did become a famous journalist, traveled the world and even enjoyed a stint as a bullfighter, and he also notes that she was never alone.7x12-symphony-of-illumination-how-i-met-your-mother-27462287-500-281Honestly, the best episode of season 7 and one of the best in the whole series. A simply amazing episode for Cobie Smulders, and a classic Christmas episode for HIMYM.

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – FALSE POSITIVE

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MAIN CAST

Josh Radnor (Mercy Street)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (Agents of SHIELD)
Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers)
Alyson Hannigan (Date Movie)
Bob Saget (Full House)

GUEST CAST

Alex Trebek (Jeopardy)
Ben Vereen (All That Jazz)

Ted is outside a movie theater showing It’s a Wonderful Life, waiting for the rest of the gang and carrying a gingerbread house as their Christmas-themed movie snack. Future Ted backtracks to two days before, when Marshall and Lily eagerly await the results of her latest pregnancy test. The test is positive and they tell Ted, Barney, and Robin the news, but the doctor later says it’s a false alarm and Future Ted tells the story of what happened while the gang thought Lily was pregnant. Prior to the test, Ted and Punchy begin talking about Punchy’s wedding. After hanging up, Ted argues with Robin about his ability to be an effective best man, especially in the event that Punchy gets cold feet. Robin reveals that she auditioned as a “currency rotation specialist” (coin-flip bimbo) in the game show Million Dollar Heads or Tails, hosted by Alex Trebek. Ted rebukes her for bailing on her New Year’s Resolution to be working for the Worldwide News Network by the end of the year. Robin admits that she applied for the Network, but only an associate researcher position is available. When Marshall and Lily break the news of the pregnancy, Robin becomes aware of how her own life is stalling, and resolves to take the research position, but when they reveal the false positive, she changes her mind once more, deciding that she is content to be a “coin-flip bimbo”.
Barney, meanwhile, has received an end-of-year bonus, which he intends to spend on luxuries for himself, including a suit with diamond pinstripes. When he hears about the pregnancy, he realizes how unfulfilled his selfishness has left him, and decides to spend the money helping others. After buying the patrons of MacLaren’s designer clothes, toys and condoms, and taking them to a strip club, Barney goes to see Sam Gibbs, his brother’s father and a minister, to make a donation to his church. He is in the process of writing a check for $10,000 when he gets the news about the false positive, and adds a decimal point to turn it into $100, returning to his selfish ways and, indeed, buying his diamond-striped suit. Immediately after they discover the pregnancy test’s results, Marshall and Lily begin to panic about how unprepared they are to raise a child, and scramble to complete pre-delivery remodeling of their apartment in one night. They announce the news of the pregnancy to the gang, and pretend to share their excitement, but are still terrified inside. After an argument about playing music for the child, the couple see the doctor, who tells them Lily is not pregnant.
Marshall and Lily meet up with the rest of the gang outside the theater and admit that they are relieved about the false positive. Since they are not ready for kids yet, Marshall says they’re considering getting a dog for now. When Robin and Barney agree with Marshall, Ted explodes in anger, smashes the gingerbread house and angrily orders everybody to reconsider their decisions, forcing Marshall and Lily to go straight back home to try to conceive, ordering Robin to take the research job, and yelling to the “criminals of New York” about Barney’s suit, effectively making him a walking target for theft. When Punchy calls him, suffering the predicted cold feet, Ted angrily orders him to get married, solving that problem as well. After everybody leaves, he decides to watch It’s a Wonderful Life all by himself. In the end, Marshall and Lily continue trying to conceive, Barney makes his intended cash donation to the ministry and also donates suits for jobless people to wear to interviews, and Robin begins her first day at Worldwide News. Back at the apartment, Robin thanks Ted for his fit of rage and he accepts her offer to be the best man if she ever gets married to anyone other than him. In the ending scene, Barney tries a Christmas message-style play on a girl called Noelle (Melissa Molinaro) at the bar, who turns him down.A really fun episode, Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan are both excellent, as is the always brilliant Neil Patrick Harris. I enjoyed the Barney storyline, and the ensuing “Barney’s Favourite Things” his diamond suit and the scene at the church with Barney’s brother, James’s Dad.