himym season 7 premiere 1 'How I Met Your Mother' premiere: The wedding groom(s)

“How I Met Your Mother” returned for a full hour with its Season 7 debut, but we’re more concerned with the first part — you know, the one where we revisit Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) future wedding, Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) tell the gang they’re having a baby and the season of Robin (Cobie Smulders ) begins with a smart new haircut and a heart-breaking pseudo-confession.

Let’s start with that Robin and her truth voice. As the season finale heavily hinted, Ms. Scherbatsky still has a thing for Barney. And after slipping her revelation to Lily, she seems resolved to either bury her feelings or put it all on the line.

And so begins on of the greatest “HIMYM” musical moments since, perhaps, the 100th episode. In the middle of the unlikely venue of Punchie’s wedding — did they establish why the whole gang flew to Cleveland? — Barney grabs Robin for a fantastically sexy dance to “Groove is in the Heart.”

(Between Harris’ natural rhythm and Smulders’ leg extensions, we had a hard time even thinking about tuning into the “Dancing With the Stars” premiere…)

Taking place several weeks after the events of the finale, Barney also says that he hasn’t called Nora (Nazanin Boniadi). Turns out he’s lying. A near-kiss between the former couple is interrupted by a call from Nora. And instead taking it by himself, Barney demands Robin coach him through the conversation. She pours out her feelings to him while he just repeats it over the phone to Nora.

It’s like Cyrano de Bergerac. Almost.

Marshall and Lily have a harder time keeping their secret. After pretending to drink at the wedding, an encounter with a newborn wedding guest prompts them to spill the beans. It’s a happy moment, but we’re hoping they give the duo more to work with this season than. [Editor’s note: We’re going to have a particularly hard time with Lily being sober for 9 months. No one does a good drunk episode like “HIMYM.”]

That brings us to Ted (Josh Radnor), who made a much more valuable contribution as narrator (Bob Saget) with the many acknowledgments of how long this story is taking him.

Ted remains happy for his friends and a horrible public speaker, but he’s laying on the self pity once again. Can we just throw him a bone this season? At the very least, he needs to get laid more. You know, for “market research.”

But the premiere does not set up a very Ted-y season. There are two things we can expect, though. A lot from Robin and a lot from Barney. With his mystery wedding bride clearly poised for season finale reveal, there doesn’t seem to be any opportunity for progress on Ted’s “Mother” hunt.

Maybe next year, Ted.

Posted by:Mikey O'Connell