01 January 2010

The Long Halloween: New Year's

It's my pleasure to drag you away from your revelry on this fantastical New Year's Evening to bring you the latest installment on Norwegian Morning Wood's continual look at the greatest Holiday Television Specials EVER. Now, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day I've kind of clumped together for January's entry, as the key moments happen of course, when that clock hits midnight. New Year's wasn't as obvious as some of the other holidays I've covered so far, but cleary, the greatest episode comes from the undersung CBS show, How I Met Your Mother, "The Limo" (S1;E11).

I don't really watch enough of How I Met Your Mother. I can't really ever get past the programmed sets and laugh tracks anymore, which I realise is shamefully pretentious. When I do give the show a chance, though, I'm always rewarded. "Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap" (S5;E9) should have been a strong contender in the Thanksgiving Competition. It's one of the only television shows, however, to not only have a New Year's special at all, but to have a really good one. Check it out here, courtesy of Megavideo:

Ok, let that sink in for a while. The episode captures a few significant elements of New Year's: 1) It basically sucks. There's so much anticipation and planning that always falls through or gets out of whack and it pretty much always lets you down if you get too psyched. This is true for many holidays. 2) It's the friendships that matter. Contrary to Point #1, to prevent significant suckage, spending the evening with a few lifelong friends is going to be more fun than losing yourself into the chill of the night. And finally, 3) if you're going to the same party Moby is at, there's something wrong. That something may be that this fake Moby has a gun and steals your pump-up mix.

There's a lot of great moments here, Jason Segel screaming about hot dogs, Barney becoming pensive after losing his pump-up mix (see the whole mix here), and Ranjit claiming that he doesn't want Ted to "see him pissed." It's also sweet to notice that the entire episode takes place in a single set, in and around the eponymous limo. There really hasn't been an episode like that since "The Chinese Restaurant" (Seinfeld S2;E11). Pretty impressive. It ends on a very sweet note, capturing the purest of New Year's traditions, a faux-unintimate kiss with a close friend of the opposite sex that creates more complications in a relationship. The memories should just instantly rush back into your head.

The episode hits everything about New Year's perfectly, so go out and enjoy the night, kiss someone you shouldn't, but who cares, it's New Year's and time to go nuts. Here's to 2010!

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