I'm just going to throw it out there that this is likely the most negative review I have ever had for How I Met Your Mother. There's been a lot of controversy over this episode, and I've seen people who both think it's racist and who don't think it's racist. I really don't want to get into the specifics of that in this post, especially since I know it's been written about very well in a number of other places. Instead, I'm just going to focus on my own specific feelings about what happened in the show.
When we first see Robin dress up as a stereotypical Chinese person, I immediately thought that it could cause some problems. However, I thought it would be a quick thing and then we could move past it. After all, How I Met Your Mother has had problematic moments before, but I've never found them carried through an entire episode (at least from what I can recall, I could be wrong). Instead, the show went on to show Lily and Ted dressed up in the same way, and each time it happened my dislike for the episode increased even more. It was as if each time I thought it couldn't get worse, it did. It wasn't just the fact that it could be taken as racist though. It just wasn't well written, and I didn't find it enjoyable at all.
Aside from that extreme turn off to the episode, the story itself just wasn't that great. Now, I'm not sure how the story would have been without the potentially problematic elements, as that was really the core storyline of the episode. I was just overall unimpressed.
I know many people are getting annoyed with all of the flashbacks. I completely get that. I don't necessarily have a problem with them if they are done well, but obviously that wasn't the case for this episode. I do think there have been plenty this season, and I would prefer episodes that aren't flashbacks. Still, I'm holding out hope that if we do have more flashback episode in the future, they will at least be enjoyable.
Apparently the next episode involves Barney not being able to lie. That has a lot of potential to be interesting I think. Hopefully it doesn't disappoint.