How I Met Your Mother fans, are you ready to glimpse a dark new side of Robin Sparkles?
The pop star returns in Monday’s episode (CBS, 8/7c), but this time around, she’s not in such a great place.
“We see this huge controversial moment in her career that’s akin to the Milli Vanilli-skipping-CD record moment,” previews executive producer Craig Thomas, who recently joined star Cobie Smulders on a conference call to talk all things Robin Sparkles and Canada.
Read on for scoop on the “fantastic and bizarre” fourth installment from the “Let’s Go to the Mall” crooner, and then scroll down for a video sneak peek!
YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY | “The central theme of this episode is obsession,” teases Thomas. “What’s the fine line between love and insanity? And can anyone become obsessed and stalkery?” Abby Elliott’s character, Janet, comes into Ted’s life, Thomas says, and “sparks this entire episode and the debate of what’s charming and what’s alarming?” As in previous chapters, the reappearance of Robin’s former pop self plays heavily into her relationship with Barney. “Robin reveals that she was very much obsessed with somebody in her past,” previews Smulders. “She acted a little bit crazy. It makes Barney go out there and try to find that person. He becomes obsessed with finding this person. He goes on this mission, and at the end, [he] finds this video.”
YOU OUGHTA KNOW | The latest tune from Robin Sparkles will no doubt remind you of another Canadian recording artist. Alanis Morissette “was an inspiration both in sound and in hair,” says Thomas. Like the Jagged Little Pill musician, our favorite fictional teen idol will take on a darker, edgier persona — complete with an angry, grungy look — in “P.S. I Love You.”
“It was a lot of fun in the hair and makeup room,” shares Smulders. “There was some wigs used and a lot of wardrobe changes. Anytime we get to go on set and just let things happen and just have fun – and when you’re shooting a music video, especially on our show, there’s no dialogue — whatever happens, happens. We were able to create this really bizarro video.” In fact, “it may be the craziest Robin Sparkles yet,” adds Thomas. “When we were recording the song in the music studio, we were pushing Cobie to go for it and go completely insane. There were a few takes where she had so much fun going really big and full-throated screaming and insane, and and I think she thought maybe we weren’t going to use those takes. Well, we did. Sorry, Cobie. It’s fantastic and bizarre.”
SEEING STARS | A flurry of famous Canucks – Jason Priestley, Alex Trebek, Alan Thicke, Paul Shaffer, k.d. lang and many more – invade the episode, as does James Van Der Beek as Robin’s loser ex-boyfriend Simon. But there’s one person the show went after and couldn’t land. “We tried to get in touch with the lead singer of The Crash Test Dummies [Brad Roberts], and our casting person could not find him,” reveals Thomas, adding that they also “tentatively” reached out to Morissette, but “ultimately, it didn’t work out.” Meanwhile, a discussion of what Canadian shows and artists were huge for Smulders growing up – Alanis, of course, as well as Breaker High and Degrassi High – uncovered another omission. “We should have gotten someone from Degrassi!” exclaimed Thomas. One guest star you don’t have to fret about: the robot, who definitely makes an appearance.
THE END OF A SAGA | Will Robin Sparkles’ fourth installment be the last? “We’d never rule anything out on this show,” says the EP. But should she hang up her jelly bracelets after this episode, that would be OK by Thomas, too. “We’re pretty happy with this as a potential final chapter of Robin Sparkles. People will see how this bridges the gap between the Robin we’ve seen before, what came next and what was the end of Robin Sparkles’ career. If it’s the end, it feels like a fitting ending.”