How I Met Your Mother
After hitting the mall and building sandcastles in the sand, it's time for Robin Sparkles to boldly go where How I Met Your Mother has never gone before: outer space.
"We don't mess around. It's Part 3, time to go all out," Cobie Smulders tells TVGuide.com. "And Robin Sparkles is out of this world. Or at least her fashion is."
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The jelly bracelets and cool graffiti coat — and, of course, the Robot — all return on Monday's episode (8/7c, CBS) as more of Robin's bubblegum pop-star past is revealed — with a twist. Unlike the past two Robin Sparkles episodes, which featured music videos of her catchy tunes, Chapter 3 comes in the form of a low-budget Canadian crime-solving educational program, Space Teens — Robin's failed variety show that was referenced last season.
Though Space Teens — which also stars Robin's former BFF/keytarist extraordinaire Jessica Glitter (Nicole Scherzinger) and Mother's other favorite Canadian, Alan Thicke — is targeted at kids, it may need an adult-content warning.
"It's extremely dirty, which is funny since in the first Robin Sparkles episode, everyone thought she was a porn star," Smulders says. " Alan Thicke is doing his prime 'creepy old man' routine. No Canadian sex acts are taught, but it's a lot of sexual innuendos, playing with the idea of two teenage girls in space with Alan Thicke. ... He's like the Charlie to our Charlie's Angels. We solve crimes using math, which is pretty normal. The idea of it is so outlandish that we're able to play a lot within the craziness of this '80s show."
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What may be even more outlandish is the fact that Robin still thinks of Space Teens purely as an educational show despite the overtly naughty elements (stripper pole, "joystick" talk) that in real life led to a "battle" with Standards and Practices. "It's not dirty if you're thinking of it in a childlike mind-set, but if you look at it as a pun or a double entendre, it's very dirty," Smulders says. "I like to think that Robin signed on because she thought she'd really be inspiring kids to educate themselves. She gets very upset because everyone keeps telling her that it's a porn."
Another source of Robin's frustration is Lily (Alyson Hannigan), whose constant baby talk is getting on the resident single gal's nerves. Their rough patch sheds light on what went wrong in Robin and Jessica's friendship, spurring the gang to find Jessica.
Once they do, expect another original Robin Sparkles song — a duet with Jessica called "Two Beavers Are Better Than One."
"Which is just a fact," Smulders deadpans. "It's Canadian and educational. There's addition. The thing about the song is that it's not revealed on [Space Teens] or in a video. We do sing it, but it's present day. There's dancing on Space Teens, obviously, but we don't get to see 'Two Beavers Are Better Than One' in original form. Maybe one day because I want to see it myself!"
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While she loved making the music videos for "Let's Go to the Mall" and "Sandcastles in the Sand," Smulders says the TV show angle provides an avenue for even more silliness, especially with an "awesome" partner-in-crime-solving like Scherzinger to play off of. It is also perhaps what set Robin on the path to becoming a broadcast journalist.
"As she grew up, she probably became more serious in wanting to pursue an actual career that had more integrity rather than do Space Teens," the actress says. "But it shows off Robin Sparkles' acting ability, which is I think pretty stellar. I like to think that she won a Gemini Award [the Canadian Emmy] for this."
With the third episode in the books, the Robin Sparkles saga could end as a trilogy, but there's bound to be more Canadian pop goodness to come, right? Like maybe, say, a movie?
"That would be amazing," Smulders says. "Who knows? Space Teens came out of nowhere. ... I never thought we'd do a third one when we were making the first four years go. Maybe [a movie] is the next step — a musical. Canadian release."