Television shows talking about television shows has become more and more common. There are plenty of different ways to do it, some more clever than others. Community tends to get "meta." The most recent episode had the study group stuck in their room (during a puppy parade, at that - how much funnier could obvious get?) for the entire afternoon and led it off with Jeff's phone call to cancel his date for the evening: "Tell your disappointment to suck it. I'm doing a bottle episode!" And a bottle episode they did.
Another technique was adopted by The Office last week: just show the characters watching TV. In this particular episode, Kelly and Gabe host a Glee viewing party; people host viewing parties for The Office all the time, but the characters on The Office watch Glee. We also know that Dwight watches Battlestar Galactica and The Apprentice and that Andy gets his LOST on. This makes the characters feel more like us, but our brains just might explode if they ever started watching The Office. I think only 30 Rock could pull off something like that (since the show is essentially about itself already). You heard it here first.
Last night, we saw another, much less subtle move on How I Met Your Mother. Barney, in an attempt to get Ted to ditch his punchy high school friend, goes on to recite nearly every reality TV tagline ever: "He has got to go. You need to be like, you are the weakest link goodbye! Punchy, the tribe has spoken. Please pack up your knives and go. Your work of art didn't work for me. Your time's up. I have to ask you to leave the mansion. You must leave the chateau. Your tour ends here. You've been chopped! You've been evicted from the Big Brother house. Your dessert just didn't measure up. Sashay away! Give me your jacket and leave Hell's kitchen! You did not get a rose. You have been eliminated from the race. You are no longer in the running to be America's Next Top Model. You're fired. Auf Wiedersehen." (For those of you who are curious, that is: The Weakest Link, Survivor, Top Chief, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, Flavor of Love, Beauty and the Geek, Joe Millionaire, Rock of Love, Chopped, Big Brother, Top Chef: Just Desserts, Ru Paul's Drag Race, Hell's Kitchen, The Bachelor(ette), The Amazing Race, America's Next Top Model, The Apprentice, Project Runway.)
I think the moral of the story is: if Barney has a high-powered banking job, spends the evening with a different girl each night, and still has time to watch all that reality television, I never again want to hear someone say they don't have time for TV. It's just not possible. And it's certainly not right.