Oops...she did it again!

Britney Spears reprised her guest role as "Abby," a bubbly secretary, on May 12th's How I Met Your Mother episode. During her first appearance on March 26, Spears was credited with increasing Mother's viewership by more than one million viewers. Britney also garnered positive reviews by TV critics as Abby.

It's nice to see Britney as a shadow of her former sweet and lovable self. Let's face it; she has been through a lot. Most of her troubles are self-inflicted, of course, but she has made so many bad decisions in life, one would have to wonder about her mental health. Certainly her mental health has a great deal to do with the fact she does not have full custody of her children.

Mental health refers to the ability to function effectively, physically, mentally, and socially. Mental illnesses then, are medical conditions that disrupt a person's ability to function properly, including their way of thinking, feeling, ability to relate to others, and their moods. A person who has a mental illness may have trouble coping with emotions, stress, and anger. They may also have trouble handling such things as daily activities, family responsibilities, relationships, or work and school responsibilities. Mental illness does not discriminate and can affect any a person of any race, age, religion, gender, or income.

It is impossible for me to determine whether or not Britney Spears suffers a mental illness as I have not had a chance to meet her. Dr. Phil has met her and he seems to think she is suffering from some sort of disorder.

That Britney looks cute and "normal" as Abby is actually kind of reassuring. After all, do we really want to watch someone slowly fall apart? And finding joy in the demise of this once teen star seems wrong, doesn't it?

Britney's second appearance on How I Met Your Mother finds her Abby character plotting with "Barney" (played by Neil Patrick Harris) the womanizer. Both Abby and Barney are upset with Ted (Josh Radnor), the leading character; Abby because Ted dumped her and Barney because Ted has shun his friendship.

Barney and Abby appear at the local bar wearing matching sweaters. They profess to have "couple love." They are both trying to make Ted jealous but he sees through their ploy. Barney proposes love to Abby on a lark, but Abby takes his proposal seriously and calls her mother. By the end of the episode Barney frees himself from Abby at Ted's expense. Abby is led to believe that Ted is in love with her. She goes off to find her happiness.

Here's hoping Britney finds her happiness, in real life.

About the Author

Tim Delaney

Tim Delaney teaches sociology at SUNY Oswego. Author of such books as Simpsonology: There's A Little Bit of Springfield in all of Us! and Seinology: The Sociology of Seinfeld.

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