Category Archives: HIMYM

HIMYM – Last Forever (Sp, Ep 23/24) SERIES FINALE

Spoiler Alert, I guess. Who cares.

Well, I did it again guys. I let the world of TV infect my personal life, only to be broken up with in a horrible manner. Like Ted from seasons past, I was left at the alter, but with no alternate plan.

The thing is, I’m not going to complain about the specific twist decisions that the show runners made. I’m not going to let my blood boil over the the “point” of the series. What I am going to lose my mind about is story telling.

How I Met Your Mother has always been about moments and story telling. How accurately do you actually remember the past? Is it about the specific details or the feelings that stick with you after a certain experience? Do you remember the events or the people? Do the events make the people or the people make the events? It employed a wonderful framing device that always entertained, even if you disliked how  they used it at times (ala Robin’s “future kids”).

So, if story telling was more or less always the strong suit of a team that gave us someHowimetyourmother of the best sitcom episodes in recent memory, how in the world do you mess up, not only an hour finale, but an entire season of story telling? We were left with a sped up hour of emotion and personally progression of characters that, despite recent seasons, still were dedicated to in our TV lives. I don’t care that the mother died or that Robin was still the lingering thread in his life.  I was offended by how all of this was conveyed.

We’d been force fed this Barney/Robin/Ted triangle for years, most of it not working at all. Regardless of these three actors’ chemistry, the continuous nature of the ‘will they, won’t they’- ‘who will it be’ was never gripping enough to sustain through the ups and himym_radnor_wedding_a_ldowns of this show. So, after an entire dreadful season of spending an entire weekend at Robin and Barney’s wedding, you’re going to essentially sparknote  some incredible material in 45 minutes only to apathetically kill off the mother? We should have cared more.  You had a wealth if possibility with Tracy that you threw away. Why didn’t we get to learn how she became one of the group over the years, so when she was taken away, we understood the true pain of it all. A pain that only Robin could help to chase away.

Listen, I understand that you can’t have Robin in and out of the season as a whole, as she is one of the regulars.  You also can argue that the kids know most of the stories told in the last hour, as they were alive for most of them.  The strongest aspect of the finale was the actual meet and umbrella conversation. How beautifully would that have worked editing gracefully together with her passing away in the hospital? Maybe her last conversation with Ted is re-enacting that Umbrella scene? There is so much to be done with what they had given themselves.

This ending was devised years ago.  They filmed Ted’s kids’ reaction sometime near 1396359341000-HIMYM-finalethe start of season 2, as proof.  They based this ending on how we as an audience felt about Robin and Ted at that point in time, but characters, stories, and audience emotions change. In a TV landscape that is always changing, the writers need to adapt too. I am very impressed they stuck with their guns in one sense, but sometimes thinking that you’re the most clever person in the room is a bad thing. I think I see where some of Ted’s narcissism came from.

Before I conclude, I have some other thoughts:

  • Nothing like spending over 20 episodes at a wedding that is made obsolete within the first 10 minutes of a finale. If anything, that’s the plot point I believed the most.
  • I just wasn’t okay with Barney’s transformation barely being discussed. I thought it phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpgwas a beautiful moment when he sees his daughter, but how much would you have liked to see the baby’s mama and see that situation dealt with in the fullest? I get that the point is that it doesn’t matter who the mother is in that situation, but still… don’t half ass one story line when the rest are pretty lame too.
  • Marshall and lily had very little to do in the finale.  While they didn’t need much wrap up, I think more could have been spent on what they are going through, especially with giving the apartment away for good.
  • Does anybody else feel like the show treated the mother, due to her usage, as only a ‘baby carrier’? How I Met The Woman Who Carried My Children. They essentially gave her the same purpose of Barney’s mystery woman.
  • The french horn ending was cheap, but only because it wasn’t set up well. That scene in another context would have KILLED!
  • Who the HELL does Ted think he is leaving in the middle of their wedding to get ready to go to Chicago? That’s just a RUDE best man.
  • So, I guess Bob Saget only had a contract for ‘everything but the finale’.
  • I enjoyed the concept of Ted not needing to get married right away because, essentially, he found his soul mate, and no ceremony was needed to truly covey that personal achievement.

Now, as I mentioned before, this show is about the moments and what you remember about the moments. In a few years, I may not remember all of the details or the episodes or the plot points, but I will remember how I felt. I will remember how much I enjoyed these people and how that enjoyment dwindled over the years. I will be grateful that I had them every Monday night to either laugh, cry, or feel frustrated. I will remember what a slap bet is, who Robin Sparkles is, how Marshall began to get over Lily with pancakes, and the himym-3-600wonderful and pleasing platform introduction of Ted and Tracy. However, this ending was so ill conceived that I will also remember how betrayed as a viewer I felt. How I was let down from a story aspect. There’s a beginning, middle, and end. All three parts have an affect on how I feel regardless of how much I enjoyed one or the other.

It’s like a meal. I may not remember what I ate, but I will always remember how I felt after eating. In this case, this 9 year meal had incredible apps, a decent entree, and a piss poor dessert that I tried to stop eating. Maybe the last bit would taste like the appetizer?! Alas, I fell for it again, this time with a sitcom. I was left unsatisfied, hungry, and emotionally drained.  Well, at least Vince Gilligan still knows how to end things.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

HIMYM – How Your Mother Met Me (S9, Ep 16)

Now, no amount of greatness is going to magically give me back the time I spent luging through the first half of this season, but boy was this one good.

It both makes me angry and happy that this is what we got this week.  On one hand, this how-your-mother-met-me-yellow-umbrellawas the best episode in years, as the writers used their strengths to make it work.  They used their knowledge of the show, their solid emotional core, and the excitement of the new character to engage every inch of of viewing experience. SO WHY DID IT TAKE THEM THIS LONG TO DO IT RIGHT? I mean, come on.

But let’s just take this as a single episode. We got a break from the Inn, our no so favorite characters, and the whole wedding overall. In addition to this, we got to relieve all of the “gasp” moments from the last few years.  Obviously, we are drawn to the mystery of how they eventually meet and what the mother has been up to in the meantime, which makes this ‘shake up’ 200th episode all the more exciting. What makes it great is how good Cristin Milioti is throughout.

How-Your-Mother-Met-Me_FULLThey’ve written her character to be this perfect fit for Ted. No, like literally she is the perfect woman for him and a saint. It could be pretty off putting, even if it’s told from Ted’s point of view, but Milioti makes it all work. She even made Ted look great again. She easily uses the backstory given to her (the death of her love Max) and integrated it seamlessly into her entire performance. It was heartfelt and real. It makes me believe that these characters, as terrible as they’ve become lately, deserve all the happiness in the world.

We’ll have to see what comes next and how it plays out, but this got me excited, once again, for the end. If only the first half was told from the mother’s point of view. I want more time with her.

Keep On Watchin’!

-Bryan

HIMYM – Unpause (S9, Ep15)

It’s amazing that it’s been 15 episodes so far and I haven’t stopped watching. This episode was definitely one of the better ones.

Was it funny? Eh. Was is fun and full of great character moments. Yes. That’s all I ask for d19ce338208d48e6c84aa1402c019ad3these days. I have mixed feelings about Barney’s “backstory/forwardstory,” as well as using drunk Barney as a way for us to sympathize with him. He’s been very unlikeable and this didn’t change my opinion of his relationship with Robin. The ability to ask him any question and get a true answer post Jabba-drunk was pretty entertaining. We found out what he does and the punch line was lame. Alas, we still got an answer.

The highlight of the episode was Marshall and Lily’s fight. They’re both right, but while HOW-I-MET-YOUR-MOTHER-9x15-5-630x419Marshall gets harsh, Lily abandon’s the conversation. I’m very interested to see how this plays out because unlike Ted and company, I still care about Lilypad and Marshmallow. Marshall’s comments about her moving away are something that would come up in a fight like that and I hope the writers have the balls to actually deal with it.

The two ending scenes were a nice little treat. I thought the transition into Ted and wife getting to the hospital was a little abrupt, but at this point I’ll do anything for moments like those. The rancor at Jabba’s palace, while half assed, what pretty funny.

Let’s just see how the all pans out…

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

HIMYM – Slappointment in Slapmarra (S9, Ep14)

The opening slap is a microcosm of the show – Slow, boring, and unfunny. Taking way too long to land something that isn’t remotely interesting anymore and only hurts the Slapsgiving #3: Slappointmentcharacters. Then, Barney’s list jokes don’t come close to funny.  Yet somehow, the episode turned for the better. Marshall’s version of his story was pretty funny. Laugh out loud? Perhaps not always, but definitely enjoyable throughout. Especially the kid who introduces him to the slap of one million (or one thousand) exploding suns.

It was a little hokey, but I liked the kung fu/Kill Bill spoof. Aside from the inspired premise, this half hour did a good job of highlighting all of the actors, while staying true to most of them. The three mentors played by the gang was a nice touch to include them, but not feature them.

It’s amazing what leaving the Inn can do for my viewing pleasure. Following up on the hanging slap plot like that was fun and I think that Marshall has one more slap left from the bet.  Let’s hope it’s the last scene of the show in the future. Marshall may be the only character left who still holds up and focusing an episode on him was worth it to start this final run.

I hope they can keep the quirk of this episode while moving forward, as it is much needed.

Other thoughts:

  • I still laugh every time somebody gets slapped. I’m a child.
  • The Boyz to Men cameo didn’t do it for me, but it definitely heightened the  absurdity! It doesn’t compare to the last scene in This Is The End.
  • I wish you much gold.

Keep on Watchin’!

Bryan

HIMYM – Bass Player Wanted (S9, Ep13)

himym-bass-player-wanted-andrew-rannells

Who would have thought that the “worst number,” 13, would produce the season’s best episode to date?  I am by no means saying that this was an all time great, but it was pretty good compared to recent efforts.

Marshall returned after meeting the mother.  It’s scenes like these that the season should be based around, but I’ll take them when I can get them. Andrew Rannells, who I really enjoy, served his purpose and the fights/make-up scenes made the characters look good for once.  They felt like a team of people who actually like each other again.

And of course, we end with a slap, so let’s hope this 2nd half can nail it.

Other thoughts:

  • Loved the “Pause” callback between Lily and Marshall.
  • Ted was the Ted I actually liked once upon a time.
  • Actually, so was Barney.
  • The mother is so likable, it’s silly to not use her.

This show executes the mushy, thoughtful moments way better than the funny moments, especially as of late.  The episodes surrounding these moments work so much better and draw on our love and inherent want for their success, so keep ’em coming if you can.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

The Halfway Point

There’s only so much I can review, regardless of how much I actually watch.  Since we’ve reached the midway point of all of our favorite TV shows’ seasons, I’ll give you a quick report card of what I’m watching.

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Arrow (CW) – A

It has been pretty great this season.  Not only is it course correcting some season 1 issues (island flashback importance), it is making the hero genre fun for TV again.  It’s exciting how it is incorporating the DC universe into the action (the pretty great for TV action), as well as dealing with interesting themes.  It has taken a giant leap forward.

Bones (FOX) – C

It’s average. I stopped watching after the wedding episode, as it became my background show that I wasn’t even paying attention to at all. I’m just not engaged in their stories anymore.

Castle (ABC) – B+

Somehow this procedural knows how to keep things fresh and interesting, while still delivering the fun they promised early on.  Some episodes do fall flat here and there, but overall, it nails it week by week.

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Eastbound and Down (HBO) – A+

What a way to go out! This final season was outstanding and dealt with Kenny Powers on a human level–not just baseball.  It dealt with a man addicted to fame and showed it’s effects on his family and friends.  Also, it was freaking hilarious.

Homeland (SHO) – B

It still isn’t the great show that season one brought us, but it still delivers in certain moments.  The acting is always outstanding, but realistically the plot and pacing are suspect.  I’m hoping the finale can bump this grade up.

How I Met  Your Mother (CBS) – D+

This is severely below average.  If you read this blog, you know how down on it I feel.  If more mother was involved we might be at a higher grade.  We’ll see how this plays out over all.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FXX) – B+

For being a comedy so late in it’s run, I’m still amazed that it’s still this funny.  Episodes idea are brilliant, highlighted by the met-Emmy awards plot.

marvels-agents-of-shield

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) – B

The pilot was fun, but then the show took a while to find itself.  While it still isn’t there 100%, the midseason finale was a huge step in the right direction and has given me more hope that this season will only get better.

Nashville  (ABC)- C+

It’s getting better as the season progresses, so let’s hope the drama and music stay top notch and over the top.

New Girl (FOX) – B

It’s had a rough go at it thus far, but it still makes me laugh, so I can’t complain too much.

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Parenthood (NBC) – B+

Some of the plot lines aren’t doing it for me.  Everything else always works, so it’ll iron itself out.  I do have to say, there haven’t been many tear moments this season.

Parks and Recreation (NBC) – A-

Despite the Leslie being negative episodes being one too many, the show is still as stable as ever as it continues to be hilarious.

Sons of Anarchy (FX) – N/A

I have to say I stopped watching because it’s gotten to be too much.  A lot of the plot developments only happen because actors’ contract dictate that they need to be on the show.  It just keeps going and going with no end in site.

The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – B+

There have been some excellent episodes this season, which is way more memorable than it’s been in the recent past.  I especially loved Sheldon’s mistake being a success, then retracted.

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The Walking Dead (AMC) – B

It’s been an inconsistent season–again.  It started strong, then lost it’s momentum when they reintroduced the lame governor. Still, the moments are great here and there, but the zombie attacks were made enjoyable.  I have a good feeling about the second half of the season.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

HIMYM – The Rehearsal Dinner (S9, Ep12)

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

We got away from the Inn and Marshall was talking to other people we once cared about? This episode is already in the win column… I mean, the relative win column.

Barney and Robin make no sense to me, but I guess at this point I still have to accept it.  The twist was so absurd and overdone that I just couldn’t believe it.  Usually this show has nice twists based on actualities (that may be embellished), but this one takes the crazy cake.  Barney is insane and his actions are no longer those of a grounded character.  It’s way beyond what any person (Robin) could handle in a relationship and therefore not even working in what has become an absurdist sitcom.

Ted’s story, in keeping with the craziness, made little to no sense in the grand scheme of things for this character.  Remember when Ted was the main (grounded) character and that’s why all these supporting characters worked on their own specific levels of wacky.  Let’s just get this over with, shall we?

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

HIMYM – Bedtime Stories (S9, Ep11)

How-I-Met-Your-Mother-Bedtime-Stories-Alyson-Hannigan-Neli-Patrick-Harris-Cobie-Smulders-and-Josh-Radnor1jt

I will always say that getting away from the Inn is never a bad thing.  This episode was extremely clever and did work on some levels.  On the other hand, it wasn’t very funny and it only prolonged Marshall’s return.

The continuous rhyming was clever and fun and didn’t get annoying as it had the opportunity many times.  Mentally it was a nice departure from what we’ve been getting.  I was happy to just sit back and enjoy, as the rhyming was a distraction from the mess that the show it now.

The thing is, all of the stories didn’t work for me, or at least only worked in places.  Robin’s cake story was by far the best of the three, but Barney is just too outrageous, even for a story that is purposefully over the top.  Once again, the mother wasn’t involved, so that was a disappointment, but all in all an adequate break from the usual drivel.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

HIMYM – Mom and Dad (S9, Ep10)

 

How-I-Met-Your-Mother-Episode-9.10-Mom-and-Dad-Promotional-Photos-1_FULLOh man… We’re back at the Farhampton Inn.  At least we can hope Barney won’t be a total crazy person.

Oh man… He’s unjustifiably crazy.  Perhaps Wayne Brady will redeem his character this week with the return of his father?!

Oh man… Was there anything good about this poor follow up episode to last week’s pretty good episode?

Sure!  The guest stars of course!

Ben Vereen! John Lithgow! Will Zabka!  All three were nice to see back, but, like the other guest stars this season, they are wasted in a mediocre outing.  Alas, poor HIMYM.  Maybe Marshall will arrive now that Daphne’s story is happily over.  (We can only hope.)

What was the highlight you ask?  Why is was the Pineapple incident of course!  Let’s just hope that this miscalculation of a season can give us a few more good episodes before we have to say good bye.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

HIMYM – Platonish (S9, Ep9)

Platonish

 

Well, it wasn’t perfect, but I will totally take it!!!!!!!!

This is what I was expecting from this last season: moments in the Far Hampton Inn with flashbacks and flashfowards to moments involving the mother.  The jokes worked on a character level, Marshall was actually a person talking to another cast member, and it had a heartfelt ending that made me, if only for a moment, love these people again.

Robin and Barney didn’t bicker and ended up with a sweet story cap.  Ted felt like old Ted, who I didn’t hate at all.  Then, finally, we got some mother!  Sure she seems TOO perfect, but remember, it’s Ted’s future memory telling these stories.

Let’s just hope that THIS is the story telling we get as this tragically bad season progresses.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan