Archive for May, 2012

The Bride is Revealed…The ‘Mother’ Remains Unseen

Well, HIMYM fans, we made it. After the question of who Barney’s bride was loomed in some of our minds for an entire year, the answer finally came, literally in the last few seconds of the finale entitled, ‘The Magician’s Code’. It is, indeed, Robin, but will they actually make it to the ‘I do’s’? And how does this revelation rate with fans? More on this later. The finale packed a lot in. A baby,the coolest middle name of all time, and the return of fan favorite Victoria, in a wedding dress no less. And aside from the ‘Robin is the bride’ reveal (saying that this is polarizing among fans is an understatement), I’d guess that most fans were satisfied with the end result.

Let’s start with the easily likable stuff. Marshall and Lily have now gone from cutest couple status to cutest parents status (sorry Chris and Reagan). Are things going to have to change with this new addition? Yes. The show is clearly laying the groundwork for this. When Ted comes to Marshall and Lily for advice on a minor problem, they reiterate several times that they are still there for him, but for the major stuff (“8 or higher, bro”). And when Ted comes to them with the ‘Victoria’s in a wedding dress situation’, clearly a major event, they rush down, baby in tow and down some shots, only to look down in horror as Robin snaps a photo and points out that Baby Marvin’s first outing was in a bar. Bays and Thomas smartly address right away the question on all of our minds. McLaren’s is a huge part of the group’s dynamic. What happens when you throw a baby into the mix? A recent interview hints that they are already tackling this question, and I have faith that they will tackle it successfully. And speaking of Baby Marvin, his middle name is, wait for it. No, that’s it. That’s his middle name. Waitforit. It truly is the coolest middle name of all time and a reminder that while many things will and have changed, some things will always remain the same.

Speaking of some things never changing, Ted and Robin ended the season friends once again, as they should be. I think Craig Thomas is right when he says there’s nothing like the birth of a baby to bring friends together (by the way, loved all the scenes in Lily and Marshall’s apartment, Robin, as always, ready to get her hands dirty and Ted, as always trying to see where he can fit in to the whole thing). Ted and Robin’s discussuon after the birth of Marvin Waitforit Erickson (nope, I will never tire of saying that name) reminded me how these two can have such candid discussions, despite (or maybe in spite of?) all their history, and how much I miss their friendship even when it’s lacking for a short amount of time. Ted’s joke to Robin (“I love you”) allowed Victoria’s testament to Ted in ‘Ducky Tie’ to come full circle. Ted has dealt with his feelings for Robin and moved on, and now so can we. His friendship with Robin in tact, he’s ready to move forward in his journey to find the ‘Mother’.

But, wait for it (no, not Marvin Waitforit Erickson, hee hee), Victoria’s back. And she’s in a wedding dress. And she’s game for ditching her fiance for Ted. And Ted’s game too. And, what??? It’s fun to see Ashley Williams again, and, let’s face it aside from Robin, Victoria is the only one of Ted’s relationships that fans could really get behind. Let’s face something else. The only reason Ted left Victoria was to begin a relationship with Robin. Now that the final nail has been put in that coffin, it makes sense that Ted would explore this option again. I also like that while Victoria pushed Ted to explore his feelings for Robin at the beginning of the season, now Robin is pushing Ted to explore his feelings for Victoria at the end of the season. It’s nice that both characters are acknowledging the importance of the other in Ted’s world. Ted and Victoria aren’t going to work out. We know this. We’ve been told this several times as we’ve stubbornly fought against it. We know Ted meets the ‘Mother’ at Barney’s (and Robin’s?) wedding. So here we are. Ted Mosby is at the final hurdle. The final question that remains in his way. Victoria was right. Robin is a bigger part of Ted’s world than he realized. And Robin is right. So far, Victoria’s the only one who made sense. The Robin question has been put to rest, and now Ted is on a journey to answer the Victoria question. But we already know the answer. Because Ted is at the wedding. And it’s begun to rain. And the ‘Mother’ is going to show up, yellow umbrella in hand. And can you tell that I’m really excited for this wedding to happen, whenever that may be?

Speaking of that wedding. So Barney and Robin get married. Or so it would appear. Bays and Thomas are tricksters, and Bays has given a slightly different interview regarding the end game for them, but I’m gonna go along believing that Barney and Robin get married (that’s what I want to happen, afterall) despite Ted saying that it was “a wedding day that went horribly wrong”. Look, Barney and Robin’s relationship is the biggest divider among fans, so a lot of people aren’t jumping for joy at that final scene. But those of us who love Barney and Robin so much have loved them since the season one episode, ‘Zip, Zip, Zip’, when Robin joined Barney for a drink and cigar, suited up and all, and later for a game of laser tag. Did the writers plan this that far back, or did they see sparks of chemistry after that episode played out? I’m not sure, but for me the hints are there that far back. Obviously, we have a lot of red tape to get through to even get to the wedding since Barney is now engaged to Quinn. The scene where Robin finds out about the engagement and Barney jokes that “it’s the last chance to run away together” was painful and sad to watch. I’m sure Robin really thinks that she is happy for Barney, and I’m interested to see how this all plays out next season. Knowing this show, it’s gonna be quite an interesting ride as we head to the potential series finale next May.

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RE-BLOG: Ms. Taco is Still Clueless About the Other Bride on ‘Mother’

With HIMYM indeed following through and revealing Barney’s bride last night on the season finale, I thought I’d re-post my blog about “Disaster Averted” from earlier in the season in prep for my upcoming blog on “The Magician’s Code”. Enjoy!

I realize that I am neglecting some other shows as I write my second blog post on How I Met Your Mother, but after the lackluster and anticlimactic “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns”, I felt that that way the show bounced back in “Disaster Averted” warranted some attention, not to mention the awesome final scene that may or may not hint at what’s to come. Also, I’m just a little bit obsessed with this show right now.

“Disaster Averted” is classic HIMYM in the way that it bounces back and forth between the present and the not so distance past that we originally weren’t privy to. I’d put this episode right up there with “Ducky Tie” as one of the best of the season. Considering that the show is set in NYC, it was a nice touch to take a look at the gang the night that Hurricane Irene hit. It was also nice to see each of the characters act true to form in their reactions with Ted going all boy scout (complete with purple boots, perhaps a wink at the red boots we saw him wearing earlier in the series?), Robin making the Canada comparison, Barney seeing an opportunity to party, and Lily and Marshall going with the flow.

My favorite moments came at the end of the episode, the first of which was seeing the group rejoice in their conquering of Irene. This scene took me back to the final scene of “The Leap”, still my favorite scene of the entire series so far. For me the show’s strength is in the relationships between the characters, and scenes like this accentuate how tight knit a group they really are.

Of course the Barney/Robin moments at the end were the real payoff, despite their stirring some mixed feelings. Being a supporter of Barney and Robin as a couple, Bobin, if you will, more than the kiss at the end, Barney’s assertion to Robin that “when I let a day go by without talking to you, um, that day’s just no good” really meant something because it reminded us of the genuine care that these two have for each other.

But on to the kiss! What does it all mean? For weeks now, Victoria’s judgment that “that doesn’t work” and Future Ted’s confirmation that “it didn’t work, we just didn’t realize it yet” has left me wondering what will come of the Ted/Robin/Barney triangle/friendship. Being that Future Ted has mentioned “Aunt Robin” and “Uncle Barney” to his kids, we have it on good authority that Ted remains friends with them. Does it not working meant that Barney and Robin will eventually work as a couple as opposed to just friends? Is Robin the bride who wants to speak to Ted at Barney’s wedding? Of course them both currently being in relationships does complicate things a bit.

I realize that I, like the show itself, have strayed a bit from questioning who the mother is to questioning who Barney’s bride is, which I know has been frustrating to many fans. But I, like Future Ted, would argue that this is all part of the story, especially considering that we now know that Ted meets the mother at Barney’s wedding. And, as I mentioned in a previous post, this show has really become an ensemble where each of the characters’ stories are just as important as Ted’s. In any event, it’s still fairly early in the season, so I expect to show to drag this out a bit in order to lead us into the finale. However, recent news indicates that some light may be shed on this whole scenario pretty soon. I will definitely be tuning in to find out! Or, knowing this show, to not find out!

The End of the Line Comes for ‘Ringer’

With the expected news of Ringer’s cancellation finally being made official, I thought I’d take a gander at where the show went wrong (and what things it should have capitalized more).

Ringer had buzz written all over it from the very beginning. It had an interesting premise sure to keep viewers glued to the TV week after week. It was airing on the CW, a network that focuses on bringing in the younger demographic. And, above all, it starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, someone who many had been hoping would return to TV since Buffy left the airwaves in 2003. Alas, aside from it’s promising pilot, Ringer never really lived up to the hype that it set out to fulfill.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I liked Ringer. I liked it so much that it is one of the only shows this season that I am completely caught up on. Despite that fact, I can’t deny that almost every week, there was at least one moment in the show that had me rolling my eyes and wishing that Sarah Michelle Gellar had chosen a smarter vehicle to make her much anticipated return. And maybe that’s the whole part of me liking this show. I am a Buffy devotee, and like most Buffy devotees, I love Sarah Michelle Gellar and have a hard time admitting when she is making a bad choice, performing poorly, or not living up to her potential. I wanted so badly for her to succeed in this new endeavor. I wanted this to be the second coming of Buffy. It wasn’t.

Shows like Ringer are a very difficult animal for TV creators to deal with. So, you have this really cool pilot that you want to get on the air, and a TV pilot itself is a very weird animal to deal with. It’s basically a presentation with the TV creator screaming, “please put my show on the air!”. So, there might be some added bells and whistles. There might be promises made that may or may not be able to be fulfilled. There might be some white lies. So, then miraculously in the sea of hundreds of TV pilots, yours is fished out. Now, the TV creator is screaming, “oh crap, I have to actually make this work for a season”. But wait a second, it may not be for a while season. Your pilot’s only ordered for 13 episodes initially and you don’t even know if you are going to get the other 9 ordered. I’m saying all this to point out that as much as I love TV and think it would be really awesome to create a TV show, there’s no way that I’d ever want these people’s jobs. You are trying to plan out a story, you’re not really sure how much time you have to do that in, you don’t know if your story is gonna be appealing, you might have to tweak things along the way. It sucks, plain and simple. And even shows that are are really successful at pulling this off (Lost) can fumble along the way (Sawyer and Kate in the cages anyone?). I say all this to say, that I think the creators, directors, writers, and producers of Ringer had a really good idea and that somewhere along the way, they lost their footing. They weren’t quite sure how to navigate all the mysteries they were laying out. They maybe were a little bit too ambitious. They had too many moments where someone said, “hey, I know, let’s throw this in!”. I mean, the whole storyline with Juliette’s teacher being roped in with Catherine’s scheme to get Andrew’s money. I love a Jason Dohring appearance as much as the next person, but it just didn’t work. Did the showrunners have the season planned out all along? I’m not sure. A lot of Ringer felt clunky, disjointed, and convenient. For me, this was the biggest problem with the show, followed closely by…

The characters just weren’t all that easy to invest in. I have to say that by the end of the season, the only character I truly felt connected to was Bridget. I have to say that I think the writers did a terrible job with Siobhan’s character. At the end of the day, there was nothing really redeeming about her and when I’m presented with a character like that, it’s very frustrating. Truly good characters are gray, not black and white. And while I think the writer’s tried to create some sense of pity for Siobhan when showing that her son had died partly due to Bridget’s actions, it really didn’t work, at least not for me. I didn’t feel bad for her, and I really wanted to, because that was the only way I would actually care about that character. Instead, I saw her as being vindictive and heartless. Speaking of heartless, let’s talk about Henry. He finds out his wife dies and then goes on to continue the affair he’d been having with her best friend? Again, nothing redeeming about this character, which was especially frustrating with him being played by Kristoffer Polaha, an actor who I really love and who created such a multidimensional character on Life Unexpected. I’m all for characters making bad choices, because let’s face it, people make bad choices, but it’s taking it to a whole other level when you are dealing with a character who you can’t stand to look at week after week. That leads me to the characters that had no effect on me whatsoever: Malcolm, Detective Machado, and Catherine. I don’t know, they just didn’t do it for me, and if they show had gone weeks without showing any one of them, I’m not sure I would have noticed.

Now, I know I’m sounding harsh, but like I said earlier, I did like this show. And I think it did have some things going for it. Like I said earlier, a Buffy devotee can’t say enough about Sarah Michelle Gellar. Heck, it’s a big part of the reason many of us watched in the first place. And I don’t think she disappointed here. I’d actually say that more than anything, the writing didn’t challenge her enough with respect to playing two different characters. And again, I think the real shortcoming here was the character of Siobhan. I kept waiting for the character to piece together, but she never really did. And again, I don’t blame Gellar for that, I blame the writers for not fleshing Siobhan out enough. I guess I just needed more about why she did the things she did. The reasons they gave just weren’t enough for me.

The biggest thing the show had going for it in my opinion was the relationships Bridget was able to build with Andrew and Juliette, maybe because in my opinion, Bridget is the most fleshed out character of the series and the character who, despite having deceived so many people, you are rooting for. Without the dynamics she infuses, Andrew and Juliette are merely caricatures. But when they are all together, you never once doubt that although it’s based on a lie, the relationships they have are real on some level. Unfortunately, for me the Bridget’s reveal came a little too late in the season, so late that there was no opportunity to show the audience even a glimmer of hope that these relationships could be salvaged. Now, I didn’t expect the relationships to be all squared away by the end of this season, but waiting that long, now we are left with the relationships in complete disarray and the show is now over. I understand that the writer’s were probably going to make this the foundation for the second season, but doing it this way, the audience is left without any hope that Bridget can regain the new life she has built for herself.

Wow, this post has gone on for incredibly long. If you are still with me, I’ll close with, RIP Ringer. I’ll miss you. Sort of.