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2014 Fall Preview: ABC

RETURNING SHOWS:

Dancing with the Stars (9/15)
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (9/23)
The Goldbergs (9/24)
The Middle (9/24)
Modern Family (9/24)
Nashville (9/24)
Grey’s Anatomy (9/25)
20/20 (9/26)
Scandal (9/25)
Shark Tank (9/26)
Once Upon A Time (9/28)
Resurrection (9/28)
Revenge (9/28)
Castle (9/29)
Last Man Standing (10/3)
America’s Funniest Home Videos (10/5)

NEW SHOWS:
Forever Sneak Peak (9/22)
Forever (9/23)
black-ish (9/24)
How To Get Away With Murder (9/25)
Selfie (10/30)
Manhattan Love Story (10/30)
Cristela (10/10)

SHOWS I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO:
Castle: Is Castle dead???  Of course not.   But I’m so curious as to what happened.   And when will we get that damn wedding!!!
Revenge: Revenge completely rebounded last year.   I’m back to being all in with this show.  Plus Aiden is dead (yeah) and David Clarke is alive (called it.)
Scandal: Where has Olivia gone with Jake and what does this mean for OPA and the rest of the gladiators?
SHIELD: Now that Hydra has destroyed SHIELD and Coulston has to re-build, what happens now?   Will Fitz be ok and remember that he told Simmons his feelings (finally?)    Then there’s Ward.  Can this character be redeemed after what he did to the team last year?   And can I please get some Thor on this show!!!
How to Get Away with Murder: talk about Must See TV Thursday night being back.   Grey’s (take it or leave it), Scandal and HTGAWM!!!   Can’t wait to see what Shonda has up her sleeves now.

SHOWS I AM LOSING INTEREST IN BUT WILL GIVE ONE MORE SEASON TO:
Once Upon A Time: I still love this show but now the Frozen girls are coming.   After a while, can we forego bringing every stinking Disney character or fairy tale character into the story and focus on our core people?   Or maybe bring some back that we already met…like Cinderella and Malificent.
Nashville: Another show I like but there’s only so much TV to watch and I’m not sure this makes the cut moving forward.
Grey’s Anatomy: I’m not sure I care enough about these characters anymore to keep going.

SHOWS I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT:
Dancing with the Stars
The Middle
Modern Family
Last Man Standing
Shark Tank
Cristela
Resurrection

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
#TGIT. When I was in college, Must See TV Thursday was Friends, Seinfeld, Will & Grace, Frasier, and ER.   This was before DVRs, TiVO, and even VCRing your shows.   You made plans around these shows.    You never missed an episode.   Not because they were procedural or even serial where you can’t wait to see what happens next.    They were just well written, well acted, entertaining shows.    Well Must See TV Thursday is back and it’s all Shonda Rhimes all the time.   I’ve had my issues with Shonda Rhimes in the past.   Truth be told I still do.   But when she gets something right, she nails it.   She did with Grey’s Anatomy 10+ years ago.  I think the reason Grey’s started to go down hill was because Rhimes spread herself too thin with Private Practice and Off the Map (as well as trying to get other shows to pilot.)   Private Practice was never a great show.  It had some good characters and stories over the course of its 6 season run but was never Grey’s in its heyday.   Off the Map was just awful.   Good cast, bad show, bad writing.  I really thought Rhimes was better suited doing one show at a time.   Then Scandal came along.   I loved the pace, the setting, the story telling, and the characters.   Every episode felt like a season finale where I was always on the edge of my seat.   And since Grey’s is really running on auto pilot these days….chugging along until it runs out of gas…Scandal seems Rhimes’ big focus.   Now comes How To Get Away With Murder with headliner and powerhouse Viola Davis.  I can’t wait.   I’m a sucker for a good courtroom drama (see The Practice and The Good Wife.)   And in typical Rhimes form, if this drama has twists and turns up its sleeve, Thursday nights will go back to my college days…every thing else will revolve around that night.  As long as Scandal doesn’t suffer and HTGAWM lives up to the hype, I will be there every Thursday night.    Hopefully Rhimes has learned her lesson from past shows and will still head the creative but spread the wealth on the writing.
Tuesday Night Line Up. I was interested to see how a completely new line up of shows would do on Tuesdays night.   About 50/50 since only SHIELD and The Goldbergs made it to seasons 2 and Trophy Wife and Lucky 7 were sent to the recycle bin.   Now you have SHIELD anchoring Tues night at 9pm with a very strange lead in of Selfie and Manhattan Love Story and the being followed up by Forever, which looks somewhat interesting.  I’ll talk more about the new shows below, but SHIELD just barely got renewed last year.   It was really strong out of the gate but many people thought the show was slow and didn’t like the characters.   If people did hang on, the show got much better and faster paced.   But I also know people were frustrated with too many movie tie ins.   I think it’s a show with a very specific audience base and if they don’t like the show, you’re in trouble.   But ABC’s schedule was so bad, it was able to hang on.  But can it still hang in with those shows flanking it and going against new CBS show NCIS: New Orleans?

EARLY THOUGHTS ON NEW SHOWS:
I haven’t seen any of the new ABC shows. I’ve seen many different clips and read many reports on the media site regarding the premises and directions of the new shows. So with that limited information, I would say I am most excited about How To Get Away With Murder and black-ish.   I’ve already touched on HTGAWM a little above but this show will center around Davis’ tough as nails criminal defense attorney/professor and her crew of law students fighting for an internship with her firm.   It sounds like a sexy, more sinister Legally Blonde, but not really.  It also stars names like Liza Weil, Billy Brown, and Tom Verica.   When I first heard of the premise of black-ish I thought, there is no way I’m giving this show a chance.   But then I read some reviews about the show and viewed some clips and long trailers on it.   I will absolutely be checking this show out.   It stars Anthony Anderson as a newly promoted EVP and very successful businessman raising his family in suburbia.  Sounds simple and it is.   Some may say they find the name and premise offensive.   I can’t say since I’m not African-American.  I’m just going to judge the show as strictly a comedy and it made me laugh.   Anderson is great.  Lawernce Fishburne has some fantastic one liners.    But the best has to be Anderson’s son Andre (or Andy) played by Marcus Scribner.  The most laugh out loud moments I had were watching his scenes.  He was fantastic.   Cristela, I won’t be watching.  Honestly by the time in premieres, I’ll already have my lineup set and I already watch too much.    As for Forever, Selfie, and Mahattan Love Story, I don’t know.  Forever seems the type of ABC show that will be canceled after 3 airings.  ABC has that track record lately and do I want to try to follow another show that I am just luke warm about?   I’m not sure.  I’ll probably DVR or On Demand the first 3 episodes and go from there.  Just on the name, I wasn’t going to watch Selfie.   But I love My Fair Lady and just out of sheer curiosity, I might check it out to see how this modern-day version plays out.   MLS, I like the lead actress’ character, played by Analeigh Tipton.    But the lead male, played by Jake McDorman, was just a jerk.  I know he’s supposed to be, but he’s not the kind of lovable jerk I could watch every week.   I found him repulsive.  So this is another one I’ll check out a few times to see if his assholeness softens as the show grows but if it doesn’t, good-bye.

 

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Main Tab Updates

I have already gotten the Renew/Cancel tracker cleared and ready for this season.   As soon as shows are renewed or canceled, I will update.   The 2014 Fall Preview will be updated as I add the individual networks to the main page.  For right now only CBS is up but this week should have the rest of the major networks (not cable.)

The 2014 Premiere Dates have not been updated yet and that will be the last thing updated.   All the individual networks reviews will have premiere dates next to the shows.  So until that tab is updated, you can find premiere dates there.

 

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2014 Fall Preview: CBS

RETURNING SHOWS:

Survivor: Blood vs. Water (9/24)
2 Broke Girls (10/27)
Mom (9/29)
The Millers (10/30)
Hawaii 5-0 (9/26)
NCIS (9/23)
NCIS: LA (9/29)
Criminal Minds (10/1)
CSI (9/28)
The Big Bang Theory (9/22)
Two and a Half Men (10/30)
Person of Interest (9/23)
Elementary (10/30)
Blue Bloods (9/26)
48 Hours Mystery (9/27)
60 Minutes (9/21)
The Amazing Race (9/26)
The Good Wife (9/21)

NEW SHOWS:

Madam Secretary (9/21)
Scorpion (9/22)
NCIS: New Orleans (9/23)
Stalker (10/1)
The McCarthy’s (10/30)

SHOWS I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO:

The Good Wife: When have I not been looking forward to TGW?   Diane joins Florrick/Agos.  Eli wants Alicia to run for State’s Attorney.  Where is Lockhart Gardner now that both Lockhart and Gardner are gone?  (RIP Will.)
Stalker: I loved Maggie Q on Nikita and I’m always a Dylan McDermott fan.  This is the type of show CBS does well so I envision this show succeeding but you never know.   But I will be watching.
Mom: I loved this show.  I’m curious to see how it performs in its 2nd year and how the ratings are.  Last year ratings weren’t great but luckily other comedies fared worse than this show.   But with the buzz about the show and Allison Janney winning her Emmy for the role, I’m hoping people are checking it out.
Madam Secretary: I’ve never been the biggest Tea Leoni fan but she looks fantastic in this role.  It’s a very strong cast and I love the premise (I can never walk away from a political show.)   So as of right now, I’m all in on this show.
Person of Interest: Where do we go now with the team fractured and splinted apart?
The McCarthy’s: looks to be one of the best new comedies of the season.   Only bummer is that it’s premiering very late but I will be tuning in.
Blue Bloods: I just love this show.   I know the Reagans always do the right thing and it’s a little too cream cheesy for people but I can use more cream cheese in my life so it doesn’t bother me at all.

SHOWS I AM LOSING INTEREST IN BUT WILL GIVE ONE MORE SEASON TO:

Elementary: I have to be honest, I already started fading on this show last season so it isn’t looking good for me to keep up with it last year.

SHOWS I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT:

All the NCIS
CSI
Hawaii 5-0
The Big Bang Theory
Two and a Half Men

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Is CBS getting too stale.   CBS has been the dominate network for a long time.  A great sign for CBS is that they were actually #1 in the coveted 18-49 demo for the first time since the 1991-1992 season.  And because of that dominance there wasn’t a lot of changes in the schedule.   But look at the length of time for some of these shows….60 Minutes (46 years), 48 Hours (26 years), CSI (14 years), Survivor (14 years), Big Brother (14 years), The Amazing Race (13 years), NCIS (11 years), Two and Half Men (11 years), Criminal Minds (9 years), The Big Bang Theory (7 years), The Mentalist (6 years), NCIS: LA (5 years), and The Good Wife (5 years.)   Plus you had CSI Miami and CSI NY that were on for about 7-8 years each before they were canceled last year.   What they are doing is working.   But when will they hit the wall?    At some point they have to.  And look at the new shows coming out…another NCIS, Stalker (which is another “how do I solve a crime” show, Madam Secretary which is a political family drama (like The Good Wife is a legal family drama and Blue Bloods is a law enforcement family drama.)  Scorpion is really the only “outside the CBS formula” show.    Does the CBS magic run out?  There’s something to be said for “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”   But you do have to wonder if the magic formula that has carried them to so many season ending wins in viewership, will fizzle out if something doesn’t change or get freshened up.
Will Sundays be tough for Madam Secretary to find an audience.  I love football.  I LOVE football.  I especially love NFL football….Go Eagles!!!!   But you know what I don’t love…how my Sunday night shows (and DVR taping) get screwed up because when there is a 4pm game, it always runs long and it always pushes shows back and starting a wacky times.  It’s why I haven’t watched The Mentalist in 2 years (and after all these years still don’t know who Red John was…and don’t tell me.)   I think it’s really tough for a new show to get an audience on a Sunday night on CBS when the show could be delayed up to 40 minutes.  I know how much it frustrates viewers because I’ve had talks about it in regards to The Good Wife.  But since TGW is so amazing and already had an audience, it didn’t matter.  People will find ways to watch that show.  But a new show like Madam Secretary?   I think that’s going to be tough.

EARLY THOUGHTS ON NEW SHOWS:

CBS doesn’t have a ton of new shows because their schedule is already so strong. Only five shows! My top three are Madam Secretary, Stalker, and The McCarthy’s.   Madam Secretary follows Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst turned history professor, who is asked by the President to become the new Secretary of State when the current Secretary dies in a plane accident.  Elizabeth learns to battle the politics of a high-ranking position in the White House while balancing a very busy home life.   The cast is amazing: Tea Leoni, Keith Carradine, Zeljko Ivanek, Tim Daly, Patina Miller, Geoffrey Arned, and Erich Bergen.  It appears well written, acted, and directed and I can always use another political drama to keep me going (since House of Cards isn’t back until February.)  Stalker stars Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott as lieutenants for the LAPD’s Threat Assessment Unit that investigate, you guessed it, stalking incidents.  It’s your typical CBS procedural crime drama looking at a different type of crime and who are the people who solve them.   And I will be watching.  Lastly, The McCarthy’s.   Another great cast headlined by Laurie Metcalf and Jack McGee.  It follows the McCarthy family, a tight-knit family from Boston who loves their sports and The Good Wife.   Ronny (Tyler Ritter…son of John Ritter) is looking to move away from his crazy family until is father (McGee) offers him the assistant coaching job at his high school.   Ronny is neither athletic nor likes basketball so it’s really curious to his two brothers and sister how Ronny was the man picked for the job.   I’m always impressed when an ensemble comedy gels right off the bat (like Brooklyn Nine-Nine did last year) and this is another comedy who has their act together right out of the gate.  CBS isn’t normally known for their comedies the way they are their dramas, but I think this one is a winner for them.

As for NCIS: New Orleans and Scorpion, I will definitely pass and probably pass. I don’t watch the other NCIS shows so I have no interest in this new one.   Scorpion looks to have an interesting premise but to be honest, I can’t stand Katharine McPhee’s acting.  She’s horrible.   It’s so bad, she takes away anything that’s good from the show when she’s on-screen.  And this one won’t have opportunities for her to sing to make up for the lack of acting.  But since she’s only one character in an ensemble show, I will check it out and see how much she ruins it.   If she’s relegated to the background and the rest of the show is good, I’ll power through.   If she’s front and center and the show is mediocre, I’m out.

 

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It’s Alive!!!!!

So it’s been, 5 months?   That’s a long ass time.   My job sucks.  My real job.   It’s been so bad I still have Bones, Criminal Minds, Agent’s of Shield, New Girl, and The Following from last season still on my DVR.  Not to mention Suits, Rizzoli & Isles, Graceland, and The Americans from the summer.  It’s bad.  I can’t promise I’ll be back more and posting more and podcasting more…I can’t.   I wish I could but I can’t.    But I will get on here as much as I can because I miss talking to my favorite peeps about my favorite past time!

I’m going to bring back my network by network preview and try to get my fall preview podcast out this week.   And then in just a short while…the new season begins!!!    Can you believe it?    Man this summer flew.   But I’m ready for fall and the new season.

For those of you who still check in every once in a while to see if I really am still alive….I should send you money.   And thank you!  If I lost you, I understand and maybe I’ll be lucky and get you back.   Either way, I’m ready for the new TV season.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2014 in General

 

SERIES FINALE: How I Met Your Mother “Last Forever” S9 E22

So that’s how it ends.   The story of these 5 friends we have been following for 9 years has reached it’s conclusion and in some ways it’s exactly what I thought and in other ways, it’s nothing like I thought would happen.   One thing is for certain, people will be talking (and screaming) about this finale for days to come.   It was that kind of ending.  I imagine most people loved it or hated it.   Judging by the early comments, people LOATHED it.  However I am not one of them.    Was it my favorite finale ever?   Not even close.   Was it as bad as Dexter’s finale?   Not even close.   But enough with the broad strokes.  Let’s dive into this and if you haven’t seen tonight’s finale, stop reading now and come back when you have.

I have mixed feelings on this finale.  There were parts I loved and parts I didn’t and parts I was indifferent about.   But since this was a very polarizing finale, I can see how people would lean one way or the other.   I mean come on.  We just spent THE ENTIRE SEASON on the weekend of Barney and Robin’s wedding only to have them be divorced 20 minutes into the finale.   Hence one of the parts I didn’t like.   If you were just going to break them up, couldn’t we have spent, maybe, oh I don’t know, 6-8 episodes on the wedding weekend and the remaining 14-16 episodes on the aftermath and subsequent years and maybe a little more on Ted and Tracy (Question #1 answered….Mother’s name is Tracy.)  In some ways I feel like I wasted 20+ episodes this season by having this build to a wedding that ultimately didn’t matter.  I would have rather spent more time getting know Tracy a little bit more since technically the show is about her.    It would have also made the scene where we learn that our fears raised in “Vesuvius” came to fruition…Tracy gets sick and passes away…much more powerful because we have been closer to her.    Not to mention, since Ted has been searching for this woman for as long as we’ve known him, it would have been nice to see Ted grieve the loss of his wife instead of it being mentioned as an after thought.    But it just goes to show you how awesome Cristin Miloti is.   I fell in love with her the minute I saw her.  She was perfect for Ted.   We got to see some snippets of that over this season, but not enough for my liking.   But in the brief time we did get her, she made the most of it and made the audience fall completely for her the way Ted did.   And maybe that was exactly the point.   It’s pretty obvious this was the plan from the beginning.   Penny and Luke (Question #2 answered….the names of Ted’s kids) who were played by Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie, had to film those scenes at the end of Season 1 because if the show lasted a long time (which it did), they couldn’t show them aged on the couch 9 years later since this is supposed to be a story told in one sitting.   So if that is what they filmed 9 years ago, this was always the plan.  It explains why Tracy didn’t show up until this season.  It explains why even when she was here, we only got bits and pieces of her.  Because even thought the show was called How I Met Your Mother, it was never about the mother.    This was the story of Ted and Robin.    The mom was the red herring the whole time. You can look at that one of two ways.    You can love the story told in a way that we didn’t see coming (although my husband called it last week) or you can feel completely betrayed by the absolute misrepresentation of the series.  Either way, you’d be correct in your feelings.   But were the writers correct in staying the course?

There is something to be said for laying out a series game plan and sticking with it because that’s your vision and that’s the story you want to tell.   But then I think you need to define how long that story lasts because to me, you can’t have it both ways.    You can’t have a series go on and on and have the story and audience reaction to characters take you down a path you didn’t expect only to rip their hearts out later because it didn’t fit your original plan.   If you have a plan, make a 5-6 year plan.   But if you’re willing to let the story go where characters, actors, and/or fans take you, then you need to be flexible.   Even though you filmed those scenes with Fonseca and Henrie way back when, you didn’t have to use them.  It could have been something for the box set of DVDs “see what the writers originally planned to do!!!”    That’s good marketing people!   I guess that’s why I’m so curious about not just the finale but the whole final season.   If this was the plan you were sticking to, which I don’t mind as much as other people do, then WHY do an entire season on the wedding of a couple destined to fail?   Why try to cram the next 15+ years of stories and bombshells into 60 minutes?   The wedding could have been done in 6-7 episodes and then we could have had another 14-15 episodes to learn more about the mother, their relationship, her impending demise and Ted’s grief over that and how it impacted him.    Because that is something I would have wanted to see.  This is a man who has been searching for love his whole life.   Since we’ve known Ted, he’s a romantic and he loves being in love.   So to lose the “love of his life” (which now is up for debate) and not see anything from the character on how that impacted him, I think strays from the true character of Ted.    We were there when Marshall and Lily broke up and then got back together.   We were there when Marshall and Lily got married.  We were there when they debated about having children and then watched them bring Marvin, Daisy, and #3 into the picture.  We were there when Barney met his birth father.  We were there when Robin found out she couldn’t have children.  We were there when Ted was left at the altar by Stella.  We were there when Marshall’s dad passed away.  So how in the world can we not be there when Ted loses Tracy?   I feel so robbed as a fan.   That’s what upsets me the most.   There were so many moments in the finale where we could have had more and the writers had the time to do it with this final season and chose not to.   Instead we got Billy Zabka (although that doesn’t bother me as much because I love me some Billy Zabka), Daphne, Gary Blauman, Cassie, and other pointless characters when we could have spent more time on our Fab 5 and Tracy since this will be the last time we see them.   That’s what I’m most disappointed in.

As for the ending and the writers choosing to have Ted and Robin be together at last, that didn’t bother me as much as other people.  After all, the show is “How I Met Your Mother” not “How I Spend The Rest of my Life With Your Mother.”   Because for a long time, I really liked Ted and Robin together and was secretly hoping she was mother somehow and someway.   But I also thought she was great with Barney in a lot of ways.   Hats off to Cobie Smulders because that woman had chemistry with everyone!  And I’m ok with the show runners giggling to themselves to have this be the rug the pull out from under us.  As a fan of TV, I like when a show surprises me and throws a fun twist (as long as it makes sense….yes I’m looking at you St Elsewhere.)  I mean, I was one of those people who would scream when they would revisit the Ted/Robin pairing over the course of the series because ultimately we know they don’t end up together.   So what was the point right?    Well, now we know.  Now we know why after determining they aren’t right together, bad timing, hook ups, break ups, dating, not dating, longing looks…..it was all because they were meant to be together.   And while I’m ok with that, I still have to raise my eyebrows at a few things.   First, why have that ceremonial moment on the beach with Robin and Ted where Ted finally let’s Robin go?  Because if you’re still going to have a thing for her after all this time, then you haven’t let her go.  It also made me think, if you’re really over her, then why are you moving to Chicago?   And since the writers knew this was the path, why have that scene?  Second, why did Robin need to be with Barney?   I mean she married one of his best friends.   Couldn’t she have just been the career person now and that’s why she couldn’t be with Ted as well as Ted meeting Tracy?   If the answer is because they needed a wedding to get Ted to meet Tracy and to show with Barney’s character that being married really isn’t for him….fine.  He could have married the stripper girl he was engaged to.  He didn’t have to marry Robin.   I’m not sure why the writers would get many fans invested in Robin and Barney only to have it crash and burn.  Barney and the stripper could have crashed and burned with the same results.   So why get the audience invested in Robin and Barney only to know that the end game is Robin and Ted?   Robin could have been with someone else or alone with her career.  She didn’t have to be with Barney if the end game was Ted.  Finally, when Ted is in MacLaren’s on the phone with Tracy and Marshall is pissed because here’s Ted falling for another girl and going too fast, Lily is sitting there with a huge smile on her face and tells Marshall…this time it’s different.  After Victoria, Stella, and yes, even Robin, Tracy invoked a reaction out of Ted that was unlike any other woman ever has indicating to me, that she was his soul mate and one true love.  Again, why have that line and that moment if ROBIN is really his one true love?    Maybe I’m missing the point.  Maybe the point isn’t that Tracy or Robin are his soul mate but that they both are.  It’s the only thing that makes sense.  Because if it’s just Robin, then the other parts about Ted and Tracy don’t make sense.  And if it’s just Tracy, then the end of the story doesn’t make sense.    So I guess the only thing that does is that BOTH women are Ted’s true loves.    That while Ted has been searching and searching and fearing that he’ll never meet anyone he can share his life with, he was blessed (or cursed) to have two women he could love completely and spend his days with.   It certainly is a more real world scenario.  But is that what the audience wants?   Judging by initial reactions, I don’t think so.

Ultimately I wanted closure for my Fab 5.   And whether you liked it or not, that’s exactly what you got.  Marshall and Lily are back in NYC with baby #3 and Marshall finally got to be a judge after giving it up for Lily in 2014.  I had no doubt Marshmallow and Lily Pad would have a solid, happy ending because they have been solid since the pilot.  Even with all their ups and downs, NO ONE ever doubted that these two would be together forever.  In my mind, they were the heart and soul of the show, especially Lily.  As for Barney, he went back to being single and finally told his friends what I thought he should have said years ago….that basically he’s not the settling down type of guy.    He likes having throngs of women coming in and out of his life with no commitment.  It’s who he is and he’s very happy like that so as his friends they should accept him for who he is and be happy for him.    And they were.   But after the perfect month (LOL) Barney finds out he got Day 31 pregnant.   Actually I’m surprised this never happened before with all the girls he’s slept with over the years.  While in typical Barney fashion, we don’t know the mother’s name and he really wants no part of this, he gets introduced to his new baby….a girl…Ellie.   Turns out Barney is a one woman guy.   It just so happens that the woman in his life, the love of his life, is his baby girl.   And the always amazing Neil Patrick Harris just completely blows this scene away and gives us one of the most beautiful moments on the show when he tells his daughter the following:

You are the love of my life.   Everything I have and everything I am, is yours.  Forever.

I mean come on.  If you are crying after that you have to be a little dead inside.   It was such a beautiful moment.   The other fantastically beautiful moment in the episode was when Ted and Tracy met for the first time on the Farhampton train tracks.   Talk about a meet cute!!!   It was so sweet and a great nod to many of the clues dropped over the years…the mom being in the Econ 305 class Ted accidentally thought was his Architecture 101 class, her being Cindy’s roommate, losing the yellow umbrella on St Patrick’s Day….it was perfect.   Then the reveal of her name, Tracy McConnell, because the initials T.M were on the umbrella and Ted and Tracy “fought” over whose initials they really were.   I loved it.   It was everything I could have imagined for their first meeting and more.    And I did like the ending.    Since they decided to stay the course and put Robin and Ted together in the end, I think they wrapped it up well with Robin being in her apartment with the same breed of dogs, Ted being downstairs, Robin opening up her window to see him (with the dogs peeking out) and Ted shows her the Blue French Horn.  Again, a great nod to the pilot to have everything come full circle.

Look, I know many people are disappointed in how this turned out.   No one wanted to see Tracy die and Robin be back in the fold, except for the die-hard Ted and Robin shippers.  I think a lot of people feel duped.  And that’s why the finale is a hard one to wrap my head around because you can look at it a few ways.  You can look at it and say that if that was the plan all along, ok.  I applaud the writers sticking to their guns and telling the story they wanted to tell.    There are many people out there with an early idea of a show but then let it just roll and see where it goes with no real end game.  Not these guys.  So I respect that.   There  are still lots of things I would have done differently but overall, I can’t be unhappy with how everything resolved itself.  Especially since this is something that happens in the real world….people fall in love with multiple people all the time.  People lose their spouse and reconnect with old flames…it happens.  In the end, Ted got what he always wanted and I think people want to see that for his character.    OR…you can look at it and say, WHAT THE HELL WERE THESE GUYS THINKING?    Once the show went longer than expected, once you see how the actors (Smulders and Radnor & Smulders and Harris) played off of one another and their chemistry, once you see the audience’s reaction to story lines….change it!!!   You don’t have to stay the course if another one, a better one (matter of opinion) presents itself.   Maybe they felt backed into a corner with the “and that’s how I met your Aunt Robin” line.    Maybe because the kids reaction was filmed 9 years ago, they felt they had no other choice but to end the story this way.  But these guys were creative and smart and I think could have figured out a way around it.   Hell, they could have put an aged Fonseca and Henrie on the couch and said “Jesus dad.  That story took so long, we aged 20 years!”    Maybe they didn’t want to.   Ultimately, I hope the 60 minutes of last night (and even this last season) doesn’t put too much of a damper on what was truly a great series with an amazing cast and creative team.   I spent 9 years with this crew…many of whom are my age.   All I wanted to see was them happy and together.   While most of the episode last night showed them fractured, in the end, the gang was back together, as they should be, and in the end, we know they all ended up happy.   Whether or not it was a viewers definition of happy is another story, but the writers showed us a group of friends who loved each other and supported each other and were there for each other, altogether and happy…and that’s how a series like this should wrap up.

So what did you think?  Did you love it?    Hate it?    Confused by it?   Content with it?   I’d love to hear what you have to say!

 

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SEASON FINALE REVIEW: True Detective “Form and Void” S1 E8

WOW.   What a season.    This show brought story telling and acting to a whole new level and the finale certainly didn’t disappoint.   I know there were so many wild and crazy theories out there about how this was all going to go down.   Ultimately, I didn’t care.   And I don’t say that in a dismissive sense.  I say it in a respectful sense.   Nic Pizzolatto has told such a glorious story from start to finish that I wasn’t concerned with where it was going because I trusted that it would end as it should….and it did.

With so many people speculating as to who the Yellow King was and how all this tied together, it’s easy to get caught up in the prognosticating.  But in my humble opinion, the point of the narrative is lost if people only focus on the “who done it.”   This show is not Criminal Minds or CSI or even Castle.  It’s not about solving who’s the killer at the end of the arc.  It’s not about trying to put the pieces together to figure it out.    It’s about the story of these two dark, broken men who are solving this crime and how this case has impacted their lives and their journey together as partners and eventually, friends.   Now don’t get me wrong, I still wanted to know who the damn Yellow King was and why/how this all happened.   But I wasn’t as curious about that as I was to see how the resolution impacted Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey.)   I wanted, more than anything, for this story line to come to a resolution for their characters.   To wrap up their characters’ arcs.    See, when you look at this show, they could have been anything….truck drivers, CPAs, tennis pros, salesmen…it didn’t matter.  Whatever their profession, the story revolved around how these two men came to be both as individuals and as partners.   It just so happened that they were detectives solving a crime that personally connected with both of them (for different reasons) and that was the catalyst to help them work through their inner demons and move away from the darkness and towards the light.   And they needed each other to do it.

Marty’s biggest issue was trying to be, in the most benign of descriptions, “the man.”  Both at work and at home, Marty wanted to be everything to everyone.   Master of his domain.    And the harder he tried, the more he went in the opposite direction…whether by his own doing or as the result of someone else’s decisions.   At work, he was the guy everyone liked, but maybe not always respected.   When he partnered with Cohle he wasn’t happy about it but to appease him, he was told he was the lead, the point man for all cases.   Eventually, after several years, that really just became a title with no meaning behind it because everyone knew that Cohle was the one solving the crimes, getting the confections, making the arrests.   Marty was just the paperwork pusher.  Instead of being the lead dog, he was the ultimate  lap dog.  Reduced to nothing more than administrative assistant to Cohle.   At home, his daughters couldn’t stand him and didn’t want to be around him and his wife (because of her own frustrations at being married to a man with such little inner strength) could be quite the ball crusher when she saw Marty asking and speaking in ways that were less than authoritative.   He could be meek and timid and that frustrated her.   Marty’s solution?    Start banging all these younger versions of his wife to make himself feel like a man again.   In the end, albeit way too late, Marty realized that he pushed away the one woman he really loved, destroyed his relationship with his daughters, and is now left with nothing.   Or is he?

Rust is the complete opposite of Marty.   He never cared about being “the man.”    All he cared about was justice.  No one liked Rust.  No one understood Rust (no one cared to.)  And Rust didn’t care.  He was on a mission…to seek justice for Dora Lange and the other young children who were kidnapped, raped, and murdered.   And he could go after these thugs with reckless abandon because he doesn’t care if he loses his life in the battle for truth.   It was that way when he was undercover (and probably why he stayed as long as he did), it was that way when he went undercover again with the Iron Crusaders, and it was that way last night when he went after Eroll Childress.   Why did he value his life so little?   Because that meant he would be closer to his daughter.   If he dies, he’s back where he belongs…with her.   I think that’s why Rust was moving around like a breathing corpse because nothing mattered without his little girl and her mom.  His soul and spirit died the same day his daughter did.  And even though it’s pretty much assumed that’s why Rust is the way he is, you never really understand his level of grief and pain until last night when the walls come down and the vulnerability shines through and we get our first look at the real Rust Cohle.

The best part of watching this season, was watching the partnership/relationship of Marty and Rust evolve into what it became…friendship.   These were two men who really didn’t like each other.   Actually, I would say Marty didn’t like Rust.   Rust’s feelings were buried so deep I don’t think he felt anything.   I think it would be fair to say that these were two men who didn’t understand one another.   But over the course of the season, as each man grew to know the other better (whether they wanted to or not), an understanding developed.   Eventually, that understanding grew to kinship.  Because at the end of the day, all they have is each other.   They came to learn that the only people who really understood them, were each other.   These were two dark, broken men.   Whether they were broken at someone else’s hand or their own, their inner selves were destroyed in such a way, it was no wonder they couldn’t have a normal life.   Marty and Rust both suffered losses.   Rust lost his daughter to God and his wife to grief while Marty lost his daughters and wife due to negligence and self loathing.    Either way, their families were gone.    What was left?   A lot of shattered pieces to be picked up and put back together and inadvertently and painfully, that what Rust and Marty did for each other.  Now they needed to shatter those pieces just a little bit more (with Rust sleeping with Maggie) and those pieces were left there for a long time before someone picked them up.  But this case brought them back together and as mad as Marty was and as guilt ridden as Rust was, they teamed up to finished what they started.   Years later, even when Marty was forgiving Rust, in his own way, Rust wouldn’t have it.  He would let Marty let him off the hook.   Hell we knew Rust hadn’t let himself off the hook because he never fixed his tail light that broke when they fought in the parking lot.  It was his reminder of his weakness and betrayal.  And I think that’s how Marty was able to start to forgive him.   But once they had their man and they went after him to finally get the justice those victims deserved, you really see how these men grew to trust, respect, and care for each other.    When Cohle was being gutted by Childress, Marty came in to stop it and save him.  Then when he turned his attention to Marty (after throwing an ax into his chest) Cohle mustered up all his strength to kill Childress.   Then Marty crawls over to Rust and holds him in his lap until help arrives.  He never leaves his partner’s side.    Even in the hospital after he wakes up and Rust is banged up but ok, Marty is still by his side.   And even though Rust doesn’t show it to Marty, after he kicks him out with his one finger salute asking him to never change, a smile comes over his face.  The kind of smile you get when your friend has made you laugh over something that should be painful.  That comfortable acknowledgement that no matter what, they are there for you.   That satisfying feeling that you have someone in your corner.   It’s confirmed even more so at the end of the show when both men are outside and Marty gives Cohle a present (his Camels) and then rolls him away to enjoy them.   We see Rust, not just break down his wall, but throw grenades and set off bombs to bring it down.  After everything they’ve been through, he lets Marty inside.  He beautifully and tearfully gives Marty what Marty has wanted since the day he met Cohle…and understanding behind the psyche of a disturbed man.  And boy does he paint a clear picture.  You see it in Marty’s face as he watches him explain how he never felt like he should be here because with each dangerous scenario he put himself in, it was one step closer to reuniting with his little girl.  Because at the end of the day, Rust wants happiness and peace.  And in his mind, for the longest time, only death could bring that because he would be with his daughter again.   But as Marty explains to him that while there is much darkness out there, there is also great light, he lets Rust know that he can find the inner peace he so desperately seeks if he focuses more on the light than the dark.   For the first time, since probably his daughter passed away, Rust believes him.    As such, he makes Marty take him away and arm and arm they go off into the darkness to seek their light….with one another.

What did you think of last night’s finale and the season overall?    Will you be back next year because I sure will!   And who would you like to see as the two main leads next year?    Let me hear from you!

 

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BREAKING NEWS: FOX Renews Several Shows

From TV Line, looks like FOX is getting in the renewal mood a little early this year.    Three comedies were just renewed and one drama:

  • New Girl
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • The Mindy Project
  • The Following

I’m always happy for renewed shows because people are keeping their jobs.  I’m even more excited when it means my favorites are coming!!!

The one that has me the most excited on this list is Brooklyn Nine-Nine.  I have loved this show from the minute it aired.  Funny, well written, perfectly cast…this show was tight right out of the gate…which is a challenge for new ensemble comedies.  I was worried because the ratings weren’t good and it was looking bad for cancellation.  Then the Hollywood Foreign Press did me a solid and gave B99 the Golden Globe for Best Comedy.   And they were right on.   Since then, people have checked out the show and if you haven’t, what is wrong with you?  Do you not like sharp, witty TV shows?   Well, I’ll give you a second chance and HIGHLY encourage you to check it out over the summer so you can be ready for the fall.

Of course New Girl and The Following make me happy since those are on my must view list.  I don’t watch The Mindy Project and this renewal surprises me a lot because the ratings are bad and people who I have talked to who have seen the show say it’s pretty bad.  I watched the pilot and 2nd episode and it didn’t do anything for me so it was bumped.   But for those that do, congrats that your crappy show is still on the air!  I say crappy with all due respect of course.

So great news right??   Are you happy about these shows?   Surprised?   Pissed Enlisted isn’t on here?  Worried for Almost Human?    May is a long way away for bubble shows.

 
 

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