Tuesday April 1, 2014

We finally made it!  How I Met Your Mother ended its 9-year run last night and as many people expected [SPOILER ALERT] the entire show was nothing more than Ted telling his children about how me met their dead mother, who had passed away 6 years earlier.  I was really hoping that was not going to be the storyline they stuck with, but outside of that, I have no major complaints (...) about the way the wrapped things up.  Barney and Robin splitting was palatable as was Marshall and Lily's pretty benign path into the future.  Ted and Robin ending up together was what I think many people wanted all along, so to see that happen didn't disappoint me as a viewer.  

It appears that I'm in the minority with my opinions on the overall conclusion of storylines.  Alan Sepnwall was not satisfied: "[Carter] Bays said something very interesting, and that kept coming back to me as Last Forever went on and it became more and more clear that the two of them had actually gone through with this horrible, horrible plan for the Mother to be dead in 2030, and Future Ted to be telling this long, largely non-Mother-related story to his kids because he and Aunt Robin were going to end up together.

"What Bays said was this: 'I feel like with great art, you have to create constraints for yourself. You look at The White Stripes, they only want to have a guitar and drums, so they have to make all their music around guitar and drums. We have to make all our comedy around what the narrator says.'

"And as I thought of that quote, and as I remembered that they shot the kids' reaction to the end of Future Ted's story way back in season 2, my anger over this terrible, misconceived, ginormous middle finger to the fanbase very, very briefly turned into sympathy for Bays and Thomas, because I realized they had become victims of their own damn cleverness."

Vulture argues that the finale bailed on the entire series.  "Recent seasons of How I Met Your Mother have disappointed me. But it's one thing when a show makes character choices or pacing decisions I don't care for — and boy, HIMYM has made a lot of those. It's another thing, though, when a show makes a choice I don't respect. Killing the mom is bad enough, but making this a Ted-and-Robin love story is bailing on the central conceit of the show. You might even call it a slap in the face."

The New York Times wasn't nearly as disappointed.

The Slate had some nice things to say: "contrary to what some disappointed critics are writing tonight, if Ted hadn’t ended up with Robin, that would have been an enormous disappointment. The way Ted ended up with Robin—the ending set up, clearly, years ago—was far more interesting and romantic than anything the show could have told us about the mother in 45 minutes or less. This ending was a tribute to the fans who’d been watching for years, and for whom the bond between Ted and Robin would always mean more than the bond (no matter how nicely portrayed) between Ted and a character whose name we just learned." 

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TIME magazine offered up 3 reasons why we should be satisfied with last night's finale:

1) TV history basically told us to expect this. Like Friends andSex and the CityHIMYM always drew a huge part of its emotional thrust from the on-again, off-again relationship between two central characters. Judging from the show’s predecessors, after seasons of will-they-won’t-they-end-up-together tension between Ted and Robin, it was all but guaranteed that their romantic outcome would come full circle. Sure, we knew from the pilot episode that Robin wasn’t the titular Mother, but we also knew that Ted never stopped loving her. Why else would the series have spent nine years grappling with it?

2) Despite the title, the show has never really been about the Mother. If it had been, why would it take eight whole seasons before we even caught a glimpse of her — and then almost a whole final season before we even learn her name? Many have made the point that the focus of HIMYM has never been the love story between Ted and his future wife. Rather, it’s been about his relationships with his friends and the emotional journey he needed to make before he was able to meet the mother of his children.

3) The show has always thrown surprises and unexpected twists at the audience. From the very first episode that set up Robin as the possible Mother, only to have Ted, circa 2030, reveal “because that, kids, is the true story of how I met your Aunt Robin,”HIMYM has been riddled with twists and fake-outs. From episodes told multiple ways from the POV of multiple characters to long-game plot points that resurface unexpectedly (we’ll miss you, Slap Bet), this is a show that’s always kept us guessing. By the end of the first season, viewers knew that even the show’s title wasn’t to be trusted — Ted wasn’t just telling the story about how he met his children’s mother, but what his life was like before that point. It’s true the finale did include so many twists and turns it was likely to cause whiplash. Yet, if the show had just wrapped everything up in a neat little bow with a straightforward finale — without any significant twists or turns — it would have rang false for much of the audience, who had been waiting for one final romantic surprise.

Friends With Better Lives was barely watchable.  Kind of gives some perspective as to how good HIMYM actually was and how impressive it's 9-year stint is in the grand scheme.

I'm always up for some where are they now news when it comes to former cast members of The Real World.  Check this one out from TMZ: "Incubus singer Brandon Boyd has been ruthlessly stalking a former Real World star -- even threatening to kill her -- so says the former Real World star ... but Brandon says B.S.

"Svetlana Shusterman [I remember her, but she looks vastly different today] from Real World 17: Key West got a temporary restraining order against Boyd, claiming Brandon's been stalking her for years ... and recently began threatening her life.

"Svetlana filed a police report claiming Brandon had followed her car onto a freeway and yelled through the window that he was going to kill her.  Svetlana says she recently moved to a friends house to evade him, but he tracked her down. She writes, '[e]very day, I am terrified.'

"Boyd has been ordered to stay 100 yards away from her pending a court hearing next month.
Brandon says it's all news to him.  A rep for the singer tells TMZ, 'Brandon has been advised about this but doesn’t know anything about it.  He doesn’t know this person nor does he recall ever having met her.'"

MTV premieres two relationship series on Monday, April 21: The Ex and the Why which features young adults hung up on their exes, and Time’s Up, which looks at "expiration dating," as couples re-evaulate their commitment when circumstances put distance between them.

"Summer is only a few months away, which means that Royal Pains is ramping up production. The USA series has recruited Numb3rs alum Diane Farr to guest-star in an upcoming episode, TVGuide.com has learned exclusively.

"Farr will play Annie, a private investigator who is stricken by mysterious symptoms during an investigation. She fears her illness will prevent her from solving the most important case of her career. Sounds like a case for Dr. Hank (Mark Feuerstein) or should we say, now that Hank's left, HankMed's new head doctor Jeremiah Sacani (Ben Shenkman)?"

Spike TV renewed Ink Master for a 5th season.  Amen.

Pharrell Williams will replace Cee Lo Green on The Voice.

Detective Hitchcock and Detective Scully were promoted to regulars on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.  They weren't regulars already?

In the wake of her marriage’s implosion thanks to a cheating scandal, tabloid darling Tori Spelling (Beverly Hills, 90210) will star in Lifetime‘s Tru Tori.  Airing just three weeks after cameras begin filming, the docu-series chronicles Tori and fresh-out-of-rehab husband Dean McDermott’s shaky next steps in (close to) real time. The Studio Lambert and All3Media production premieres Tuesday, April 22 at 10.

Go inside the Terminus train car with The Walking Dead's Alana Masterson.

Inside Amy Schumer returns tonight.  She was on Howard Stern this morning.  No link available yet, but you can catch the replay Thursday and Friday.