Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How I Met Your Mother Review- "Last Forever"

Well, I did it. It took me longer than I expected, and I stopped writing serious reviews about two and a half seasons ago, but I've sat through every episode of what used to be my favorite television series all over again.

And did I ever mention that I sided with the majority who hated the finale? Because, well, yeah. The show spent an entire season dedicated to Robin and Barney's wedding, and to build them up as this great couple who are going to accept their faults together, only to split them up in what equates to about ten minutes of screen time after the fact. What can I say, that has to take a lot out of the audience.

And it did. Many were, and still are pissed that the show sidelined all of the character building it had done for Barney and Robin, how Bays, Thomas, and crew attempted to have Barney grow up and to have Robin trust and be happy, for something as banal as Robin spending too much time traveling the world.

At the same time, though, is that not reasonable? Couples drift apart all the time for reasons such as this, and while it's clear that Robin and Barney do and will always still love each other (just look at their glances to each other during Ted and Tracy's wedding), maybe that just isn't enough. Sometimes love, no matter how strong and passionate, can't be enough. There needs to be some force pushing any two people together to make a relationship work, and Barney and Robin didn't have that force at this point in their lives.

Just as Robin and Ted didn't have that force in their lives a few years prior. Maybe they really did need a couple of decades apart to make it work. That's what the show wants us to believe, anyway.

I won't lie, I did not watch the broadcast ending. I don't think that I ever could. Especially with the alternate take being available. After finally seeing the alternate ending for the first time, I think that it's a steady improvement... but if anything, it feels a little short. And some of the things that rubbed myself and many others the wrong way still exist, such as Barney and Robin's divorce, Ted and Tracy's stalled marriage, how Barney went back to gross womanizer to an overbearing father all thanks to the power of dem womenz, the depressing tone, etc.

It's still there, and in a way, this finale will never work in the way that Bays and Thomas wanted it to. Especially if you watch it as they intended, with the return of that damned blue French horn.

But in some way, it's hard to not respect their desire to try something so different from convention, and to pull what seems like such a 180 on the show. But then, How I Met Your Mother always had a touch of sadness to it that made it feel a little more real than a lot of other sitcoms. While the message of Friends was that you can handle your transition into adulthood as long as you have a steady support group with you, HIMYM made it clear that while having friends and loved ones to lean on is nice, nothing is permanent.

But damn, the moment where Ted and Tracy meet is nothing short of magic. Radnor and Milioti have perfected their chemistry by now, and make this scene come out as beautifully as possible. Easily some of Fryman's best framing in the entire series.

In short, "Last Forever" is ambitious, but fails under its ambitions. And it does knock the season's rating down as a whole, to a B-. At its best, there are some incredible episodes here that bring the whole show together, but enough misguided decisions and subplots to put it in the middle, overall. Still, this is far from the worst last season of any series ever made.

And now, I think that I'm burned out on How I Met Your Mother. I guess that only means one thing- it's time to watch it in full again.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

How I Met Your Mother Review- "Gary Blauman"/"The End of the Aisle"

The most important thing about either episodes is Blauman is clearly bi, but Ted is too oblivious to allow the implication to be fact.

But wow, "Gary Blauman" was a great final script from Kang, and gives welcome conclusions to a lot of the show's recurring players. It's a well-written episode from top, as in Ted and Tracy's first date, to bottom, including Barney's curly fry spiel.

"The End of the Aisle" isn't as terrific, since the Ted/Robin stuff is beyond tiresome, and Barney's dogpiling on Lily and Marshall gets old, but the last half is a solid way to finally get the two married. And I do hope that they have a happy marriage, but sadly, we're almost done.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How I Met Your Mother Review- "Daisy"

The introduction of Robin's mother feels like a waste. Tracy Ullman's British accent usually works, but here, it feels odd and forced, just as her character does. And why would having a gay, black half-brother be a red flag for your boo?

The rest of the episode is okay, but doesn't hit those high notes that similarly emotional episodes do. Even with the Captain being fun as always. This just feels forced to get to the point of what will happen to Lily and Marshall after the wedding, which is nice, but almost a little cheap.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

How I Met Your Mother Review- "Rally"

This is a good episode, although not exactly a great one.

I do want to point out that this isn't the first time Lily and Robin kissed, though- they did back in season 7's "The Broath". Still, that was a funny moment.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

How I Met Your Mother Review- "Sunrise"

This isn't quite as good as the previous episode, but it's definitely one of the stronger Tracy-less episodes this season. Her material has usually been on point, but when she's gone, the show starts to linger.

But this episode has good use for the main characters, almost making up for their lack of original screentime in "How Your Mother Met Me". Marshall's ghost fight was a useful way to help him accept his best place to stand for his support of Lily, and ends the fight well. Barney's drunken wingman scheme allowed him to retire his playboy persona once and for all in the best way that he can. And I just hope that Ted and Robin are done for.

Also, I really appreciate the return appearances. Seeing Stella, Victoria, and Jeanette here seems like a good way to say goodbye to these characters as the show can focus on its end. And Tim Gunn, too!

Really, the only issue is the floating Robin at the end. Ugh.

How I Met Your Mother Review- "How Your Mother Met Me"

The best episode of anything ever.

Is that hyperbole? Probably. But this is a perfect episode.