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How I Met Your Stepmother

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Needless to say SPOILERS! You know, if you’re still a baby about that sort of thing while you’re on the bloody internet. Otherwise go right on ahead.  

How I Met Your Stepmother.

Turns out, according to CBS, that’s the show we’ve been watching for the past decade. When it started out all the way back in 2005, How I Met Your mother seemed like the perfect thing to fill the Friends shaped hole in my life. And it did for quite a while. It was a wonderful show. There was good writing, the characters were likable, hilarious, fleshed out and honestly fun to watch. Barney Stinson will always and forever go down in the Breakout Characters Hall of Fame. It was transforming into one of those must watch shows that had everyone talking. But around the time it hit the sixth or seventh season anybody could tell the show had both overplayed its premise and overstayed its welcome. But it still chugged on resolutely and I wasn’t complaining. There were still some wonderful moments and brilliant gags that kept me optimistic.

But the finale killed all that.

 

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Firstly, the wedding that was tortuously drawn out for an entire season fell apart only fifteen minutes into the finale. I’d like to say right now that my problem is absolutely not with the marriage being written to implode, but with the fact that we had to sit through TWENTY TWO of those COMPLETELY pointless and mind- numbingly unnecessary episodes (with the exception of one or two) to get to THIS. Really? I sat through that terrible “letting go” scene Robin had with Ted AND that episode which was fully written in rhyme for THIS?  You’d have to be Buddha to not feel at least a little bit aggressive and underwhelmed as you embrace the total waste of time that was Season 9.

Secondly, one of the best bits of How I Met Your Mother has always been how the show wonderfully managed to flesh out Barney’s two dimensional sociopath pick up artist character into something a little more realistic while still staying true to it. But every little bit of character development Barney went through the past eight seasons leaped out of a 20th storey window yelling “Geronimo!!” the minute he uttered “Perfect Month”. Sure they tried to make it profound with his speech about wanting to be himself. But it was little else than a cop-out. More disturbingly, it seemed like a cop out tailored specifically to gratify pubescent boys and man-children who just desperately wanted Barney to be “Legendary” again, run his plays and be Jim Nacho.

And finally we come to the most unforgivable part of the finale. Meet the lovely Tracy McConnell,a.k.a. the only reason Season 9 was watchable a.k.a The much heralded Mother, a.k.a Blatant Plot Device. Funnily enough, all that Ted and her story reminded me of, was another gag from HIMYM itself. There was this bit long back where Marshal tells the gang about his strange fantasy. Marshall apparently is so blissfully married that if he ever wanted to fantasize about another woman, he can only do it if he imagines it to be Lily’s dying wish to him while she’s on her deathbed. And that’s pretty much what happened with Ted and Tracy for real.

Again, I’d like to make it clear I have no qualms with Barney and Robin splitting up or Robin and Ted getting together. My problem is purely with the way it was done.

So, according to the finale, here’s the fundamental premise of the show: Robin has always been Ted’s one true love. But they don’t want the same things at all. We still want our leading pair to end up together. But we also want them to have whatever they’ve wished for.

Enter Barney. Every bit as commitment phobic, free spirited and hates settling down as Robin. Also enter Tracy. Every bit as goofy, dreamy eyed, whimsical and ready to settle down and have kids as Ted.  Now we let our lead pair have everything they wanted. A life of travel, success and excitement for Robin.A life of romance and children and settling down for Ted. Now having fulfilled their destinies, The Mother conveniently drops dead and Barney conveniently splits up with Robin, leaving Ted and Robin appropriately depressed and available to ride off into the sunset with each other. The End. I’m sorry what?

On a personal note, with Game Of Thrones premiering this week, I would’ve really appreciated it if one more unnecessary onscreen death had been averted.

Still The Mother has to take comfort she wasn’t the only blatant plot device of the finale. Of course there was mysterious No.31 who existed only to get knocked up and provide Barney with a life affirming moment. Apparently she was so unimportant she not only disappeared without a trace after her usefulness ran out , but she also gave up her child to the womanizing asshole who knocked her up in pursuit of the perfect month. But hey. What do I know? There could be a grander plan in store. I have a sinking suspicion this woman might be the center of the spin-off “How I Met Your Father” which is in production now.

 

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However after all is said and done, it’s still the end of an era. While I try and block out these later debacles I’ll always hold those first few seasons dear. Signing off with a High Infinity, I only have one question to ask: Seriously, WHO provides security for that place with the blue French horn?

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©Jyotsna H. for PosterGully.com

jyotsna.h.29@gmail.com

 

Sionara, How I Met Your Mother

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Kids, let me tell you a story about How I Came Across A Show. The year was 2005. With Friends coming to an end, people needed a new great sitcom that wasn’t a cheap knockoff of the former. Enter How I Met Your Mother, created by then relatively unknown duo of Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. It kept the friends-hanging-in-a-bar/coffee-shop crux intact, but it’s narrative was what set it apart from anything that came before it. Rip-roaringly funny, crazy  characterization, yet all the while with a solid emotional under-current, everybody knew that a worthy successor to Friends had been found.

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Cut to its series finale on present day, 31st March 2014, and that show is nowhere to be found. Gone are the guffaws, the emotional payoffs, the beloved characters. All that is left are the bare bones of a once brilliant show that wore-out it’s welcome.

Kids, let me start from the beginning. The show was about Ted Moseby (Josh Radnor) who, just like me, is trying to bore his children to death by telling them a story that eventually turns out to be quite inconsequential. His tall tale is about how he met their mother (the show’s title is a big giveaway). Most of his stories involve him hanging out in a bar with his four friends: Marshall and Lilly (Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan), Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (the gorgeous Cobie Smulders), who he proclaims, in the very beginning itself, is not their mother.

This guy, Ted, was an extremely desperate (nice) guy, hunting like crazy for the love of his life, all the while being in love with Robin. But there was something about him, this recognizability, this earnestness, that made you root for him to get the girl. You wanted him to find this woman and live happily ever after. But by the end, I was left so exhausted by his pursuits, I felt like slitting my throat before I ever got the chance to meet your mother. So, by the time the mother was introduced in the 9th year, I couldn’t care less about her.

Marshall and Lilly went from lovable couple to creepy like a serial killer pair. What do I say about Robin? At first, every time she flashed her charming smile, I couldn’t help but just be transfixed by her. She eventually turned into a bitch that I couldn’t care less about. It didn’t help her cause that her musical chairs with Ted went on a 1472 times too long. Barney is probably the only character that didn’t deteriorate as exponentially as the others. He went from that sleaze-bag with the funniest jokes to that good-at-heart sleaze-bag whose jokes are pretty much hit-and-miss (more misses than hits).

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To be fair to the show, it was an absolutely howlarious one till about the end of the 4th season, with the 2nd season being the best of the lot. During this duration, the show had some brilliant running gags: the pineapple incident, the slap bet, the red boots, the “blah blah” girl, Swarley, and Ted referring using drugs as “eating a sandwich” to his kids.

But somewhere along the fifth season, the show went into a downward spiral, never to recover. In fact, with each passing season, the show gathered more and more  momentum in its journey downhill, till the point where I rolled my eyes in a single episode more times than I laughed in an entire season.

Kids, to cut it short, I’ll come to the final season. When I had first heard that the entire season would be set across one weekend (Barney and Robin’s wedding) at a resort, I was suddenly hopeful. I knew that the format was going to be untenable for an entire season, but I was hoping against hope that the writers would come up with something ingenious in line with the show’s earlier days. The final result was arguably the worst season of the show. The flashbacks were poorly constructed, they hardly had anything left to say anymore, none of the new running gags were remotely funny, and the flashforwards were mostly uninteresting. The saving grace in the awful final season was Cristin Milioti’s performance as the eponymous mother, earnest, fresh-faced, charming and mildly funny, which is a compliment.

Ah, the double episode finale. It was everything it shouldn’t have been. One solitary laugh, courtesy Neil Patrick Harris, shoddy direction, emotionally manipulative, and wholly predictable. Not to brag, but two theories that I had about the show’s end both came true (*pats himself on the back with proud tears in his eyes*). But what shocked me the most were the lack of substantial screen-time for the mother and the framing device they ended up using for the finale. Considering that the creators had this ending in mind since the beginning of the show, you’d think it would be better thought out. Nope.

Kids, sadly, they never ended up explaining the pineapple incident, though they do reveal the mother’s name and the slap bet comes to an extremely tepid end, as does the show. You can’t help but feel sorry for the show, which turned into a victim of the network it aired on: a network that was determined to wring every single penny out of their flagship hit show, in the process tarnishing its legacy. I’m relieved that the show finally came to a merciful end. It’s spinoff, How I Met Your Dad, is set to premiere this September. Till then, ciao. *sigh*

PS: Just to get this off my chest. If this show had been about Yudhishtir, it would’ve been called ‘How I Bet Your Mother’.

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©Piyush Chopra for PosterGully.com

pchopra1693@gmail.com

6 Reasons Why The Bazinga Man Will Beat Legen…out of the park…Dary!

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The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother are among the most popular U.S. sitcoms. Their biggest cult figures are the narcissistic womanizer Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) and, highly intelligent scientist Sheldon Lee Cooper (Jim Parsons). Both have roles that are unique in their approach as well as characterization, Sheldon by his emotional and social incompetence and arrogance, Barney by his selfishness and narcissism. But, we have a winner. I will list down 6 reasons why Sheldon is the “cooler” one out of the two-

1. He is smarter

In one of the episode’s, Barney has loads of trouble to narrow down out of all the women he had “made love to” (somewhere cupid is committing suicide) the one women who had got to him and, made him prone to backfires. Whereas, Sheldon has a photographic memory, and can literally remember everything he has ever seen, heard, or experienced. He is capable of lecturing people on their own culture (Raj & Howard being classic examples of his religious teachings). He is smarty-smarty-smart!

2. A better actor

I know many people reading this post would have taken the next flight to Bangalore (Or, are in front of my door to kick me for such a comment) I say give me some space to prove myself right! Agreed, Neil Patrick steward is a jack of all trades- He can sing, he can dance and he can act but, his role can be done by anyone for that matter (I can picture many actors as possible replacement for him, For ex- Joe from “Friends”). Sheldon has a lot to do and, has to piss-off a lot of people all the time! He is batman for the nerds. He is “The Nerdman”. A dark knight who no one likes but, can’t do without. It’s hard to act with big words and, not having to laugh at all while doing so. I’m well aware that Neil Patrick Harris is no doubt one of the best actors ever but, I prefer Jim Parson’s acting style because it is unique, effortless and, meaningful.

3. Happy and Gay

Both of these actors are openly gay. A question open to all would be – Who would you picture to be gay out of the two? Barney? Never! Sheldon? Definitely yes! Barney is a landslide. Barney can act like a toolbar, but there’s a real person in there behind the act, and is capable of acting human. Might be an Inception-like act within an act, but its there. Yes, Barney Stinson is fundamentally more likeable. But, being who he really is, that is, an actor pouring sentimental glop all over the character. Neil Patrick Harris convincingly pulls off this role, which makes us really wonder how he can be gay in real life while pulling off this great, loveable, sleaze of a character. This doubt, this unevenness is what takes a lot of credit away from him as a convincing actor. With Sheldon, it’s clearly visible in his role play as well as, by the nature of his character that, Amy( His girlfriend in TBBT) will have to live unmarried ever after!

4. More confident

Sheldon is ruthlessly confident about his abilities. For example, he is sure of winning the Nobel Prize sometime in the future. He is sure of himself when he lectures other people about the facts they were not aware of. He is a genius, or to quote: “They call me a genius, because I am a genius”. Whereas, with Barney, there have been many instances where he has lost his confidence. Be it, with his friends, the bimbos that he hunts for, “challenge accepted” going awfully wrong and, stuff like that.

5. More complicated

Sheldon’s character is much more complicated then it seems to be. Sure, Barney has a twisted mind too (swinging to the devilish south). But, Sheldon’s complexity has made even his friends bring out conspiracy theories about his life and what not. Here are a few examples-

Leonard’s Theory

I think Sheldon might be the larval form of his species and someday he’ll spin a cocoon and emerge two months later with moth wings and an exoskeleton.

Howard’s Theory

Over the years we’ve formulated a number of theories about how he might reproduce. I’m an advocate of mitosis. I believe one day Sheldon will eat an enormous amount of Thai food and split into two Sheldon’s.

Raj’s Theory

Sheldon is actually a robot, which cannot meet the 3 Laws of Robotics by Isaac Asimov.

Penny’s Theory

Sheldon is a species of alien that must not move housing, so as to not confuse the mother ship when it returns to take him back.

Barney’s Complexity (Or, lack of it!) as explained by his friends-

Ted- He is a Jerk.

Robin- He is a pervert.

Lily- He gave me Herpes!

Marshall- I can slap him for no reason at all!

All signifying his meaningless, bimbo hunting lifestyle and, nothing more!

6. Knock, knock, knock Penny

“Knock, knock, knock Penny” beats “Legen… wait for it… dary!” any day of the year. First of all, it is not repetitive. It sounds repetitive but, Sheldon is able to pull it off every time with an elegance that is much more fluidic than Barney’s “Legen….dary” statement. Secondly…. There is no secondly. Bazinga!

To end it all, let’s consider a situation where both of them meet face-to-face. This is what their conversation would be like-

Barney: What up bro? (Raising his hand for a High-Five)

Sheldon: What up?? (Eyebrow raised in the typical Sheldon manner)

Semantically, your statement is wrong. If this is some urban slang, I will play along. First of all, your hand is up (Points to Barney’s hand). Secondly, if you look outside, the Sun is up.  Did you know that there is an initiative to celebrate the third Thursday of April as National High Five Day?

Barney: (Jolts from a fake nap) Sorry I slept off because it’s sooooo boring. (Hand still up). Come on, I can’t keep my hand up for so lonngggggg. (With a pleading face).

Sheldon: No. I am not touching that.

End of story. Bazinga!

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©Arjun Karath for PosterGully.com

supersaviour@gmail.com

10 Most Popular English T.V Series in India

All of us at some point or the other been addicted to an English TV show, be it on the channel, or online, or downloaded shows on the computer. I have reached such stages of extreme addiction that I became an unproductive vegetable and spent day after day watching Grey’s Anatomy. Finally, I had to erase my hard drive clean to ensure I return back to normality.

But here is a list of the most popular English TV shows in India.

  1. F.R.I.E.N.D.S : No matter how many years pass since the show has ended, it will continue to live in the hearts of all its fans. And it will still garner more hits on Youtube than any new series. I remember how I wept, as the show neared its end and finally terminated with a memorable finale.  logo
  2. How I Met Your Mother:This show has come the closest to what FRIENDS was. The sharp humor, the strong friendship, the accidents and the fiasco – depiction of normal life, with all the shortcomings, is truly relatable.  HIMYM_Wallpaper_1600
  3. Big Bang Theory: One reason to downright fall in love with the show – Sheldon! Sardonic yet charming, Sheldon manages to keep the viewers engaged, throughout. The makers of the show have done a great job, with all the science jokes, the awkward nerds, the witty dialogues and diverse topics of jest. 431311
  4. Grey’s Anatomy: Who could believe that a show based on the livesof doctors in a teaching hospital in Seattle could manage to hold the audience’s attention, as it approaches Season 10! The authentic portrayal of the daily challenges that the doctors face, strong characters and a touch of drama tying this all together. A brilliant show (and my personal favorite) grey-s-anatomy-greys-anatomy-1663492-1024-768
  5. Castle: Suspense, thrill, crime and murder! Add to this spicy blend a sizzle of the chemistry between the lead pair, detective Kate Beckett and the famous crime novelist Richard Castle and what you have is a formula for a successful TV show. Castle-Tv-Show-wallpapers-castle-tv-show-wallpapers-30445709-1280-800
  6. White Collar: Again, a crime based series, with a pinch of drama and humor to make it a complete package. The series revolves around how an ex con man, the dashing Neal Caffrey helps the FBI in catching white collar criminals through his experience and skills. 85011-white-collar-white-collar
  7. Two and a Half Men:Adult humor, the happy go lucky life of two bachelors and their encounters with the opposite sex make it a show filled with bone tickling laughter.  Two-and-a-Half-Men-Wallpaper-two-and-a-half-men-32201632-1280-1024
  8. Modern Family: Peppered with diverse characters having laudable traits, this family comedy is a thorough entertainer. Each character is well fleshed out and the occurrences in their daily life make for a good laugh.  picture-41
  9. Lost: An unconventional topic to make a TV series on, Lost has managed to hold the pulse of the viewers, since the first series. A plane crash, survivors on a deserted island, struggling to stay alive, and their encounters with their fellow survivors, the supernatural element and their own past lives, make for an interesting watch.  LostPoster
  10. Breaking Bad:An amazing tale of the protagonist who turns antagonist to support his family. The show is a crime drama, with some dark humor and emotional upheavals thrown in, in good amount. It raises the questions of morality through the lead character Walter White.  breaking-bad-drinking-game-1024x640

Which is your favorite TV series. How far have you gone in your obsession to watch back to back episodes of a series?

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©Isha Talsania for PosterGully.com

ishatalsania@gmail.com

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