Showing posts with label tv. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tv. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

special comment: the finale of 'how i met your mother' - a response (VIDEO)

The more I think about this resolution to this TV series, the less I like it. That's telling.

Okay, I needed to get that emergency out of the way, Anette Olzon's coming up soon, stay tuned!

Monday, March 31, 2014

special comment: the finale of 'how i met your mother' - a response

I've been watching How I Met Your Mother since Season 3. I didn't get on board straight away because it reminded me of Friends and I've never been able to stomach that show. And since then, for nine seasons, I've watched the show and rewatched the show time and time again. I know some of the classic episodes beat-for-beat. I've laughed, I've cried, I've cheered and defended this show even in the seasons I saw it circling the drain - which, namely, was Season 5, because despite the Zoe arc in Season 6, there were moments in that season that had emotional pathos and goddamn it, I bought it.

And then we had Season 9, the season encapsulating just a few days of Barney and Robin's wedding - and I'll be honest, despite the gimmicky nature of some of the episodes and the reliance on callbacks that has become more of a crutch for this show year after year than a strength, I was on board. Some of the callbacks felt like the payoff of seasons of build-up, emotional and character arcs that lasted for years and finally met their righteous ending. I'm not going to lie, there were moments that were glorious and well-earned and I even bought into Robin and Barney as a couple, the two who had always been the most deeply broken inside and how they made each other stronger as they stayed together. 

And there were telegraphed moments throughout that season that built to the finale tonight. Going in, I had a feeling in my gut that there was tragedy in the future. I didn't know if the mother was going to live - I assumed she wasn't, it was obviously telegraphed - and honestly, I expected Ted could have been dead, and he's retracing the moments of his life that led up that climax, and how everything else didn't matter as he faced Purgatory or whatever. That would have given some real weight to the moment when Ted meets the Mother, the high point, the climax, the moment for which we've been waiting. And it would have been devilishly charming if it had ended at that moment, a quiet moment of anticlimax that would have been goddamn beautiful and earned.

The finale went in a different direction. And I will say this: on paper, the majority of makes sense. Friends, even as tightly knit as these have been, drift apart. If you have kids, you'll go weeks or months or years without seeing people. If you're on an insane travel schedule, marriages will fracture, especially when both partners are as driven and free-spirited as the two in question. And when that happens, people regress until they make stupid decisions and are forced to turn their lives around. And spouses die, and eventually, it's believable that you might return to that old flame that you've nurtured in the back of your heart year after year after year. From a position of human drama, I buy everything that happened in the finale of How I Met Your Mother - on paper.

The reason the finale does not work - and really does impressive amounts of damage to the show's many dramatic arcs as a whole - is entirely a matter of tone. And you know, tone is a tricky thing, especially when you're working with footage cobbled together for years and you've had the finale lodged in your mind almost a decade since the very first episode. And here, the misunderstanding of tone is mindboggling - because in the writers' minds, it's always been about Ted and Robin. It's the central locus, the primary element since the pilot that has defined this show - and really, it's never been about the Mother.

It was that pilot in the mind of the writers when they wrote the finale. It's just a shame they didn't consider all the other elements they had brought in, and for a show with this sort of storied history, it's amazing how much they forgot and disregarded to create this finale, most specifically the final moments.

Monday, November 26, 2012

transgression, sensitivity, and art: a discussion

So the Grey Cup, the final game of the Canadian Football League, is wrapping up as I write this. I honestly don't give a damn about who won either way, but watching the Twitter feed, I did notice a few things that struck my interest regarding the half-time show. First was antipathy, given as Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen were cited as performers. Now, promoters, I get that these two are some of the biggest names in Canadian pop radio right now, but you have to realize that they aren't exactly the kind of acts you want for a championship football game. Personally, I think a rock act would be a lot better. Hell, Gordon Lightfoot, who also performed, would be a better choice, if only because he'd have more name recognition amongst an older Canadian crowd. 

And incidentally, I saw all the tweets ripping on Lightfoot and asking for Bieber to come back on stage - on the one hand, they don't know any better, but on the other hand, it's still fucking infuriating. Diversify your tastes in music, youth of Canada, and stop proving all of my suspicions about your generation correct!

But besides that point, the final act was a small step in the right direction with Marianas Trench. Now, granted, Marianas Trench are a pop rock act that probably has a fair amount of overlap with Bieber's audience, but they put on a good show and they are a pretty solid act. So when I checked out Twitter, I was expecting to see the typical fangirl squeeing.

Instead I saw a number of tweets accusing Marianas Trench of making fun of people with speech impediment by performing their song 'Stutter', a song from their 2011 album Ever After

Monday, August 27, 2012

tv review: 'the newsroom' - season one commentary

So yeah, I haven't posted much here. Mostly this is because I've been working on other projects, and that'll mean updates here will be somewhat sporadic. That being said, I am going to write posts here when there are things that I want to talk about.

And today, I want to talk about The Newsroom, a show that should be so much better than it is, one that I will watch next summer in the hopes of improvement, but one I don't expect to get any better.

Monday, July 23, 2012

tv review: 'the newsroom' S01:E05

Is it just me, or is The Newsroom getting a little better?

Okay, I admit, there were a number of elements in this episode that flat-out did not work.  The romantic subplots are a tangled stupid mess that would embarrass most reality television (which I find a little ironic), but at this point, I think the show seems to be aware about how much the previous episodes' romantic elements didn't work. It's what they do with it that I find significantly more interesting.

Monday, July 16, 2012

tv review: 'the newsroom' S01:E01-04

Let me begin with a disclaimer that I'm sure many will use as ample reason to completely disqualify this review: before watching The Newsroom, I have watched very little by Aaron Sorkin. I've never seen The West Wing or Sports Night(they're on my list of things to watch, but so is Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and Breaking Bad). I've never seen Studio 60. I really liked Moneyball, but I found The Social Network frustratingly flawed in ways that I have difficulty articulating. It's a good movie, but it's not quite a great one.

In other words, when people talk about 'good Sorkin' and 'bad Sorkin', I don't have a lot of context to step in and pass judgement one way or another. It's frustrating because I feel it separates me somewhat from the discourse, but on the other hand, it also provides me a unique opportunity. It's not often I get a chance to go into something relatively blind, experience something from a fresh point of view outside of the history of the man behind the pen. Sure, I had heard a lot about Aaron Sorkin and his work (anybody who spends any time on the AV Club is familiar with the man), but I lacked a certain amount of context. All I knew before going into The Newsroom was that it was written by Aaron Sorkin and it had Sam Waterston (quasi-legendary for playing Jack McCoy for years on Law & Order, although I remember him more fondly from The Great Gatsby, if I'm being completely honest). It was enough to get me into the door, and I was planning on relying on the show to hook and keep me there.

So in the tradition of these reviews, I'm going to attempt to provide some analysis into why The Newsroom both does and doesn't entirely work in its present incarnation. Now, granted, a show can evolve a lot from the first four episodes onwards - Community and Glee are both shows that started evolving in the first four episodes and never quite stopped, for better and for worse - but I'm starting to feel like I have something of an idea of what The Newsroom wants to be and how it's going to get there.