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How 9 Years of Television Were Just About Saved in Four and a Half Minutes

And relax…at the end of last week, the highly anticipated alternative REAL ending was leaked on to the internet and thank goodness it was. I really really like How I Met Your Mother. It never made me laugh consistently but it had a lot of heart, a great story, a unique gimmick and characters you cared about. Yeah, it was quite funny and easy to watch but its biggest triumph was making characters care so much about Ted, Barney, Robin, Lily, Marshall and Tracy. In April, I wrote about how Carter Bays and Craig Thomas’ ill-conceived finale basically ruined the nine years of TV that preceded it, so it seems only fair that now they’ve tried to correct their glaring faux pas, that we look at what went right and what still didn’t…

+ Ted didn’t end up with Robin

Hallelujah! The fact that the blue french horn peskily found a way to trump the yellow umbrella back in March was without doubt the worst part of the finale – and that’s no mean feat! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Ted and Robin make no sense. Maybe they did in 2005 but after nine long years of watching the pair develop, there’s simply no way. I’m still annoyed at the ridiculous U-turn of the writers in the original ending especially because it was probably just so they could use archive footage. Urgh. Thankfully, Robin can be my favourite character again. The meeting (what the show was about) between Ted and Tracy was sufficient for the viewers and it was right to end the episode there.

Fulfilling… Ted meets Tracy and she doesn’t die! Hooray!

+ Ted’s recap of the series

I don’t usually like self-appreciating shows but HIMYM probably deserved a moment of reflection in the finale. Ted recapping the long journey that led him to the mother, was far more respectful to her character and the show itself than having him disregard this journey as an afterthought in order to pursue Robin. It gave us a happy reflection on Ted’s irritating quest for the one, allowing the series to cap off it’s achievements on screen.

  Ted not visibly addressing the kids

I know, it’s a really small detail but it seemed right that the last line – “and that kids, is how I met your mother” – was spoken visibly to the children by future Ted, just before the visual credits. Of course, had they gone with the correct ending in the first place I’d imagine that small creases like this would have been ironed out.

+ The implication that Barney and Robin got back together

As a fervent supporter of Robin & Barney over Robin & Ted this was the most satisfying part. The finale’s ending wasn’t the only thing that was wrong with it – the rest wasn’t good either. I had real concerns when the alternate ending was announced that Robin and Barney would remain separated. After all, they broke up earlier in the episode and no new footage was filmed to piece together a different climax. However, future Ted’s narration about the tribulations of life and how things “things fall apart, things get put back together” as the camera pans to Robin and Barney exchanging glances at Ted and Tracy’s wedding. It also bodes well that in Ted’s recap of his story that Barney and Robin falling for each other was included and their divorce wasn’t. Long live Stinsbatsky!

Reunited? The right couple may have survived after all.

  The change of music

I’m definitely being pernickety here but my favourite thing – scratch that – basically the only thing I liked about the original ending was the music. The Walkman’s ‘Heaven’ carried on a long tradition of the show using great songs to escalate the emotion of certain moments and it was the perfect nostalgic track to see the show out. I seriously love that song.

+ The clip of the dancing yellow umbrella

After all, the yellow umbrella was what the show was all about. Not the blue french horn. It was NEVER about the blue french horn.

So there we have it, the alternate ending was simply unquantifiably better than the original. Thank you, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas for rectifying your horrendous blunder. I think it’s best we all pretend that the original ending never happened. At least now, I won’t have to sell my HIMYM boxset on eBay.

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Family Guy: Which Griffin will meet their maker?

In a bizarre plot twist, not usually seen in animated comedies, a main cast member of Family Guy is set to be killed off. Prior to the premiere of the show’s twelfth season last Sunday on Fox, showrunners confirmed the demise of one of the Griffins in the new season in an episode guest starring Ashton Kutcher, in a spoof of CBS’ Two and a Half Men. I imagine this stunt is to generate interest in an increasingly repetitive cartoon stifled by the Simpsons monopolising storylines – it’s worked, this will be the first and likely last thing I write about the show. So, as I impatiently wait for my 100,000th view, we’ll run down the candidates for animated demise because while I’m obsessed with view counting, I can’t write anything requiring any real thought.

Nagging Nympho… Lois isn’t likely to get the chop

Lois Griffin

We’ll start with nasal housewife, Lois. She wouldn’t be that tragic a loss for the show. Sure, she’s needed to be a counteractive force to Peter’s silliness but she’s easily replaced. The voice actor, Alex Borstein also plays several other characters so it wouldn’t require a massive cast change should Lois be the one to bite the dust. It would even make sense to make Stewie her killer given his disdain for her that has subsided in recent years. That being said, there really is no reason for Lois to die and wouldn’t really provide the shake-up the producers are alluding to.
VERDICT: SAFE

 

Safe… It would make no sense to kill the ‘Family Guy’.

Peter Griffin

Then there’s the possibility of protagonist Peter being the one to die. In contrast to his flame-haired wife, it would certainly provide the shake-up the producers want but let’s be honest, the show would also die – in fact, the very concept of it would no longer make any sense. The only way Peter will end up dead is if he is resurrected without explanation in the very next episode, which is definitely a possibility.
VERDICT: SAFE

 

What the deuce?… Stewie will be fine

Stewie Griffin

Arguably, the show’s second most popular character. To put it plainly, there is no chance that Stewie will be killed off. I’ll actually go on the record and say that he is the least likely to bite the dust. His camp evilness is used time and time again to give viewers a break from Peter’s sometimes tiresome nonsense. Again, in the off chance that the producers do kill Stewie, he’ll be back almost imminently.
VERDICT: SAFE

Every dog has its day… and Brian’s might be about to end.

Brian Griffin

What about Brian, Stewie’s partner in crime? He’s certainly not the funniest character in the show, in fact he’s a bit of a douche at times. There’s actually a decent case to argue that Brian will have his coup de grace in season twelve. For example, he’s a blooming dog, dogs do not live this long.  He certainly wouldn’t be that missed and I’m sure Seth MacFarlane wouldn’t mind voicing just two of the six main characters instead of three. Brian the dog may have had his day.
VERDICT: IN DANGER

 

Shut up Meg.

Meg Griffin

Then there’s black sheep, Meg, voiced by the beautiful and frankly fucking cool, Mila Kunis. I honestly don’t think killing Meg off is a good idea from a creative perspective, sure she’s not necessarily popular (well I really like her), but the fact that she is such a reject within her own family has provided joke after joke over the last eleven seasons. The reason why she might be bumped off is the increasingly high demand of Kunis herself, who has outgrown the show in recent years, and with Ashton Kutcher (her current boyfriend) set to guest star, the signs don’t like great for Meg.
VERDICT: IN DANGER

 

Chris Griffin 

Without a Paddle… Seth Green’s is in deep water.

Lastly, is my least favourite Griffin, Chris. I don’t favour the others because he embarrasses my name but simply because I think he’s the most disposable. His usage has decreased in recent years and doesn’t hold a strong tie to any of the other family members. Peter has Lois, Stewie has Brian and Meg is Meg. It’s also worth noting that Seth Green, Chris’ portrayer, has just landed a starring role on a new sitcom, Dads. He’s also the only character to not have a previewed storyline for the anticipated Simpsons crossover. It’s not looking good for Peter and Lois’ eldest son and if I had to commit to just one name, I’d say Chris’ time is up.
VERDICT: IN DANGER

My favourite things

This blog is completely pointless and narcissistic but I feel like I moan a lot in my posts so I thought I’d share the things I really like and give them a bit of praise.

TV Programmes

“Shut up, I win”… Modern Family is my all-time favourite TV programme

1. Modern Family
Okay, maybe I’ve praised this show enough but then again, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of gloating about just how good this programme is. Its brilliantly observed  social commentaries, combined with impeccable writing of various types of humour make it a refreshing change from the average US sitcom. It’s already a classic and easily my all-time favourite TV programme.

2. Friends
Given the fact, I’ve spent my entire life watching re-runs of this show on E4 and now Comedy Central, it would be unfair not to have this among my favourites. Unlike Modern Family, it is a typical US sitcom, it’s just a lot funnier than the others.

3. How I Met Your Mother
Funnily enough, I was sceptical of HIMYM when I first heard of it. I assumed it would be a less-funny ode to Friends. And in all honesty, Friends is funnier but HIMYM’s interesting spin on the plot of an average US sitcom and it’s brilliant gimmicks make it stand out from the rest.

4. Desperate Housewives
I don’t even know why I liked this programme so much. It’s just so interesting, a perfect blend of drama and comedy that’s oddly relatable to every day life. At times, it is completely over-the-top and unrealistic but that can be forgiven when you consider it at its best. If you only watch one season of this show, make sure it’s season one.

Films

The force is with Star Wars… my all-time favourite films

1. Star Wars saga
Being honest, I’m not a big film person. Obviously, there are loads of films that I like but few that really stand out. Other than White Chicks and the Lion King, I struggled to think of anything that could compete with this, so it stands alone. Regrettably, I haven’t seen many of cinema’s modern classics (something I intend on correcting every summer but never do). Anyway, Star Wars is the ultimate sci-fi saga. I spent a lot of my childhood being obsessed with this franchise, meaning I have something like 20 lightsabers stored underneath my bed. It really is a great film, and yes the original trilogy is far better. It still shocks me that some people have never seen these films… and I hate them for it.

Albums

“‘Cause this is Thriller. Thriller night!”

1. Thriller
This is simply put the best album ever made. Featuring so many of MJ’s classsics including Thriller, Billie Jean, Beat It, P.Y.T., Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, The Girl is Mine and Human Nature, you can see why it’s the biggest selling album of all-time and my favourite.

2. Aim & Ignite
Okay, Fun. burst on to the chart scene in Spring 2012, with their hit “We Are Young” taken from their second studio album, Some Nights. While, that album is superb and only just misses out on a spot in the top 5, Fun.’s lesser known predecessor is even better. It’s melodic from start to finish with brilliantly crafted songs and lyrics that really make you think. It’s a shame they didn’t get much recognition for this album too.

3. Fearless
I don’t really care about the stigma attached to picking a Taylor Swift album as one of your favourites. I have a quiet love for country music and she has a well-known talent for song writing. In all honesty, I could have selected either Speak Now or Red to join the top five too but this album is just about her best.

4. Songs About Jane
When you were young, every family had that one album that you played in the car non-stop, every journey. This was ours. It really is brilliant.

5. Rumours
Again, a worldwide recognised classic. My love for this album probably again stems back to my quiet love for country and guitar music. It features many of the bands classics and is hard not to like. Although, funnily enough when I first heard this album, I hated it.

It’s worth noting, these are also my five favourite artists. Honourable mention to S Club 7 for providing the soundtrack of my childhood and yes, I still have a cheeky  S Club party every now and then.

Holiday destinations

Bude-iful… My favourite holiday destination

1. Bude
Ideally, an average looking seaside town in Cornwall is not the place you want to go on holiday. It’s mostly for personal reasons that I’ve picked this as number-one. Nearly everyone has a holiday destination their family goes to often. Bude is that for my family.

2. Los Angeles
Most people say LA isn’t as good as it’s hyped up to be. But it really is, the climate, the people and the sights are all incredible. It’s a place you simply have to visit.

3. San Francisco
San Fran is a great city of diversity, it has such a varied nature to it, there are rural areas, coastal areas, Skegness-esque areas and big city areas. Accompanied by the climate which is great too, it’s a must visit. In fact, if it weren’t for the USA’s gun crime problem, the San Andreas fault and its proximity to Yellowstone, I’d move to California in a heartbeat.

4. Canary Islands
Particularly Gran Canaria and Tenerife, these islands are wonderful, just off the coast of Africa, it is always hot and just a great place to be.

Who is the Mother?

In a recent episode of How I Met Your Mother Ted speaks directly to the mother with tear-filled eyes promising that he will love her for the rest of days and beyond and how he cannot wait to meet her in 45 days time. That episode, ‘Time Travelers’ aired in the States on 25th March. Forty five days after that date is the 10th May, three days before HIMYM’s season 8 finale airs. It’s now looking likely after 8 years of waiting and funny tedium, the mother is finally going to be revealed. Once again, begging the question just who the freaking hell is she?

The Mother is dead Theory

How Your Mother Met Her Maker… Is the Mother dead?

It wouldn’t be laughable to think that the mother, the fans have pined to be introduced to for the last eight years is in fact dead. We never see her in Future Ted’s world and we never see her in flash forwards, not even her ankle or anything annoying like that. It would also answer why Future Ted is telling this story to his kids, I for one have never really wanted to know how my parents met. So, although it is quite possible that she is dead, it still doesn’t reveal her identity.

Status: LIKELY

The Half-Sister Theory

Popular… The half-sister theory is looking more and more unlikely.

Many HIMYM fans believe that Ted’s wife is Barney’s half-sister. It made sense, she was an Economics student at university, the class Ted accidentally taught. We know the mother was in that room. It also made sense as to why Barney was called ‘Uncle Barney’ and Robin was called ‘Aunt Robin’ in the future, meaning they wouldn’t just be honorary titles. But, *SPOILER ALERT, UK VIEWERS* the popular theory has since been quashed, as Ted dates Carly in the Season 8 episode, “Ring Up!”, meaning she is almost definitely not the mother.

STATUS: UNLIKELY

Victoria?

Con… Has Ted already met their mother?

If we overlook Queen Scherbatsky and Stella, the only other significant romance, Ted has had throughout the series is Victoria. The two never really left on bad terms and in a surprise twist, he could have met their mother in Season One. She’s already been brought back once…

STATUS: POSSIBLE 

The “Her Name is Tracy” Theory

Tease… Is The Mother’s name Tracy?

A weird one to say the least. In Season One, Ted visits a strip club where is approached by a stripper named Tracy. Future Ted jokes and says “… and that’s how I met your mother”. His kids are taken aback, but why would they be if Tracy isn’t the mother’s name? Another thing to dwell on is the Tracy in the Season 4 finale. After Robin tells Barney that she ‘loves’ him, Barney finds a woman named Tracy who he subsequently tries to seduce, how can Ted know she was there if they never actually met in that episode?

STATUS: UNLIKELY

Robin?

Dammit Patrice… Robin is marrying BARNEY.

IT’S NOT ROBIN! For goodness sake, she’s marrying Barney, he refers to her as Aunt Robin. Ted has kids, she can’t have kids. His kids have drawn pictures of her and them together. There are so many flaws yet still people won’t accept it. What is that all aboot, eh?

STATUS: IMPOSSIBLE

The “Ted’s Perfect Match” Theory

The one… Ted wrongly chose Robin over his ‘perfect match’… classic Schmosby

Remember in the season one finalé, when Ted ditches his ‘perfect match’ because he’d rather have had Robin? It seems quite possible that his perfect match was in fact, the mother. Although, surprisingly Future Ted never eludes to that in narration. However, that would have given it away so it is definitely still a possibility.

STATUS: LIKELY

The “Bump Girl” Theory

Haaave you met Ted?… Because the mother may have

This one is probably the sliest of them all. In Season 3, Barney takes Ted to a St. Patrick’s Day party. Future Ted tells us that the mother was at that party but he didn’t meet her that night, and he’s glad he didn’t. However, when Barney calls Ted over to the bar, Ted bumps in to a girl and apologises and nothing is made of it, not one single acknowledgement of her or that incident, meaning he may have ‘met’ the mother. Being fair, I don’t think bumping in to someone constitutes meeting them, so it could possibly be the ‘bump girl’.

STATUS: LIKELY

The “Ted is Dead” Theory

*SPOILER ALERT*

Ted and gone… Is Mosby dead?

This is the darkest mother theory. Although, again it doesn’t reveal the identity of the mother, it gives us insight in to the background story. This theory is once more fuelled by ‘Time Travelers’, when Ted goes to speak to the mother in the episode, he says with tear filled eyes that he wants an ‘extra 45 days with her’ and that he would love her “for the rest of his days and beyond”, implying that Ted is actually the one that is dead or at least, one of them is. By the same merit, you could say that it would be unlikely for a sitcom to have such a grisly ending and honestly, I’d tend to agree with you.

STATUS: UNLIKELY