The past weeks I have been rather scarce with information on this blog, which was partly because I moved to Vienna, partly because I was binge-watching my new favourite show: How to Get Away with Murder.
Yes, I know, I know, I am dreadfully behind with everything, but I am not really a screen junkie, so I always need my time to decide it's time to watch.
HTGAWM I watched mainly because Alfred Enoch, who played Dean Thomas in the HP movies, stars as the lead role and I thought that if he already was irresistibly hot in HP (one of the few), he must be downright delicious now - and I was totally right. A real dish.
However, apart from my sexual-based reasons, I grew to really get enthralled by the show and now I am downright addicted. Viola Davis is amazing and portrays a character you're not ashamed to hate and love at the same time and also the rest of the cast is endearingly amazing, the characters complex enough to like or dislike and the now obligatory sex scenes for any decent TV show (Game of Thrones, what have you done!) are rather entertaining and hot, too.
Obviously, you do not understand half of the law-related jargon they gibber on constantly, but it doesn't really matter (it didn't matter for hospital shows, so why would it here?) and we get a great bunch of lead characters which are shady as well as endearing, which provides a fantastic range of human emotions and problems, as well as complex characters which are neither black nor white exclusively (apart from their skin colour, for some, of course, but this isn't what I meant).
We broach topics like racism, rape, intriguing, corruption and, of course, murder and how people deal with it. We learn about the rigged justice system, which will make you paranoid for the rest of your life and about how far people will go to protect another.
So what is this all about for the three other people on Earth who, so far, haven't watched it like me? Well, I will give you a little synopsis so SPOILER and you decide if it's for you or not.
It centers around the young law student Wes Gibbins who becomes one of the lucky (or unlucky) five which get chosen by acclaimed attorney and professor Annalise Keating to work for her during their studies and obtain first-hand experience and witness Annalise's expertise.
However, Annalise isn't necessarily an angel herself, captured in a loveless marriage with a cheater and coming from a difficult background herself, she is rather cold, overly efficient and bloody ruthless, willing to go at great lengths to win a case, including planting evidence or getting rid of it, lying and using her cop boyfriend for her every needs, sexual and otherwise.
The five get dragged into Annalise's mess, which, ultimately, ends with them murdering Annalise's husband and disposing of the body to cover up the crime and, therefore, get away with murder (ah, hence the title, now I get it). The rest is basically about mopping up the damage before getting involved in the next big crime. It is a fast-paced, witty yet dramatic show which lacks nothing of entertainment, real emotion and a fantastic cast, so what's holding you back?
PS. For fans of Gilmore Girls, Liza Weil who portrayed Paris Geller is part of the cast, acting as Annelise's rather incompetent assistant. She will start out as hard-ass as Paris, but soon decline to a winy, little girl, but she's a great actress.
How I Met Your Mother (or HIMYM) was one of the most successful sitcoms we loved to binge-watch, even if the ending left most of us unsatisfied.
However, even the best shows commit mistakes and have unsatisfactory episodes which are lame, boring or simply outrageously ridiculous. For HIMYM, you can say as a general rule that its quality decreased ever since season 8, which is the first season Marshall and Lily have their son Marvin (also re-read my article on How the Baby Killed the Sitcom here) and peaks in the absolutely derisory last season 9, which is an offence to both intelligence and entertainment needs of any viewer and culminates in the utterly unsatisfying and idiotic ending we all had to endure.
But let's not concentrate on the ending, but rather on all the little lows down to it, and you will notice that while the first and second seasons are pretty flawless, the worst episodes cluster towards the end. Here they are ranked according to chronology, not from worst to best worst episodes and, evidently, some of them are still pretty entertaining; however, they feature some flaws which simply cannot be ignored by viewers because of their outspoken idiocy. So, strap in for The Most Wrong Episodes of HIMYM.
Third Wheel, S3E3
In this episode, Ted tries to bang two girls to win the golden belt, which the first one to have a threesome will win, while Robin is on a date with a hot English guy (played by irresistible Neil Jackson). First of all, Ted is a rather confusing character if you ask me, which makes him in some ways less endearing than initially thought. Often he sells us his wish to marry a nice girl, but then he also wants to have a threesome and win a golden belt for it, which is not only inconsistent with his stated wishes, but also highly misogynistic and in accordance with Barney's sexist views on women.
Robin, in the meantime, has a date with a lovely English guy and hasn't shaved her legs to not sleep with him on the first date. However, during the date, she reconsiders this and calls Lily to get her shaving cream and shavers. First of all, why does Lily never appear with the shavers upon promising it and, secondly, why does Robin pay a waitress to get her shavers and cream instead of simply staying with her principles and having sex with him another time? Additionally, in the end, she knocks herself out in the bathroom, attempting to shave her legs and her date leaves with aforementioned waitress, never calling or inquiring what happened afterwards. A not really thought-through plot...
The Bracket, S3E14
In this particularly disgusting episode, Barney ranks his one-night-stands according to whom may hate him most and if this wasn't sexist and awful enough, he gets full support by his friends, making this a game to enjoy. Additionally, there is a serious flaw in the plot because the girl who slept with Barney while he was pretending to be Ted Mosby, addresses Lily, saying dating Barney was the worst thing that ever happened to her, even though she never stopped believing he was Ted Mosby, which makes her being on the board and addressing Lily about Barney simply illogical.
The Stinsons, S4E15
In The Stinsons, the gang observes some odd behaviour in Barney and finally discovers that he has a fake family for his own mother's sake because when she was feeling very ill, Barney promised to get married and have a baby. He hired two actors to play his son and wife and pretended they are The Stinsons and upon his mother surprisingly recovering, he had to keep up the act.
OK, this is not only absolutely ridiculous in itself, but it is also entirely inconsistent that the gang has never observed Barney's behaviour before. His fake son is about 10 years old, so he has been up-keeping this ruse for over 10 years and the gang never noticed anything? Additionally, we know Barney has a knack for idiotic behaviour and HIMYM does not always limit itself to plausible reality, but this idea of The Stinsons is simply too far-fetched and, generally, the episode seems to be one of the "fillers" when the writers simply couldn't think of anything better.
Perfect Week, S5E14
Barney tries to score the Perfect Week by sleeping with seven women in seven days. Again, in order to enjoy HIMYM, women have to give in to the sexist notions of Barney Stinson a little, but this episode, in my opinion, takes it too far. It is neither entertaining nor plot-relevant and utterly disgusting behaviour which is, in some ways or other, endorsed by his allegedly emancipated friends. Another "filler" which adds nothing to the real plot and presents sleeping with women and then dropping them like hot potatoes like a fun sport men can enjoy if there is nothing on TV. Shame on you!
Zoo or False, S5E19
Marshall gets robbed and Lily wants to buy a gun, so he alters the story to a monkey having robbed him, which Robin wants to bring on her show, leading Ted to be offended because he deems himself as an architect to be far more news-worthy than Marshall. A whole episode dedicated to a ridiculous incident which adds neither to any character building nor the plot.
Oh, Honey, S6E15
In this episode co-starred by Katy Perry, Marshall learns about Honey, a gullible woman who is Zoey's cousin and to be hooked up with Ted. Marshall still being in Minnesota after his dad died, listens to the various stories his friends tell him and once more it is clearly a plot filler which relates to entirely uninteresting stories the friends tell each other. And skip.
The Slutty Pumpkin Returns, S7E8
We all know Ted's Slutty Pumpkin obsession and how he met this wonderful girl 10 Halloweens ago, still kind of waiting for her, after she gave him her number on a KitKat wrapping and lost it. Now, he can finally meet her (portrayed by Katie Holmes, big stars obviously don't work for HIMYM), only to realise she isn't a perfect fit at all.
Alright, there are various things wrong with this episode. Albeit being generally entertaining, Ted is seriously annoying by his seeking for perfection in women and ruling them out for minor reasons. However, the stupidest part is the Slutty Pumpkin saying that she had been looking for Ted for 10 years. Really? Ted, we all know, has returned to the Halloween party every year to meet her, but it has never occurred to her to return to the party she met him at and find him? Well, if so, Ted, you dodged a particularly thick bullet.
The Pre-Nup, S8E2
All episodes beyond season 7 can be generally categorised as less qualitative than the others, but this episode within the Autumn of Breakups is a particularly terrible one. Barney sets up an entirely misogynistic and offensive pre-nup for Quinn which includes things like her having to pay 2000 dollars every time she gains a pound. Once more, Barney's utterly sexist behaviour can be tolerated in most episodes, but some really go beyond any level of acceptance. Even worse, his allegedly emancipated friends endorse him in his fight and the girls gang up to write a like-wise discriminating pre-nup. In the end, Barney and Quinn break up, but after this episode I don't think any woman should still want to get involved with Barney Stinson.
Who Wants to be Godparent, S8E4
The Baby Killed the Sitcom is what I have already stated in a previous post and HIMYM is a perfect example for that. In the first episodes of the aftermath of Marvin's birth, everything circles around the baby without Marshall and Lily actually acting up as proper parents.
In this particularly laughable episode, they devise a game to find out who could be godparent for their child in case of their demise (Ted, duh, you needed a game for that? Robin hates children and Barney is a psychopath, but Ted's only your best friend, so, sure, tough choice...).
Having to answer idiotic questions, the friends vie for the part of godparent (nobody knows who's actually looking after the child while they are all playing the game...). In the end, Lily and Marshall do the stupidest thing possible and name all three of them as godparents (good luck at court when all of them want the child after your death). Another time filler entirely unnecessary to watch. And skip!
No Questions Asked, S9E7
Season 9 should be on this list as a whole because the episodes all happen on one weekend and are terribly laughable; however, there is a creme de la creme of idiocy and this episode belongs to it.
Short wrap-up: Marshall is still trying to reach Long Hampton by car, Lily is at the hotel, desperately awaiting Marshall and Robin and Barney are about to get married. Marshall has just accepted a judge position despite their plans to move to Italy and Lily doesn't know it yet; however, Daphne, Marshall's passive-aggressive co-driver, sends Lily a text and Marshall orders his friends to delete it, enforcing the No Questions Asked rule, which simply means he has something on all of them, so to keep his mouth shut they shouldn't ask questions either. Another needless filler, but this could be stated for the entire season, if you ask me.
Bedtime Stories, S9E11
Every TV show seems to have one - the flashback episode. HIMYM, however, seems to have some of them and Bedtime Stories belongs to them. Marshall simply tells Marvin stories about his friends in rhyme form, which is a terribly forced lead-up to a finale which, in itself, is so terribly unsatisfactory that episodes like these become even more unbearable to watch. And skip!
Slapsgiving 3, S9E14
Most likely the worst episode ever in the entire season! The slapsgiving episodes generally belong to the weaker episodes of HIMYM, but this one is simply utter bullshit. The viewer has to endure an entire episode of Marshall telling the story of how and where he acquired the knowledge to issue the perfect slap, which also leads him to far-eastern places, which is entirely unbelievable and nonsensical. I guess his absence for a week-long course in issuing slaps in a foreign country wouldn't have gone unnoticed by his friends, especially considering the co-dependent relationship they all share. Have some episodes tiptoed towards the borders of ridicule and unrealistic plot twists, this one has crossed them by leaps and bounds.
Last Forever, Part 2, S9E24
Most fans can agree that the ending to HIMYM was highly unsatisfactory and that having being led to like the endearing mother of Ted's children, we were stunned when she was taken away far too quickly, only to give Ted the final permission to bang Robin.
However, it is not necessarily the mother's demise which makes the finale unbearable, but Robin's and Barney's divorce. We suffered through the last, and worst, season, witnessing their allegedly eternal love to each other, Barney stating he didn't have to "wait-for-it" anymore because he had Robin now, them finally getting married and Ted FINALLY, FINALLY letting go of his obsession to Robin. And for what? For Barney and Robin to divorce as fast as possible and Ted falling back into his mind-numbing obsession once more. How could any producer do this to a fan? We all sat through the terrible last season simply because we loved the characters and wanted to see how it worked out. We wanted Lily and Marshall to be happy, Ted to find his wife and move into his house, and Barney and Robin to be the perfect match to two imperfect individuals. We were let down, to say the least. After hours of being tortured by episodes so idiotic and risible, we deserved an ending worthy of it and got none whatsoever.
Sure, they tried to make up for it, but failed epically, so much to say about that. However, it seems to be a problem for most shows to wrap it up neatly and I will dedicate a post to that as well (only think of Gilmore Girls. Twice).
As much as HIMYM entertained and made us laugh, these episodes were true lows in the development of the plot and seasons, leading up to the dreadful finale which satisfied no one. I hope you could bear with me and stay tuned for more TV shows-related content in the new year.
Here you find book reviews, and sometimes also things about films. Enjoy reading.