“The Locket” – How I Met Your Mother

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 1.27.43 PMWe were surprised by this first episode in the new season of How I Met Your Mother. We’ve become accustomed over the last few seasons of the CBS hit to a series of unfunny episodes, with little clever going on (and we did get a portion of that this week, with Marshall’s strand). Yet this felt different and fresh. It felt like a new incarnation of the show. One we can get behind.

We’ve learned in recent weeks that this season will have a whole new approach. It will take place in its entirety over Robin and Barney’s wedding weekend. Each of the friends will meet the Mother and fall for her before Ted does. Some reviewers are detractors of this formula. We’re not. We think it’s perfect for what needs to be done. This will give the entire arc space. This time, Ted’s romance is actually important. To allow it to unfold over an episode or two would be cheating those long-term viewers who have doggedly hung on for this exact relationship. We need to know everything about how they meet. We need to believe in them. And to present that in classic sitcom fashion would either have taken too long or would never have done it justice.

There were classic How I Met Your Mother moments peppered throughout – a last-minute freak-out from Robin and Barney as they realize they may be related, that Marshall arc, Ted’s road-trip binder and Continue reading

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“Can’t Fight This Feeling” – Grey’s Anatomy

A strange offering from Grey’s, this. Enjoyable, certainly. Funny in places, sure. Drama filled? You betcha! But it was also a little disappointing. This episode was being promoted as “a mother’s worst nightmare”, with a healthy dose of lives on line, near misses, and parental solidarity. And, to a certain extent, we got that. But, confusingly, it felt like that wasn’t even the focus of the episode. It felt pushed aside in favor of some extra Kepner and Avery time. And it was missing that emotional core (the one that leaves you sobbing by the episode’s final scene) that makes Grey’s so successful.

From a more pragmatic point of view, we have to wonder about the wisdom of promoting this arc, and highlighting it as a real life story. We imagine the doctors watching the show are shuddering at the thought of the influx of mothers who will now start arriving in ERs with a list of internet-sourced maladies that their children are afflicted with, and refuse to leave because “that mother on Grey’s Anatomy was right, so I must be right, too”.

We may sound overly critical here, but the episode wasn’t a complete wash. Sarah Chalke (Scrubs) as the mother with a ‘feeling’, Casey, was fantastic. Her range here made us realize how criminally underused she was on shows like Scrubs and How I Met Your Mother. This left us hoping that casting directors everywhere sit up and take notice. We’d love to see more of her on our screens.

Aside from her storyline Continue reading