TV

Supergirl Sticks The Landing At the CW

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Season 2 of Supergirl had a tough task to complete in it’s first episode last night- not only did it return to television, but it also premiered on a new channel, where it filmed in a new city and introduced a beloved character to the DCTV universe. It seems almost impossible, and yet the show pulled it off nearly flawlessly. Who’s surprised? This is Supergirl, after all. And it’s time you gave it a shot.

When it premiered last season, Supergirl looked like pure cheese. Everything from her costume to it’s sunny home on CBS could be, and was, poked at. But one season full of pep talks, martians, and ice cream later and Supergirl has proved itself as a heartfelt little joy ride for comic fans and feminists alike. Last year we watched Kara Danvers optimistically live her double life as media mogul Cat Grant’s assistant by day and Supergirl by… day, learning about her powers and dropping hints about the guy in blue, her cousin Clark Kent. This season, Kara’s got a new job as a reporter, an established support system, and yes, Clark is in town. And I have to say, if the arrival of Superman is the only reason you’re interested in tuning in this time around, you’re in luck. Tyler Hoechlin is a genuinely great Superman, delivering cheesy dialogue like “lickety split” and charming everyone from Cat to Winn, all while proving to Teen Wolf viewers that he can actually smile. He’s so good, it kind of makes you wonder if he and Melissa Benoist actually are aliens, just sent here to perfectly portray the nerdiest and most adorable crime-fighting family duo the CW has ever seen. I’m just saying.

Last night’s episode proved that this show continues to be well-acted and far deeper than it looks on the surface. Sure, they still talk about things like X-Ray vision in the middle of a crowded street, and there’s a musical crossover episode coming up that might be too much for some people to handle. But they also managed to incorporate huge changes to their show without any of the heart suffering for it. If there were any doubts about how well Supergirl would fare now that it’s at the CW, I think they’ve been squashed. This is a show that consistently tells a powerful origin story while balancing a little bit of action with a little bit of charm with a little bit of complete geekiness. If you still need convincing, do yourself a favor and watch the Pilot, The Flash cross-over (it’s just so good) and the Red Kryptonite episode, and you’ll be ready to jump in to season 2. I love watching shows about horrible people doing horrible things, but isn’t it nice to watch a show that just makes you happy? An enjoyable, feel-good show doesn’t come around all the time, but Supergirl is here now. You should give it a chance.

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TV

I Can’t Stop Thinking About the HIMYM Finale

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that How I Met Your Mother ended this week. And you probably also know that while some hardcore Ted/Robin fans really enjoyed it, most people felt entirely unfulfilled after watching it. I’m one of the latter. I started watching How I Met Your Mother in 2010 because nobody would stop talking about it. I knew half of the recurring jokes before I even started watching, and yet they were still funny to me. HIMYM was a good show I often praised for its excellent continuity and perfect blend of touching and humorous moments.

My one major complaint throughout its nine-season run? Why do they keep making Ted go back to Robin?

To me, the Ted/Robin romance was a complete waste of time. We’ve known since the very first episode that Robin was not the mother. We’d spent the final two seasons building up to a Barney/Robin wedding. The writers were conditioning me to hate the relationship, because it seemed so obvious that Ted would never end up with Robin, no matter what, and the story was getting so played out and repetitive. It was starting to become so boringly redundant, because the show was How I Met Your Mother, not How I Kept Obsessing Over Your Aunt Robin Even Though She Rejected Me Like Five Times.

Regardless of the countless times I rolled my eyes about Ted falling back to Robin, everyone grew up since we’d first seen them in 2005. Marshall and Lily showed us marriage doesn’t get any easier, but its worth it when its with someone you love. Robin was still committed to her career, but was letting someone care about her. Barney was finally acting like an adult. The Barney/Robin relationship was proving that these two could make it together, and could put their selfish pasts behind them and start working towards a real, adult love. We were finally going to meet The Mother, the one this whole story had been leading up to, the true owner of the yellow umbrella and Ted’s soul mate. All of Ted’s efforts were finally going to be worth it, and he was going to get the two kids he wanted and finally spend time with someone who cared about him and who fit in with the gang. The point of the show was always, to me, about how Ted finally did meet the mother and all the roadblocks that every twenty- and thirty-something encounters. And we were finally going to see that.

Enter the finale. All of that development and growth that we’d seen over nine seasons disappeared in an instant. Barney and Robin get divorced. Robin completely stops hanging out with the gang. Barney, after begging his friends “can I please be me?,” has a child with a woman who’s name we never even learn. Marshall and Lily… what do we even get for Marshall and Lily? No mention of Italy, Marshall depressed at his new job, mentions of their third kid and a briefly celebrated moment where Marshall finally gets to become a Judge. The writers may have been shooting for “real life,” which I respect. Lily’s promise that “We’ll always be there for the big moments” felt genuine and you can’t expect or want the group to spend the rest of their lives sitting in MacLarens Pub. But, it felt out of character; I started to really hate Robin throughout the course of the episode, and after the Barney/Robin divorce, an entire season focused around their wedding day felt like an enormous waste. The only saving grace was Ted’s moments with The Mother. She fit in perfectly with the gang, even dropping in on Robots vs. Wrestlers (a nice touch), and being the absolute perfect match to all of Ted’s quirks. I was unhappy with the way every other character was being treated (even Ted- there’s no way he would skip out on a huge, creative proposal and wedding), but The Mother and Ted were perfect for each other. This was the ending I wanted.

And we almost got it. A sweet exchange about how The Mother had Ted’s yellow umbrella, and we even found out her name- Tracy McConnell. And that’s where it should have ended. Call me naive, but after nine years of waiting for Ted to meet this mysterious Mother, I’d be fine with that ending. After all that struggle there was someone out there who cared about Ted and we as viewers could see and respect that.

But no. In a matter of seconds, Ted casually tells of Tracy’s death. No funeral, no tears, just Ted left alone with two kids under the age of nine. With some footage shot back 2005, the kids prepare us for the ending that nobody will forget: “You’re thinking of asking Aunt Robin out.” What? This is neither the story I wanted nor the story I was prepared for. The Mother didn’t get what she deserved, we didn’t get we deserved- Ted certainly didn’t get what he deserved. We see Robin (since when is she settled down in NYC?) coming up in her apartment with her dogs that Ted made her get rid of 25 years earlier. We see Ted, gray hair, two kids sitting at home, outside her window with the classic blue french horn. And as a fan who cried over the line, “I would have stolen you a whole orchestra” after Ted and Robin’s breakup in Season 2, this was just too much. Suddenly, The Mother felt like nothing but a plot device. After all this time, Ted could be with Robin, who he’s been infatuated with since he was 27, AND still have the two kids he always wanted, even though Robin couldn’t have children.

I don’t know what makes anyone think Ted and Robin can make it work this one last time. I don’t know why Marshall and Lily were static throughout the entire episode. I don’t know why Barney and Robin lost any and all development and were reduced to their Season 1 identities. And I don’t know why Ted couldn’t get the one, final happy ending he deserved. It was a great run, HIMYM, but I think I’ll stick with Ted meeting The Mother under their shared umbrella. That’s the ending I wanted.

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How I Met Your (Deceased) Mother?

So I’m finally all caught up on HIMYM. And with just three weeks left until its series finale, I think I speak for most fans when I say please just tell us how Ted met The Mother already. That’s not to say that I don’t love this show (I’m still getting over the end of The Office so losing HIMYM this year is going to be rough), but it is to say that I am 100% sick of the Farhampton Inn. The thing about HIMYM is that there was a formula that the audience grew to love; Ted would start out “In the summer/winter/fall of 2005/6/7/etc. and then we’d follow a ridiculous story about the past that was sometimes humorously edited for young ears and sometimes made us question Ted’s relationship with his kids. Regardless, this season took that neat set-up and completely changed it, and though I’m extremely happy Marshall is no longer road-tripping with Sherri Shepherd, I have to be honest that this whole “weekend-in-a-season” concept is getting a little old. Recently, the HIMYM staff has stepped up with clever episodes- as a fan who loved seeing how Ted and The Mother almost met each season I loved the “How Your Mother Met Me” episode. But after this weeks “Vesuvius,” I’m getting skeptical about the cleverness of this show overall.

If you missed it, the episode consisted of Ted telling The Mother a story about Robin & Barney’s wedding, but by the end it was pretty clear that the HIMYM writers were trying to indicate that The Mother was going to die, leaving Ted alone to tell his nine-year tale of exactly how they met. Which is the complete opposite of what HIMYM has been teaching us all along. Ted is a guy who many of us (read: me) can completely relate to. We’ve been following his love life and all the struggles and roadblocks that went along with it for nine seasons. And now, just when we are introduced to the extremely likable Cristin Milioti, and just when Ted is finally getting the happy ending he deserves, it feels like we’re getting the rug pulled out from under us just for the sake of some unneeded drama. If The Mother dies, it doesn’t really add much to the story; we get confirmation on why Ted’s telling the story but other than that we’re not going to see much of Ted’s life as a widower. But just because we as the audience are not going to see it doesn’t diminish the principle of it all. If any twenty or thirty somethings out there watched HIMYM and rooted for Ted in hopes that one day, if they didn’t give up, they’d meet the love of their life too, then this “surprise” ending seems like a dig at them. All we’ve been leading up to is Ted & The Mother and Lily & Marshall on the front porch, and if we end up with Ted next to an empty seat, then HIMYM will have surpassed LOST on my list of most unnecessarily depressing shows. My fingers are crossed that this is just a way to throw the audience off, and I’ll be impatiently waiting until the March 31st finale to find out.

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