Bon Voyage, New Girl, and May The Mother Be With You

I know, I know, I’m late to the party.  Wrote this a while ago and never published it… and now I need to post something to clean off the dust, so here goes.  (For the record, the title is a reference to the cruise in the New Girl finale, not it being over… new season starts September 16.)

New Girl

I started New Girl late, when I already had one and a half seasons to binge watch: I knew pretty early on it belonged in the “shows I stick with but don’t exactly love” category, but season 3 was when I started seriously considering giving up.

I didn’t, and then the finale served to remind me of one of my biggest issues with it  – it feels like they’re working with more characters than they know how to write for.

Specifically, Winston and Coach. I’m not sure what I missed that made everyone want Coach back and then want him to stay, but I didn’t share it and I still don’t.  He’s great and all, there’s no character I don’t like (except for when they’re taking their turn to be horrible – the Schmidt/CeCe/Rebecca storyline, anyone?) but the extra character feels crowded.

As amusing(?) as Coach’s terror on the cruise was, there was a point where I had to remember it was him and not Winston, the one usually more likely to freak out or overreact.  Not to mention that it added nothing to the story, meaning that time spent on him could have been used somewhere else without losing too much: shorter pieces of the same thing could have been done with Winston and it would have worked the same way.

Heading into the next season – yes, I’ll no doubt be sticking around – I can only hope the breath of salt air will have helped them come to their senses and the writing improves again.  Preferably without another season of back and forthing on Nick and Jess, a couple I didn’t care for that much in the first place and then was terrible when it did happen.

Speaking of odd couples…

How I Met Your Mother

I’ll be honest.  Everything I read about the finale had me going into it expecting to hate it – but trying to keep an open mind, as I don’t always necessarily agree with “everything.” And this is one of those times I don’t completely agree.

Would it have been nice if it had ended with a sappy Ted/Mother scene? (Yes, I heard her name, but after nine seasons… it’s Mother.)

Definitely.

Did I hate what they did do?

Not entirely.

As much as I agree that it was rushed – “hey, we got divorced” “I have a baby” (what happened with the mother, after all that? “Your mother got sick” “She’s been gone six years”) – and I too was sick of the whole Ted/Robin on/off/on/off/on/off situation, it also worked.

Yes, a final season that actually showed those stories would have been nice.  But it also would have had to include the Mother’s story, which could have just ended up depressing and changing the tone of the show.  I read someone saying there could have been a scene at the Mother’s tombstone, and I agree with that being better than a throwaway comment that could have pretty easily been missed.

I do understand the ending they did do, though.  The story came full circle, back to Robin and Ted, we got to see the blue horn again and Ted got to be happy with someone.  (Robin’s hair.  Why did Ted look so much older?).  Showing the kids being supportive of his happiness was also a nice way of showing he was a good dad, after so much time spent on him being a good friend.

Is it a series I would recommend watching? Sure, if you’re the type who doesn’t mind that it takes nine seasons to finally answer the titular question.  I’m sure there’s a list out there somewhere of the important episodes you can watch to get a condensed version of the story; that might be an even better idea.  Think of it as the TV version of TL;DR.

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

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Happy New Year’s Eve!

And to finish the year out, here’s one book, one film and one TV show I didn’t review earlier in the year.  Read the rest of this entry

Stories of highways, cars and cops by MH Mead

Two for the price of one! Riding Fourth is actually the (very) short prequel to Taking the Highway, so it made sense to do them together.

Two disclaimers: I don’t read short stories often, so apologies if anything I don’t like shows my ignorance.  I also don’t read much sci-fi, so ditto. Read the rest of this entry

Doctor Who: The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage by Derek Landy

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As you may have heard, 2013 is the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.

As part of the celebrations, a series of ebooks is being published: “11 Doctors, 11 Months, 11 Stories.”  Which means October was 10th Doctor (David Tennant) Month! I’ve never been entirely sure if 10 or 11 (Matt Smith) is my favourite, but 10 is the one that drew my attention to these books, and is the one I bought, so… Read the rest of this entry

The Stephanie Plum Books HISHE

I hope imagesthe nice people at How It Should Have Ended don’t mind my borrowing their title format for a second.  That site, for those who don’t know, is exactly what it sounds like: videos of their take on how various films should have ended.  (Yes, they’re videos and films and this is a blog and books, but shush.)

For this post, rather than a review of #18 that would only deteriorate into the same things I’ve said in other recent reviews, I thought I’d do something different; go back to #15 and offer an alternate ending that also serves a series ending for those fellow sufferers who can’t quit.  I’m even offering a Morelli ending or a Ranger ending! Read the rest of this entry

Perfect by Rachel Joyce

An imperfect Perfect

An imperfect Perfect

I’ll be honest.  I went into it expecting it to be one of those books that everyone makes a huge fuss out of and then I don’t get – or at least don’t enjoy as much.

It wasn’t.  And I’m not just saying that.

“Perfect” refers to a decision to change time.  “Perfect” refers to Byron’s life before his friend saw fit to casually tell him about said decision.  “Perfect” refers to how even perfect things are fragile and rarely as good as they seem.  There are certain things you shouldn’t mess around with; time apparently is one of them.  Read the rest of this entry

Edward Adrift by Craig Lancaster

He's on the move

He’s on the move

I finally got around to reading it! And it didn’t disappoint!

If you read 600 Hours of Edward and perhaps didn’t love it, were wary of this being more of the same, stop now.  It’s the same enough to be recognizable as the next chapter in Edward’s story, but different enough to stay interesting.

And Edward himself has changed since we last saw him: not quite so rigid in his routine, and a lot of things have changed for him in the past year, none of them particularly good.  By anyone’s standards, not just his.

Needless to say, he doesn’t start out in a very good place. Read the rest of this entry

Running Out of Time by Cheryl Norman

Falling in love like it's 1963.

Stacy has a problem.  She fell asleep on a plane in 2013 and woke up in 1963.

So naturally, her first priority is to figure out how to get home, right?

Well… it was.  Then she met Sergeant Brad.

Now she has a new problem.  Does she love him more than she hates 1963?

Read the rest of this entry

600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster

imagesA departure from my usual fare of romance and YA, I decided to take a gamble on something a little different, and it paid off.  I thought this was a great book – perhaps not enough action for those who like action-packed books, perhaps a little repetitive if you hate repetition, but it works.

Meet Edward.  In his own words, “age 39″ and “I keep track of the weather and I like to watch Dragnet.” He suffers from Asperger’s and OCD, which manages to be a focal point without being scientific, pathetic or ‘come on, feel sorry for him, don’t you feel sorry for him?’ Read the rest of this entry

Less than Perfect

imagesI started watching for a post-Chuck Zachary Levi fix.  I ended up falling in love with Sara Rue, Eric Roberts and Will Sasso, and gaining a newfound appreciation for Patrick Warburton.

A sitcom which lasted for just 4 seasons – or, more precisely, 3 and a few extra episodes – with all the usual suspects; not too much character development, someone to root for, people to love to hate, a comic relief and those extra side characters you either love or hate.

The show is set in the offices of a television news network, with a focus on Claude Casey, a corporate floater who gets ‘promoted’ from 4th floor supplies up to the magical 22nd floor to be the assistant to the anchor himself.  Needless to say, the people who thought they were getting that job aren’t too impressed… Read the rest of this entry

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