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.

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