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Time to Meet Your Mother

4 Oct

The landscape between the early 20s and whenever it is “real adulthood” is supposed to begin nowaday is often littered with frustration and disappointment. Young urbanites move into their first post-college apartments full of aspiration and idealism, but many slowly find themselves making compromises and concessions that they never expected.

Crazy Eyes

"Swarley" also called attention to Crazy Eyes, a well-documented condition of the pupi.

For four years, How I Met Your Mother‘s commitment to faithfully exploring that messy emotional landscape helped minimize the impact of the “reality erosion” that has plagued so many other great comedies.  At its heart, this has–quite ironically–been a show about 20-somethings learning the difficult lesson that life isn’t like the movies and TV shows they grew up on.  This emotional honesty is what kept an episode like season two’s “Swarley,” in which a character stalks their ex’s new flame and hides out to spy on their date, from being dismissibly cartoonish. In fact, I would consider it a classic half-hour of television. Continue reading

TSOL: Backing out of LOST, one episode at a time

21 Sep

TSOL

TSOL

David Gaynes is back, and making up for lost time with a combined reaction to “The Candidate” and “The Last Recruit,” which fans may remember as two hours of Machiavellian power plays culminating in the death of Sayid, Jin and Sun.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten word from a few readers that they are really enjoying David’s columns. He really appreciates the feedback. David and I are now actually a couple episodes ahead of the columns in terms of viewing, which should make it easier for the columns to come out somewhat consistently as he continues working on his next feature.

Hit the jump to learn a bit more about his very personal Island experience.

Continue reading

Suiting Up to Tweet Your Mother

20 Sep
A Misleading Promo Shot for HIMYM

Contrary to what this picture would lead you to believe, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER is not about a crack squad of detectives who solve crimes under the leadership of a possibly sinister, supernaturally aided leader.

Just wanted to give you all a heads up: How I Met Your Mother comes back tonight.  I’ll be suiting up and enjoying the show with a bro or two, and for those of you who can’t make it, I’ll be live-Tweeting the season premiere.  Just follow me on Twitter and it will almost be like being in the room with us.  (Without the scotch-and-sodas.)

As an added bonus, anyone who tweets a photo of themselves with a yellow umbrella wins my admiration.

It’s going to be legen–meh.  You know the rest.

Barney's HOT/CRAZY scale

Barney's HOT/CRAZY scale, featuring the Mendoza Diagonal.

And Hell Freezes Over…

8 Sep
Glenn Beck

I swear I didn't hunt for this, and that it was not the lest-flattering picture at the top of the Google image search.

It seems Glenn Beck–a Fox News personality whose style I feel perpetuates and exacerbates the trends in American culture that are least-conducive to responsible citizenship–has made a point I actually agree with.  I’m not going to link to it, because I don’t want to use the awesome influence of my readership to boost his hit count (I don’t want to brag, so I won’t get into specifics, but my readership for new articles regularly exceeds the single-digits.), but the quote comes from a brief blog post Beck wrote in response to the upcoming Burn a Koran Day: Continue reading

People Who Kind of Look Like Minor Characters from LOST/An Ode to Rose and Bernard

29 Aug
Sam Anderson, who plays Bernard

I swear that this post is totally about showing you a photo of a guy who kind of looks like a younger version of Bernard, but just let me ramble at you for four paragraphs first, okay?

Rose and Bernard’s story will likely be remembered as Lost‘s most consistently compelling and surprising plot thread: L. Scott Caldwell’s theater commitments meant that she wasn’t available often enough for the characters to become the subject of wheel-spinning, and so no scene with Rose or Bernard was ever wasted. The show’s main characters may have consistently missed the point of their own stories, but Rose and Bernard could always be counted on to put a button on who the people around them were and bring the show’s underlying themes to the surface.

Bernard’s introduction was also one of the show’s biggest surprises. Not only did the moment redeem Rose’s unflappable confidence, it was also Lost‘s clearest statement about love and prejudice: Because Rose had never mentioned that she was in an inter-racial marriage, most of the audience members had just assumed that her husband was black. Hurley spoke for the audience, as he so often did, when he said, “Rose’s husband is white? Didn’t see that coming.”

When we finally saw Rose and Bernard reunite, their easy comfort with one another seemed like the type of mature love that is earned through decades of living, fighting and laughing together. I for one expected their inevitable flashback episode to explore what it had to have been like for them to meet and fall in love decades ago: Did they meet as young kids during the Civil Rights era? Maybe we were going to be in for an inverted version of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Was it possible that their relationship was going to serve as some kind of analysis of 1980s American business?

As we all know now, their flashback didn’t go further back in time than a year or so. It was silly to think that they would have been able to find two actors to believably represent both of the late-middle-aged characters twenty years earlier. But part of me thinks that if they really tried, they could have found someone to play Young Bernard. I know that I did on the subway a couple months ago, and you can see a picture of him after the jump. Continue reading

For No Good Reason: The Upper West Sayid

27 Aug
Upper West Sayid

Upper West Sayid

Thanks to Sara Cohen.

You’re Welcome, World: Werner Herzog Talks About Pro Wrestling

26 Aug

It’s easy to ramble on for a couple hundred pages (or blog posts) about how amazing German filmmaker Werner Herzog is, and that’s before you even get to discussing any of his finished films.  The man has forced actors to work at gunpoint, ate a shoe Charlie Chaplin-style when he lost a bet, was shot while giving an interview*, and even hypnotized Joaquin Phoenix into surviving a car crash.

*By the way, remember a second ago when I said he was shot while giving an interview?  Well–and this part is important, so pay attention–he didn’t stop giving the interview.  Not while being shot at.  Not after having been shot.  Not while having a doctor remove the bullet from his body and patch up the wound.  Herzog promised the reporter an interview and that was all there was to it.

“Okay, Rick,” I can hear you thinking.  “We already know that Herzog is secretly an emissary of the Time Lords, his quirky ways the natural result of understanding and processing the world on a level not yet matched by any human thought.  That’s old hat.  But what does he think of professional wrestling?”

And I am oh so glad you asked, because, as part of an interview promoting a film that has absolutely nothing to do with professional wrestling, Herzog recently took a few moments to discuss his opinions of professional wrestling.  Check out the video after the jump. Continue reading

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