Category Archives: Television Series

How I Met Your Mother: Finale Reaction, Series Summary, and Top 10 Episodes

Obviously, massive spoilers!

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It feels as if it was only yesterday that we said goodbye to Michael Scott and the Dunder Mifflin crew one last time. Now, roughly a year later, and we’re again forced to part ways with another comedy series benchmark, solidified sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother.” We walked through the doors of MacLaren’s Pub nine seasons ago and returned every Monday to catch up with Ted, Marshall, Lily, Robin, and Barney over a few drinks. Through the laughs and tears, hard work and laziness, love and heartbreak, we were apart of these characters lives and grew alongside them for the better part of nearly a decade. Relationship after relationship, break up after break up, we stood witness to the intertwining tales of this group as each searched for their counterpart and identity. Of course though, our main focus was Ted, a hopeless romantic searching for his true love. He and his story is what hooked us and kept us coming back every week.

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Look, I know “How I Met Your Mother” isn’t the coolest show on television, far from it. Nevertheless, I felt that it always brought out the best in me, you know? Yes, it’s corny, fantastical, and supremely annoying at the best of times. Yet, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a show with as strong a moral compass and genuinely kind-hearted characters as “How I Met Your Mother,” but I digress. So we waited, nine long years for Ted to finally unveil exactly how he met the mother of his children, and a little over a week ago, we got our answer. The way things went down during that last hour of “How I Met Your Mother” set social networks ablaze and it seemed as if everyone who had endured the long journey to that moment shouted their opinions from skyscraper rooftops. Personally, I applaud the way this iconic show wrapped up. It could’ve concluded a lot sooner albeit, but nothing about the way things played out sat unwell with me.

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During the last couple of seasons, when things began to wind to a close and the identity of Ted’s mysterious wife was mercifully divulged, I was a tad relieved, but also subconsciously enraged. See, I’m one of the fans that were adamant throughout the series that Ted was destined to end up with Robin, despite all the hints and facts stating otherwise. That being said, as much as the show’s creators and writers pushed Robin away from our protagonist, they simultaneously lead us on, leaving us begging for Robin and Ted’s union, weird right? Well, this entire conundrum was solved during that last episode and I, as you can imagine, was relieved, vindicated, overjoyed!

Obviously, I’m well aware that a majority of you disagree. However, simply put, I’m much more comfortable thinking I spent nine years of my life watching a show revolve around two characters (Ted and Robin) falling for one another than the alternative. Think about it, why take nine seasons to build up Ted finally meeting his soul mate, just to have him end up alone. It’s much better knowing that this aspect of the show was merely a gambit and the real story was going on the entire time the show was in production.

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Now, I’m a big Ted backer, without a doubt, and to witness him crumble under her death was mortifying…almost too much to endure. Having for so long defended and scoured the earth for this fantasy, just to have it ripped away sent in motion a tsunami of sadness that washed over and pulled me under. Yet, to see him then courageously soldier on with a continuing respect and thirst for meaning and love after her passing was invigorating, inspiring! And although the show’s finale resonated with the harsh, unflinching truth regarding life, love, and loss, it illuminated the meaning in our existence.

Why should we weep for Barney? Has it not been clear for nine seasons that he is a notorious womanizer that can’t be tied down? He is capable of love and loyalty, which he will give limitlessly to his daughter, he simply prefers emotional and sexual freedom to the restraints of a relationship. Marshall and Lily have fulfilled every dream they ever conceived, together and individually. Robin became a world-renowned news reporter while travelling the world and experienced everything life had to offer, which is all she had ever hoped for. And as for Ted, well, it might have taken him a little longer to get there, but he achieved everything he set out to in life. He experienced the invisible force that is love and birthed two children. “How I Met Your Mother” might have ended a little too melancholic for some, but it hid the spark…the inevitable truth of existence that no matter how long and hard the trek, what is meant to be will find a way to flourish.

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Without further delay, let’s get into my personal top 10 episodes of “How I Met Your Mother!” But before that, one thing that will become abundantly clear during this list is that I am a huge sap. Yes, I’m in love with the idea of love. Also, I’m assuming that if you’re reading this, you have seen the entire show, so I didn’t write an entire summary for each entry…sorry.

10: “Last Forever” Season 9, Episode 23/24

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9: “Right Place, Right Time” Season 4, Episode 22

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8: “The Limo” Season 1, Episode 11

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7: “Showdown” Season 2, Episode 20

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6: “Slap Bet” Season 2, Episode 9

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5: “Nothing Good Happens After 2 AM” Season 1, Episode 18

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4: “No Tomorrow” Season 3, Episode 12

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3: “No Pressure” Season 7, Episode 17

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2: “Blitzgiving” Season 6, Episode 10

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1: “The Time Travelers” Season 8, Episode 20

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I’m Alan Partridge (1997)

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In anticipation of Alpha Papa, I’ve decided to review and, in a sense, revive this hilarious, yet relatively unknown television show originating in 1997 entitled I’m Alan Partridge. Outlandishly funny, subtly sensitive, and featuring a career defining role for Steve Coogan. I’m Alan Partridge might cater to a certain comedic taste. But the intelligent humour occasionally swaps its satire for idiotic laughs that are sure to please any viewer. The first season original aired on BBC in the year 1997. It then took another five years for the second season to be released, also airing on BBC. Each season consists of six episodes with each running just short of thirty minutes. The show depicts the life of Alan Partridge in his late thirties. Partridge, played by Steve Coogan, is recently divorced and hosts a radio show in the early hours of the morning. Deceptively controversial, intentionally sporadic, and bursting with likeable characters. I’m Alan Partridge is sure to make you laugh out loud and cause your body ache.

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Season 1: In the first season, Alan, recently divorced from his wife Carol, has found residence in the Linton Travel Tavern. He has distanced himself from his kids and currently works for a broadcasting company. Alan’s radio show is entitled “Up with the Partridge.” Aside from his radio show, Alan allows appears in low-profile and weakly funded appearances for various corporations and businesses.

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Season 2: Five years after the first season, Alan has left the tavern and moved into his own house. He continues to host his radio show but it has been moved to the third best time slot available. Alan has released an autobiographical book titled “Bouncing Back.” He lives in a caravan outside of his dream home that is unfinished.

Since its inception, I’m Alan Partridge has received critical acclaim, for example, garnering several BAFTA nominations. However, the surprising number of, not just viewers, but followers, is staggering. Coogan has been able to keep Alan Partridge going for an extended amount of time and make it as fresh as ever. With a strong cult following and a full length feature set for release in 2013, Alan Partridge shows no signs of dying anytime soon. I’ll post the teaser trailer for Alpha Papa at the end of the review.

It is extremely difficult to review a show with such a limited number of chapters, but I digress. I guess this review will have to be short and sweet. Here is a bit of history regarding Alan Partridge. Steve Coogan has been the brains and talent for Alan Partridge for over 20 years. Originating from a radio show called, On the Hour, Coogan has been portraying Partridge since 1991. Appearing in various radio shows, television series, and numerous TV and Radio specials, Coogan has certainly made sure Mr. Partridge has been active.

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I’m Alan Partridge is a clever, witty, hilarious show full of potent, satirical jabs at every facet of our society’s growing fascination with celebrity.

I’m Alan Partridge: 9 out of 10.

Here is the trailer for Alpha Papa.

Departures (2008-2010)

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A travel show that is more than a tour guide. Departures combines the strange, endless features of the Earth and the disheartening reality of our limitations and freedom for an exhilarating hour of TV. This show is as real as it gets. Although originating from Canada and featuring a trio of Canadians, Justin, Scott, and Andre, Departures is extremely diverse. The breathtaking visuals, arduous endeavours, and social and political interactions from across the world will leave you angrily envious. Shaping the confidence and stamina of the group while inserting the travel bug deep in the viewers loins. The obscure and sometimes dangerous destinations prove to be the most rewarding. With Departures you’ll find that there is something for everyone. Touching down on every continent, odds are you’ll be exposed to something new and discover your next destination.

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Season 1: Canada: East and West, Jordan, India, Ascension Islands, Japan, Cook Island, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, and Northern Canada.

Season 2: Morocco, Libya, Brazil, Cuba, Mongolia, Iceland, Zambia, Madagascar, Chile, Antarctica.

Season 3: Russia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Greenland, North Korea, Indonesia, Australia.

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From mountain climbing, scuba diving, and bungee jumping, the crew of Departures don’t know the meaning of intimidation. Never backing down from a challenge, Justin, Scott, and Andre regardless of illness, climate, or safety give it their all to bring a unique perspective of our planet. Whether it may be falling from great heights or entering an active volcano that is spewing lava, smoke, and poisoning the air, Departures is truly something else. The devotion, quality, and dedication of the show is never in question when the crew literally puts their lives in danger to concur their fears and accomplish their dreams. On top of the often ludicrous journeys and patience to acquire the picturesque grace of our cosmic home, the cast deal with their own turbulence outside of the airplanes. Gaining and losing relationships, altering careers, and times of severe homesickness, the Departures crew put it all on the line. Watching Departures you’ll get the strong urge to give yourself more of an identity. Become one with what you want and strive towards it. Departures is the spawn of realized dreams and we should all be more aware of what that feels like. The musical score sets the mood and adds a sense of eternity to a finite space.  Enlightening, funny, and richly atmospheric. Departures will cause you to reassess your life.

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Departures: 10 out of 10.

Shameless (2011-)

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Surprisingly still running when series have been cancelled for a lot less, Shameless comes out swinging in its third season. The most derogatory, unpredictable, and raunchy show currently running, Shameless is not for those who are weak or easily take offence. With Shameless, nothing is safe. Every possible topic, whether you think it’s untouchable or not is dissected and displayed with a foul twist. And Although at times Shameless is down right filthy, the concern, passion, and devotion at the core of the series is endearing. Leading Shameless’s cast is William H Macy, Emmy Rossum, and Joan Cusack along with a concrete supporting staff. Full of sex, addiction, immaturity, and moral disregard, Shameless will unhygienically take you places your mind would never go on its most darkest day. I’ll issue a warning as Shameless will pump scum and soot into your veins. However, the drama and unconditional love and support will shoot your heart full of warmth.

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Fiona is a young, uneducated yet intelligent provider and guardian of her 5 siblings, Lip, Ian, Debby, Carl, and Liam. She can always count on her family and occasionally gets help from her friends Veronica, Kevin, and her love interest Steve. Lip and Ian are wrapping up high school, Debby and Carl are still in grade school, and Liam is an infant. Their mother Monica has run off and abandoned them while their father Frank is a drug addict, an alcoholic, and has essentially disowned his kids. Living in a small house in a poor neighbourhood in Chicago. The Gallagher clan steal, con, and take odd jobs just to get by. Each member weaves in and out of their own peculiar and shady story lines each episode. Encountering numerous shifty characters much like themselves. Dealing with increasingly polluted circumstances, financial struggles, personal dilemmas, and growing up, the Gallagher’s always remain loyal to one another.

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Showing the abhorrently dark side of life on a consistent basis. Shameless is a contaminating look at the harsh world beyond the Gallagher’s grimy pane. Borrowing from every aspect of unkempt, unsightly situations and subjects. Shameless pokes fun at life and leaves nothing pure. The strength, loyalty, and love between the Gallagher’s and their friends is unheard of. Being constantly knocked down and then driven into the dirt, they remain banded and help one another not only to get back up, but hit back harder. Watching Shameless you become one with the Gallagher’s, a part of their family. Whatever they achieve, whenever they suffer, you sympathize an unhealthy amount for a fictional TV family. Shameless proves that nothing runs deeper than blood and nothing comes between family.

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Shameless: 10 out of 10.

Sherlock (2010-)

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With the third season set to begin filming on March 18th, 2013 and word breaking recently of the fourth season signed and ready for 2014. Sherlock is safe, its future secured while we are left waiting impatiently for its long anticipated return. There has been no new episodes aired in over a year and none scheduled for release until late 2013 or early 2014, now would be the ideal time to catch up on what you’ve been missing. Leaving all embellishment, gadgetry, and exaggeration behind, this adaptation of Sherlock Holmes isn’t your grandfathers Conan Doyle. Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as John Watson. The clever scripts merged with Doyle’s ingenious tales which are transposed into modern format have the resourceful duo to undertake the fragile endeavour that is bringing classic literature to the modern masses.

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Season 1:

Episode 1: A Study in Pink. The police hire the help of Mr. Holmes when they fail to find the culprit who forces his victims to commit suicide by taking a poisonous pill.

Episode 2: The Blind Banker. Holmes and Watson are offered a job investigating a break-in at a Bank in the city.

Episode 3: The Great Game. Holmes is offered employment by Mycroft researching the suspicious death of a government employee.

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Season 2:

Episode 1. A Scandal in Belgravia. Mycroft hires John Watson and Sherlock Holmes to recover embarrassing photos of a minor royal which are held on the camera phone of Irene Adler.

Episode 2: The Hounds of Baskerville. Sherlock and Watson are reached by Henry Knight who wants the dynamic duo to investigate the death of his father by a monstrous hound.

Episode 3: The Reichenbach Fall. When Holmes and Watson become celebrities for their work on high profile cases, Moriarty conducts several heists and allows himself to be captured. Upon encountering Holmes, Moriarty reminds Holmes of his intentions and provides one final problem for Watson and Holmes to solve.

Season 3:

To be announced.

Packing staggering amounts of witty banter, emotion, clever one liners, and intelligent plots with heavy twists and huge payoffs into every episode. Sherlock’s hour and a half runtime is more entertaining than most television series in their entirety. Having an eccentric, cultivating cast to absorb the priceless material on which the show is based. Cumberbatch, Freeman, and company perform desirably injected with the essence of Conan Doyle’s incalculable masterpieces. Sherlock is by far one of the most complete and entertaining shows presently running. The humour levels might be an unorthodox addition but the effectiveness of it is pure. In order to create the complete experience, every aspect of reality must be authentic. There is very little rise and fall between episodes, rather, the show gently pulsates. The best episode of the show to date is “A Scandal in Belgravia.” It may not be the most elaborate episode, but the performances, interactions, and overall cohesiveness is far beyond that of any of the other episodes. Its two leads performing their characters inconceivably wicked with the writing and direction to set them up, Sherlock is perfection.

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Sherlock: 10 out of 10.