Why I’m Okay with the HIMYM Finale

HIMYM, by the way, is short for How I Met Your Mother, a show I started watching in its 3rd season (I went back and watched the first two seasons later, thanks to Netflix). And last night was the last episode of the series.

Many people have many opinions about the last episode, many of them negative.
But here’s my Horton-hears-a-Who moment of why I loved the last episode. If you’re a fan of the show, fair warning: spoilers ahead.
If you’ve never seen the show, here’s the elevator pitch: in the year 2030, a dad is telling his adolescent children how he met their mother. Except we don’t really meet the mother until Season 9, so it’s really a winding yarn about how Ted spent the better part of his 30s looking for The One. Moving on.
A few weeks prior to the finale, in the middle of a conversation with Ted, the protagonist, and The Mother (it was a flash-forward), there was an insinuation that perhaps the mother was dead by 2030. I definitely bought into that theory, and didn’t mind it so much because life is messy and conflict abounds and all that writer crap that Stueve is always telling me.
And last night, we learned that’s exactly what happened. Ted meets the mother in 2014. They have two kids, but he doesn’t marry her until 2021 (not judging at all here, just giving time references). She dies in 2024. In the last ten minutes of the finale, Ted tells his kids how much he loved their mother and how lucky he was to have the moments he had with her.
And then the kids call him out on the 9-season story: it’s not about The Mother, it’s about “Aunt” Robin. 
Robin, the girl that Ted says “I love you” to on their first date, steals her a blue french horn, eventually dates her but it ends in disaster. 
The kids encourage Ted to call Robin and ask her out on a date. Mom’s been gone for six years, they say. It’s clear you love Robin, they say.
And the Internet freaks out, while for me, hope springs eternal.
Here’s why.
My uncle, who I love so dearly, fell in love with a woman while in college. He asked her to marry him, then he left for his LDS mission. While he was gone, she married someone else (not a decision she made lightly, by the way, so don’t be upset with her). He came home from his mission, married someone else, had a family.
And his wife passed away. And the woman he proposed to in college, her husband passed away. And they reconnected, and married, and raised their families together, and lived some happy years together. So I’ve seen in my own family, the “girl that got away” be re-gotten. 
Then I think of me. And my favorite Jane Austen book Persuasion. And my uncle. And last night’s HIMYM. And a small flame of hope appears: maybe I’m someone’s Second Act. And I don’t say that for pity–I say that because it just might be true. That perhaps one day, **someone I laughed with or studied with or fought with might show up outside my window holding a blue french horn, and all the pieces of my life will suddenly lock into place while the universe screams at me: THIS. This is what I had waiting for you. Isn’t it great?
So, Internet haters, I wasn’t disappointed with the HIMYM finale. I quite loved it.
But I also loved the last episode of Lost, and I was in the minority then as well, so maybe I just don’t know good TV after all.
**I am in no way wishing ill will on any spouses of ex-boyfriends. Please understand that.**

The Mindy Project.

I love good writing on television. It’s why I loved 30 Rock, adore Parks and Rec, and have an eternal blind spot for anything Aaron Sorkin writes.

And now I can add The Mindy Project to that list. My favorite recent quote?

A winky face? That’s like emoji porn!”

It’s funny because it’s true, in the brave new world of dating-with-a-million-different-communication-tools.

It’s the highlight of my Tuesdays, and since today is Tuesday, it’s what I’m grateful for tonight.

BYU TV

When BYU declared football independence and joined the West Coast Conference a few years ago, part of the reasoning was what the university had planned for broadcasting rights.

It’s pretty amazing.

Sure, I enjoy shows like “The Song That Changed My Life” and “Audio-Files” (seriously good music shows with a variety of artists, most of whom are not LDS), and my sisters keep telling me I need to watch “Studio C” (their version of SNL) but I’m in it mostly for the sports.

Take this weekend–tonight I watched women’s soccer followed by men’s basketball, and tomorrow I’ll be able to watch football and if I wasn’t going out with friends tomorrow, I’d pick up another basketball game.

The commentators are surprisingly professional and good–in other words, this isn’t some cable access kind of programming. It’s pretty legit.

So tonight I’m grateful for BYU TV, because for someone who doesn’t have cable but does have a Roku, it pretty much rocks.

Feminist Kryptonite: Episode 2, Part 2

Meet Ben. He’s haaaawwwwt. And crazy wealthy. And his sister swears he has every quality a woman would want in a husband.

I’m going to pause here to evaluate the matchmakers. Amber actually knows what she’s doing. The women she chooses are both smart and beautiful (except for the old girlfriend–bad move, Amber. Bad move). Matt is drawn to charm and sweet. Not always smart, but sweet. Tracy is really good about picking strong-willed women and then pretending she’s flabbergasted when her women get sent home. Okay, back to the reaping.

One of Tracy’s women strips off her dress to reveal the tiniest little black dress I’ve ever seen in my life. Because she’s there so he can get to know her innermost soul. Or thighs. Tonight the reaping isn’t as exciting as last week due to condensed time. The editing is awful.

I’m going to pause here to address that each of these women reinforces the myth sold to us from the time of Shakespeare and Austen, which is this: “I know he’s the one!” They say it. Over and over. It could be this show’s drinking game–take a shot every time one of the women says “I just know he’s the one” or some iteration of it, and you’d be three sheets to the wind by 8:20.

Ben makes the equally dangerous assumption that “one of these girls could be my wife!”

I’m going to pause here to rant about Tracy. One of her women is a virgin. And she assumes–condescendingly so–that said woman is a virgin because she is afraid of getting hurt. Right, Tracy, because there isn’t a religion in this country that preaches abstinence before marriage and fidelity after. Not a single one. I’m also insulted when Tracy equates sex with love, suggesting that said woman needs to open up “Not ‘down here,’ but ‘up here,'” as she touches her heart. Gag.

Ben’s date is making the girls run a Warrior Dash-type race. So they get all sweaty and dirty before he takes them to the middle of nowhere to “get to know them better.”

Ben asks the best question ever of one of the women: “So why are you still single?”

“I don’t know Ben, because I grew up in a time before TV-mediated relationships were so vogue? Why are YOU still single?”

Ben asks the same question of another woman later that night. And rather than put him in his place, this woman gets some action. Woot woot! Don’t forget ladies, next time a man asks you an insulting question, bat yer eyelashes, give him an “aw shucks” pouty look, and turn that pout into a grand make out session. At least you got kissed.

Oh, P.S. Ben appears to be a little bit loose with the lips. Playas represent!

I’m going to pause here to say that for the most part, I like the advice the matchmakers give the women, post-date. It’s not all that bad. 

Finally, we get to the point where Ben has to send two girls home. Option 1: the old girlfriend. Option 2: started crying as soon as she was placed in the bottom 3. (Sweet Bill Rancic gives the cry-er an honest-to-goodness cloth hanky.) Option 3: The virgin. Go figure.

Ben saves the virgin right away. It takes him a little longer to dispose of the cry-er, which screams to me that he and the old girlfriend are nearly co-dependent. So having her around should make for some gooooood television.

‘Til next week…

Feminist Kryptonite: Episode #2 Part 1

Welcome back to the 2nd episode of “Ready for Love!” Last week, we met Tim, the lead singer of The Plain White Ts. He got 2 full hours just to himself. This week, beefcakey Ben (what hospital CEO has washboard abs, I ask you?) and exotic Ernesto have to share 2 hours.

I guess being in a band whose label is marketed by Universal Music Group (as in NBC/Universal) gets you a show all to your lonesome.

First up: Ernesto. He is delightfully humble and adorable, but not traditionally hot.

His girls: They each say a version of this–“I left my life behind to come meet Ernesto.” Modern-day Ariels, these girls are. One matchmaker found 2 girls who competed against each other in the Miss Universe Pageant. Of course, they both make the cut.

During Ernesto’s “reaping,” the background music is Maroon 5’s Daylight. A song about a relationship ending. Like these girls need any karmic help on this program…

One of the matchmakers used the phrase “To work on your brand…” in an attempt to get the women to “be real” with Ernesto. I wonder if any of these women are familiar with irony. If not, I can lend out 54 students who could teach them.

Ernesto’s date is building a house for Habitat for Humanity. Nice move, Ernesto. I might actually kind of like you. Unfortunately, the matchmakers (one of whom tells women they aren’t married because they are bitchy and shallow) have chosen some of the bitchiest and shallowest women I’ve ever seen. After the house-building, the matchmakers instruct him to spend more time with three girls, two of whom are quite fun-loving and edited as nice (and blonde, of course) and one brunette who comes across as a major, major shrew.

The shrew ends up in the bottom three. And Ernesto decides her drama is not worth it and sends her home. Major props, Ernesto. I think you dodged a bullet there.

In the teasers for the rest of the season, I’m struck by how many tears are shed, and I am acutely aware of my sick voyeurism. Watching the men agonize over who to cut, watching the women beat themselves up when they aren’t selected–it’s twisted. And as much as the women drive me crazy (yes, part of me is jealous of their physical attributes) my heart breaks for them. Because as many of them profess to be self-confident go-getters, are they really if they agreed to be on a show like this? The constant fear of rejection has to drain their self-esteem, doesn’t it?

Then again, they signed up for it. 

Come back tomorrow for Ben’s story…it’s a doozy.