All seasons of How I Met Your Mother and the first four seasons of Blue Bloods are currently available on instant Netflix
How I Met Your Mother (2005-13) – Rated TV-PG
“Ted’s epic search for his soul mate is told largely through flashbacks, as an adult Ted recounts to his kids how he met their mother.”
Well my wife was having surgery last month so I saved the final season of How I Met Your Mother for us to watch during her recovery. This was perhaps not the best idea as laughing hurt. It turns out that I need not have worried. The final season is not nearly as funny as the previous seasons.
If you have not watched this show, then I highly recommend it as it is quite funny throughout. The similarities to Friends (also now streaming on Netflix) are startling. As with Friends, the two nominal main characters are far less interesting than the others. Here Barney, Marshall, and Lily are much more riveting than Robin and Ted.
In the final season, we do finally meet the titular mother and spend a fair amount of time with her. Far too much time is devoted to a wedding.
There are several ways to end a series (book, television, or movie). The most common method is a refusal to commit to an ending and simply leave things open for a cash grab down the road a la Dexter. The less common method is an actually appropriate ending such as that presented in Breaking Bad. Those two comprise most series endings.
Unfortunately there is a third type of ending. That is one that, for whatever reason, the creators are angry at the fans and decide to shoot them a bird. Thomas Harris did this in the book version of Hannibal. How I Met Your Mother sadly falls into this category. Still it is an enjoyable season with a lot of laughs, even if it does fall quite short.
Blue Bloods (2010-3) – Rated TV-14
“Cops Danny and Jamie Reagan and their lawyer sister Erin try to live up to the standards of their father, Frank, who’s the NYC police commissioner.”
One Line Review: Should be called Blueprint
My wife, Jenny, was recovering from surgery last month and loves Tom Selleck. We really love the Jesse Stone series of made-for-TV movies. We tried Magnum, P.I. but it was a little too 80s for her. So while she was recuperating, we binged on Blue Bloods.
Blue Bloods should have been a home run. It stars the underrated Donnie Wahlberg as Danny Reagan, your stereotypical hothead detective who doesn’t play by the rules. He is ably supported by the always wonderful Selleck as Frank Reagan, the ethical beyond the bounds of reason police commisioner and Bridget Moynahan as Assistant D.A. Erin Reagan-Boyle. Len Cariou plays family patriarch and retired cop, Henry Reagan. Will Estes is our idealistic new cop, Jamie Reagan.
Blue Bloods is an intensely frustrating series. In contrast to all the eloquent writing in the Jesse Stone series, the writing in Blue Bloods is lazy, lowest common denominator writing. The above character descriptions give you an idea of the lack of depth found here. There is little to no character development over the course of four seasons.
There are several situations investigated which might be hate crimes committed by white males but since the series is clearly aimed at an elderly white audience, the answer is never a hate crime perpetrated by whites. Similarly, while there is police corruption and our hotheaded detective should be tried for brutality, many other practices are sanitized for our viewing audience.
Every episode starts with a crime or two and all are solved by the closing credits. The crimes are gruesome enough to seem real but not so much as to scare off elderly viewers. Sexual crimes are very rarely encountered. I will say that the writers do have a good understanding of family dynamics at the very frequent dinner gatherings but this is definitely a non-challenging show.