Catching Up...

Well, I'm still behind the world of television, thanks mostly to moving house at possibly the worst time I could have managed and then being denied any sort of external television viewing - apart from the freeview channels - until all the various problems were sorted out.

But now I'm taking advantage of the summer lull to catch up with the various shows I was watching and I thought I'd share a few thoughts and the like on them. First up it's The Office's fifth season and How I Met Your Mother's fourth.

The Office:
Naturally after such a gap I had a little trouble recalling where things were when resuming viewing, but fortunately The Office is a pretty slow moving show where major developments are concerned. So it wasn't long before I was back up to speed and enjoying events. I'm still somewhat amazed that The Office has managed five seasons without a major dip in quality, it still provides entertaining and hilarious moments by the truck load. A particularly inspired piece of casting was the arrival of Idris Elba (The Wire, Obsessed, RockNRolla) as Charles Miner, Michael's new supervisor (a role previously filled by Ryan and Jan). Michael takes an instant dislike to him, then quits and forms his own paper company in a "where are they going with this story?" moment. Pam in one of her impulsive moments quits along side him, opening up a slot in reception - which is filled by Kelly Erin Hannon (Ellie Kemper) or "Erin" as she's refferred to in order to avoid confusion.

Of course, by the end of the season Michael and Pam are back working for Dunder Mifflin, but the events do have some lasting reverberations. Ryan is back with the company (despite defrauding them before) and ends up temping again, but Pam is now a sales person - which means Erin is staying (for the moment at least). Frankly I do hope she stays permanently; she's funny and the way she reacts around Michael is quite entertaining as well (especially as Michael isn't inappropriate to her the way he is with Pam). So I'm hoping she stays and adds a new dynamic to the show.

Idris was of course, fantastic. But all things considered it's hard to say how much more he will be involved with the show. Likewise the fantastic Amy Ryan (The Wire) returned as Holly Flax, and it seems that any story she has with Michael will be a long burn and I'm fine with that.

How I Met Your Mother:
Ah HIMYM, how you managed to move me and then dash my hopes and anger me. The single biggest moment I got from watching the back end of the season comes from the episode 'Right Place, Right Time'. There's an absolutely wonderful and life affirming speech which is given and the episode feels ripe for a huge moment. Then it drags out the whole episode in a rather funny manner, skipping the story back and forth before gradually building up to a reveal as to who he met in this right place and time. Is it the mother? Oh, no. It's Stella... bleah! Now no offense to Sarah Chalke, she's a fantastic actress, but Stella is just. I really don't have the words to explain how disappointed I was when I saw her there. Fortunately, we find out over the next few episodes Stella is just there to give Ted direction in his life. While I'd like to hope she's gone for good, it's clear she's due to return at least once more, but she's not the mother. Thank goodness.

Two other things impress me about HIMYM, the first is of course Neil Patrick Harris's portrayal of Barney; he remains the highlight of the show, and the number one reason I watch. But I've also come to really enjoy watching Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel as Marshall and Lily. It's rare a show, especially a comedy show, which manages to keep a pair of characters together and also make them entertaining. Normally you'd expect the married couple to be the boring straight characters, but while they are the voices of reason in the group - at times those voices get a little... deranged... but that's what makes them so much fun.

We end the season with Robin and Barney sort of, maybe, together, but they have expressed their feelings for each other ('bout time!) and Ted in a new job as a professor of architecture, and apparently the mother took this class. So we're maybe a year or two away from finding out, perhaps three. But to be honest, HIMYM continues to be entertaining and funny, so I don't mind. As long as they never provide such a moving speech just to rip the rug out from under the viewer's feet again, that was a cruel trick!


0 comments so far.

Something to say?