A Conversation with Peter Paige, Executive Producer of ‘The Fosters’

DAVID LAMBERT, TERI POLO, SHERRI SAUM, JAKE T. AUSTIN, CIERRA RAMIREZ, MAIA MITCHELL

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

I’m kind of in love with The Fosters (Monday, ABC Family, 9 p.m.) right now. The show is a smorgasbord of social issues – adoption, same sex marriage, foster care, alcoholism – you name it, The Fosters probably has a story line about it.  But somehow, thanks to strong writing and solid performances, the show really works. The series has a lot of heart but is never treacly. And the characters rarely act stereotypically – the show constantly surprises me with its nuanced approach to complicated topics.

For those of you who haven’t watched the show, Stef (Teri Polo) and Lena (Sherri Saum) are married and raising Stef’s son Brandon (David Lambert) and their two adopted children Jesus (Jake T. Austin) and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez). Last season, Stef and Lena took in two foster children, Callie (Maia Mitchell) and her brother Jude (Hayden Byerly), who they want to adopt. Things got a little complicated when Brandon and Callie kissed and Callie ran away.  Now Callie’s living in a group home run by Rita (Rosie O’Donnell) but Brandon and Callie are IN LOVE.

A few weeks ago at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, I had a chance to talk with executive producer Peter Paige (you may remember him as Emmett on the Showtime series Queer as Folk) about the show and what’s coming up this season.

I’m fascinated by the Callie/Brandon romance because I can’t figure out what you guys are going to do. I mean, they can’t be together, right?

Peter Paige: This is the God’s honest answer. We write ourselves into corners all the time and we spend hours and hours and hours figuring our way out of it. What would you do? What would you really do if you have these two kids, you love them both. You want to adopt one. They’re in love. They’re teenagers. They’re hormonal. Is it real? Is it puppy love? Is it going away? These kids need a home. It’s a continuing conversation for us and it’s not going away any time soon.

How do you write for your teenage audience?

Paige: We don’t talk down to them. We don’t. ‘Okay you’re going to have sex for the first time and you’re not going to use a condom? Well here’s what you’re dealing with then.’ We try really hard not to be preachy and not to be after-school specially about it.

Teenagers are just adults but amped up. They’re so hormonally alive that it’s just fun to write for. They want more. They need more. They’re dreaming bigger. They hurt more than we as adults do I think and that makes it really really fun to explore.

What can viewers expect this season?

Paige: This season is an extension of last season – a lot of the issues have been brought to the table so it’s about exploring them.

The great thingis we’re very lucky and smarter than I even think we knew we were. We set this sort of trampoline in the pilot of all these stories and collisions. You can draw a line between any two characters in The Fosters and they create a dynamic and a situations that probably hasn’t been explored on television before. It gives us extraordinary opportunities.

One of the great things about the group home story is giving us a platform to tell some of the darker stories that we can’t tell with our family and our kids because our family is a primarily healthy family and a loving home and we need it to be that way so keep people watching.

We learn a whole lot more about Stef’s father this season in a way I find really compelling. It’s complicated. We never, never, never, never want to leave even our most challenging characters out in the cold. We’re all people at the end of the day so we try to treat everyone with dignity and respect.

What kind of research do you do for the show?

Paige: Fortunately the show has been very well received by both the adoption and foster communities. We have some people who work in the ABC/Disney family who grew up in foster care and made themselves available to us right away

When we decided to do this group home story line with Callie, I so happen to have a friend from the gym of all places who runs a group home so we were able to go and spend time with the girls there. It’s actually been an extraordinary gift.

Do you think a show like The Fosters can start to change people’s minds about same sex marriage and other issues?

Paige: I think media has the power to really engage people in conversation and make them comfortable with ideas that they never felt they would be comfortable with. Having been an actor on Queer as Folk I experienced that first hand.

One of my favorite tweets that I find fascinating and we get it all the time is I love The Fosters even though I don’t believe in same sex marriage. Sometime if you can during an episode of The Fosters, hashtag The Fosters and watch the feed. It’s amazing. It’s astounding to see. The response to every moment is really fascinating to see.

What do you think of The Fosters? Talk about it below.

An interview with Craig Thomas, executive producer of ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Carter Bays and Craig Thomas at the HIMYM set visit last week

Carter Bays and Craig Thomas at the HIMYM set visit last week

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

Last week when I was in Pasadena for the semi-annual Television Critics Association Press Tour, we all had the chance to visit the set of How I Met Your Mother. As most of you know, I’ve never missed an episode of the series. And while it has tried my patience at times (especially this season), the show remains one of my favorites. I have a deep and abiding affection for Ted, Robin, Marshall, Lily and Barney.

After the press conference, I got the chance to talk to series co-creator and executive producer Craig Thomas along with a few other critics. As always, Thomas was very gracious. In the many times I’ve talked to him over the years, one thing is abundantly clear – Thomas and his co-creator and executive producer, Carter Bays, truly appreciate their fans. The series comes to its conclusion in an one hour series finale on March 31. Read the interview with Thomas below:

It was so fun to see so many of Barney’s ex-girlfriends return in “Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmara.” Will we be seeing more familiar faces?

Craig Thomas: We do want it to be a curtain call. How I Met Your Mother has a great guest cast. Here’s people that are definitely coming back in the remaining episodes – Tim Gunn [as himself], Roger Bart [the hotel front desk clerk], Rachel Bilson [the Mother’s former roommate], Lucy Hale [Robin’s sister Katie], Kyle MacLachlan [The Captain], Abby Elliot [Ted’s bad crazy ex-girlfriend Jeannette], Bill Fagerbakke [Marshall’s deceased dad], Sarah Chalke [Ted’s ex-fiancee Stella], Ashley Williams (Ted’s ex-girlfriend Victoria] and Jon Heder [new character]. He auditioned for The Goodwin Games, we almost cast him. He’s going to come be on the show.

Here are the remaining episode titles – “How Your Mother Met Me” [the 200th episode next week which will chronicle what the Mother has been up to for the last eight years], “Sunrise,” “Rally,” “Vesuvius” [which was the word Ted was playing in the crossword puzzle at the end of the season nine premiere], “Daisy,” “Gary Blauman” [the name of Taran Killam’s character, he’s an employee at Barney’s company] “The End of the Aisle” and our hour long finale is called “Last Forever.”

A lot of fans have complained that we haven’t seen the Mother as much as we thought we would. Will be seeing her more as the series heads towards its finale?

Thomas: The funny thing is we’re seeing her so much more than we would have if the series ended in year eight. Whenever we read that we’re like ‘Oh my God. We’re seeing her exponentially more. Thank God for season nine.’ People would have been so upset to get less of her.  [Cristin Milioti] is unbelievably charming and sweet and wonderful. You see this actress and you want to see more. She has helped fuel that by being so wonderful. She fits into the chemistry of this cast perfectly. I’ll say this: Some people want to see even more of her. We always wanted it to be special for year nine when you saw her. You tune in and you don’t see her in an episode and maybe you were a little disappointed but maybe that’s okay because that makes you want to see her the next week and you’re excited. Our biggest fear is what if people see too much of her and it’s not special any more. The movies Jaws worked because you were just seeing a fin for so long. We modeled season nine after Jaws basically.

Will we learn the Mother’s name?

Thomas: You’ll hear it before we’re done, I just don’t want to say exactly how and when. It’s a choice we’ve made on how to present that and I don’t want to spoil it. We’ve known it for awhile. You know I would tell you if I could.

What about Robin’s mom? Will we meet her?

Thomas: There’s an episode coming up about the fact that Robin’s mom hasn’t come to the wedding and the entire crux of that is Lily really wants Robin to be upset about it. Lily thinks Robin needs this emotional catharsis about this fact – what a big deal for a parent not to come to their kid’s wedding.

You taped the ending to the entire series with Ted’s kids in season two?

Thomas: At the beginning of year two we realized these kids [Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie, who play Ted’s children] were aging. We knew what their piece of the puzzle at the very end game of the show would be and we knew we had to grab it and we did.

One of the two actors absolutely remembered the 2006 scripts that is a crucial part of how the series ends and one of them didn’t remember because we had made them sign confidentiality forms, we cleared out the set, we had one camera man, and we cleared out everybody else.

David remembered it and Lyndsy didn’t. She was like, ‘You were so adamant that we should never talk about it that I deleted it from my brain.’

And in all these years, the ending has never changed?

Thomas: That very end piece we never changed that part. We’re so glad we shot it. The last two minutes of the series is what we always planned. We hope people like it. At the very least we can stand by it, we didn’t ever change it.

Did you ever fear viewers, who are so devoted, would guess the ending?

Thomas: Of course there’s that fear. People guess every possible outcome. People were guessing post–apocalypse, they’re beneath the earth’s crust and hiding from a poison environment. Every iteration has been guessed and there are moments where we’re nervous about it.  But ultimately we didn’t want to change anything.

I’m not going to confirm or deny [anything]. What you see on March 31 has been the plan all along and we hope that people we’ll see why we did it that way. We leave the series with a certain message that we wanted to convey and ultimately we wanted the entire series to turn out to be about and it’s a very positive message.

How are you feeling as you guys head toward the finale?

Thomas: [I was writing the penultimate episode over the holidays] and I was just a mess.I was absolutely a mess. There’s some really nice Marshall and Lily stuff in it that always hits closer to home for me. It’s no longer based on my wife and I really but at the same time it was based on my wife and I. I feel like that episode especially is one of our goodbyes to them. They’re in the final hour for sure but they get a really nice send off in that episode.

What else can you tell us about the final episodes?

Thomas: We wanted all of these characters to have their proper curtain call. We wanted it to remain interesting. We didn’t want to do -it’s the end of the series and everything’s perfect and the last few episodes we’re just coasting to the finish line. We wanted to tell a dramatic story with surprises and ups and downs. You’ll see some moments of drama between these characters and then moments of deep deep connection. We’re How I Met Your Mother. We’re a time machine of a show. So you’re going to get to see their future and it makes me cry every time. I hope it makes the audience feel that way too.

How are you feeling about HIMYM these days? I loved this week’s episode – especially Barney’s shout out to the Mo Willem’s children’s book Knuffle Bunny (“Aggle, Flaggle, Klabble”). And I’m working on a new theory – maybe, as I’ve feared since last season, the Mother isn’t dead when Ted is telling Penny and Luke (!!) his story. Maybe she’s in surgery/in a medical crisis and he begins to tell his kids the story to distract them while they await news. Thomas did say last week during the press conference that we will learn why Ted started telling the story when he did.

Do you have a theory about how HIMYM will end? Did this interview make you change your mind? Talk about HIMYM below.

Vote for the Worst Adolescent Children on TV

Photo:  Kent Smith/SHOWTIME -

Photo: Kent Smith/SHOWTIME –

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

I usually defend the teenage characters that annoy most people. Maybe it’s something to do with being a mom myself but I tend to be more forgiving.

I root for Dana Brody and love what being a parent brings to Alicia’s character on The Good Wife. But after watching Grace wistfully eye the guns on Sunday night’s episode of The Good Wife, I began to think that maybe, like a lax parent, I’ve been a little too lenient.

Who do you think are the worst adolescent children on TV? I’m not talking about shows like Glee where teens are the main characters but show about adult characters who have teenage children. Talk about it below and vote!

Here are my picks:

Grace and Zach Florrick on The Good Wife

Pros: Zach’s great with computers and all things technical. His taste in girlfriends constantly disrupts his dad’s political life. He introduced us to Eli’s nemesis Becca.

Cons: Grace bounces from one distracting story line to the next. Now she’s going to be into guns?

Karen and Jerry Fitzgerald on Scandal

Pros: They never see their parents.

Cons: They never see their parents.

Dana Lazaro and Chris Brody on Homeland

Pros: Morgan Saylor is a great actress. She hasn’t had the best material to work with and she’s made it work.

Cons: Dana makes truly horrible decisions when it comes to dating. Has Chris had more than three words of dialogue all season?

Morgan and Jake Sanders on Hostages

Pros: Ummmmm . . . .

Cons: Just about everything that’s happened since the pilot.

I’m Running Away with ‘The Good Wife’

Photo: David M. Russell ©2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

Photo: David M. Russell ©2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

After watching the “Hitting the Fan” episode of The Good Wife early last week, I tweeted “I want to whisk next Sunday’s episode of #TheGoodWife off to a romantic weekend in Paris. I love it that much.”

Sunday’s episode of the CBS drama was easily its best. But it was also one of the best hours of television this year and, I’ll just go ahead and say it, one of the best hours of television ever. It combined nail-biting suspense with humor and, most shockingly, the lead character’s decision to turn her back on her inner moral compass.

Not only is it rare for a series to hit such a creative high in its fifth season, but who would have thought the show would be in this position at this time last year when Kalinda was mired in a Fifty Shades of Food Products story line with her sneering ex-husband. Is this what the term October surprise really means?

The genius of the show is that it successfully mixes the courtroom drama with the work place drama with the political drama with the romantic drama with the family drama. And it’s doing that brilliantly this season. Here’s what’s going so right:

The Moral Downfall of Alicia
Alicia not only allowed Peter to threaten Neil Gross. She celebrated the fact that he did (and I’m not convinced that she didn’t explicitly ask him to make that speech). She was drinking champagne. Alicia started the series in horror of her husband’s transgressions. Now she’s embracing them. Alicia has always been a fascinatingly complex character but it’s so rare that a network show allows their main protagonist – their title character! — to break bad.

You can read the rest of this post at Antenna Free TV.

How are you feeling about The Good Wife this season? Talk about it below.

Staging an Intervention for ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS © 2013

Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS © 2013

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

When I talked to Carter Bays at TCA Press Tour (you can read that interview here), I told him that I only criticize How I Met Your Mother because I love the show so much. And it’s true. If I’m indifferent towards a show, you won’t hear me talk about it.

My affection for HIMYM runs deep. I’ve watched the show since the pilot and was an early champion of the series. True story – my husband and I talked about our love for HIMYM on our first date.  And let’s be honest, whatever happens this season and no matter how frustrated I get, I’ll be watching until the very last frame. (By the way, I remain very concerned that The Mother is dead in the future. And my interview with Bays did not assuage those fears.)

Bays and HIMYM co-creator Craig Thomas are two of my favorite people in the industry. They love talking about their show as much as we love watching it. I so admire what they’ve done with HIMYM – has any other comedy run for nine seasons on a central mystery? A mystery that was announced in the title? The intricate way they’ve told the story of five friends navigating their lives and romances in New York City truly is like nothing else on television. Over the years the show has provided me with some of my favorite laughs (I still crack up about Lily asking Marshall, “Do you want to finish your bacon first?” in “Not a Father’s Day.”), favorite scenes (I love Ted’s two minute date with Stella in “Ten Sessions”), favorite catch phrases (The show will always be legendary to me.) and favorite recurring jokes (The gang can stage an intervention for me any time). I love Bays and Thomas’ love of pop culture. Marshall’s diatribe last week about Princess Bride was the best.

But the show is testing my loyalty. After a strong premiere, these last two episodes have been ROUGH. Maybe the show is trying to distract me from worrying about Winston on New Girl or how I still can’t care about any of the interns on Grey’s Anatomy. Because this week I am consumed with concern for HIMYM.

Let’s talk about my issues:

  1. Not enough flash forwards. My anxiety about the entire season taking place over the wedding weekend was placated by the promise that the action would frequently flash forward to show Ted and The Mother’s burgeoning romance. And I loved the scene at the end of the season premiere that showed the happy couple returning to the hotel a year into their romance. There was an easy, believable rapport between Ted (Josh Radnor) and The Mother (Christin Milioti). Their chemistry was palpable. I totally believed I was watching two people in love and I was happy for Ted. Which leads to the next problem . . .
  2. Not enough of the Mother: Milioti has been missing from the last two episodes. Where is she? Didn’t The Mother arrive to play at the wedding? Wouldn’t she be staying at the hotel? I (perhaps naively) assumed that since Milioti was made a series regular this season, we would be seeing her in every episode. As Adam Vitcavage pointed out in his review of this week’s episode, Robin’s diatribe about how she doesn’t like other women would have been the perfect opportunity for the camera to at least flash to The Mother. We’ve waited eight years for The Mother. Don’t keep her from us now.
  3. Remote Marshall: We all knew this story line was going to be a concern but it’s turned out to be worse than I anticipated.  As so many of you have pointed out, maybe limited screen time was part of Jason Segel’s deal if he agreed to come back for the final season. Who knows? But the whole story line is so awkward. Marshall needs to be back with the gang and fast. And is anyone else worried about who is watching baby Marvin during all of this? He never seems to need to eat or have a diaper change or cry. Honestly the only thing that would make this story line more annoying is if Marshall and Daphne picked up Jimmy and Ellis from Smash and took them along for the ride.
  4. The show is spinning its wheels: As much as I do like the recurring joke of “Thank you Linus,” and as happy as I was to see Patrice again, these last two episodes have felt like complete fillers. Nothing is happening to move the story line forward. NOTHING.

How are you feeling about HIMYM so far? Talk about it below.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

 (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

(ABC/Craig Sjodin)

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

Sing it with me now . . . .

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With new shows premiering and old shows returning, I’m in such good cheer. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

There’ll be cliffhangers resolving. New characters debuting. And characters who say goodbye. There’ll be dramatic new plot twists, results of big kisses and Parenthood will make me cry.

We’ll see Olivia with her daddy. Ted with his wife. Alicia at her own firm. And I’m sure Scarlett will still make me squirm. So set your DVRs and get ready for the most wonderful time of the year.

Can you tell I’m just a little excited for the new season? I know I haven’t been posting to the TV Gal blog that much but I have been busy writing. Here are some of my stories about the new season.

Here’s my story about Brooklyn Nine-Nine, my favorite new show of the season, for Paste.com.

Here’s my interview with The Mother (Cristin Milioti) on How I Met Your Mother for Emmys.com.

Here’s my story about the Five Things You Need to Know About the New Season of Parks & Recreation for xFinity.

Here’s my story about the Five Things You Need to Know About the New Season of New Girl for xFinity.

Here’s my story about the Five Things You Need to Know About the New Season of Nashville for xFinity.

Here’s my story about The Mindy Project for Paste.com. (The show gets a gold star for most improved.)

Here’s my story on the 10 Most Anticipated Returning Series for xFinity.

Here’s my story on the 10 Buzziest New Shows for xFinity.

What new show are you most excited about? (In addition to Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I’m intrigued by CBS’s new show Hostages and have a soft spot for The Goldbergs.) What returning show? (For me that’s Scandal, see photo above). Check out this calendar for a handy of reference for when everything is premiering.

To celebrate the new TV season, I’ll be giving away two prize packs consisting of a Sleep Hollow t-shirt, an Almost Human pen and a Brooklyn Nine-Nine notepad. I’ll pick two winners at random from the comments. (You must live in the U.S. to win). You have until Friday, September 20 to post a comment.

Now get ready for the most wonderful time of the year!

‘Homeland’ Season Three – What’s Next?

Photo:  Kent Smith/SHOWTIME

Photo: Kent Smith/SHOWTIME

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

Things were pretty bleak when we last left Carrie, Brody and Saul. What lies ahead when Homeland returns for season three on September 29? Yesterday, the show’s producers and stars talked to critics assembled for the semi-annual Television Critics Association Press Tour. Check out my story for Paste Magazine here. But be warned, there are minor spoilers in my story (very minor, I’ve watched the first two episodes of season three and left out the big reveals, I promise.)

Are you excited for season three of Homeland? Or were you too disillusioned by season two? Talk about it below.

‘The Newsroom’ Officially Ended My Love Affair with Aaron Sorkin Shows

Credit: Melissa Mosely/ HBO

Credit: Melissa Mosely/
HBO

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

I used to love Aaron Sorkin shows. I watched every episode of Sports Night. I never missed an hour of The West Wing. I even liked Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (no really, I did). The man knows how to make compelling, smart, entertaining TV. I don’t even mind that he repeats himself.  One of my favorite YouTube things ever last year was this.

So when The Newsroom, which follows anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) and the fictional ACN cable network, premiered last summer, I was excited. Until I watched the first episode.

You can read the rest of this post over at Antenna Free TV.

Are you all set with The Newsroom or do you like the show? Excited for Sunday’s second season premiere? Talk about it below.

Should I Kill Off ‘The Killing?’

Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

Believe me. I can get very angry at TV shows. Some might even call it irrational anger. I could vent to you for hours about how silly it was to kill off Kyle on Smash or, you know, basically everything that happened this season on Glee. (I’m telling you now I will never get over the ridiculousness that was the Santana/Quinn hookup. NEVER.)

But, when the first season of The Killing ended, I wasn’t in an uproar. I didn’t feel the show had made an explicit or even an implicit contract with the viewers to reveal Rosie Larsen’s killer. However, when the second season lingered on and we still didn’t know who the killer was,  I got bored. And here’s the most telling part – I watched the entire second season and, just now, I actually had to look up who the killer ended up being. The show left so little impact at the end of two seasons that even the solution to the big mystery didn’t stick.

During the second season, I also started to get so annoyed with the show – the outdated technology (seriously even my parents don’t have flip phones anymore and it has been well documented that they live in the house that technology forgot), the never-ending rain, the inexplicable leaps in logic (Linden and Holder clearly attended the Ryan Hardy Institute of Not Requiring Back-Up Ever) and the tedious pacing (more happens in the first 15 minutes of a Scandal episode than happened in the entire second season of The Killing). But the real problem was Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos). Enos gives a palpably believable performance but her downtrodden character simply sucked the life out of the show. It’s tricky to have a character who is that gloomy as the show’s protagonist. And it was painful what a bad mother she was.  There is something inherently interesting about a mother who clearly loves her son but can’t get it together but on The Killing it was just plain depressing to watch. When the show was cancelled, it was a relief. I wasn’t quite sure why I watched the entire second season (it was summer?) but cancellation meant I didn’t have to make any active decision about whether or not I was going to continue on with the show.

But, against all odds, the show returned from that great DVR in the sky and I decided to watch the third season premiere and then make a decision. I was thrilled that , at the beginning of Sunday’s two hour season premiere, Linden was smiling. She was actually giggling. She and Holder had a hilarious exchange (as always Holder remains the bright spot in the series). “Maybe,” I thought. “Just maybe this season will be different.”

Alas, I was wrong. Linden’s happiness lasted about 15 minutes and she was back to being beaten down again. The show is wallowing in everything that drove viewers crazy. There’s an endless amount of rain. Holder STILL has a flip phone (I’m going to mail him my old cell phone because it’s more current than the one he’s using) and the pacing remains sluggish.

But, as expected, Peter Sarsgaard is wonderful as Ray Seward, a man on death row for the murder of his wife.  And I’ve already grown a little attached to all the homeless teens (they’re like a very dark, dark version of an ABC Family show.)

So now I have to decide whether this season’s mystery is going to be enough to hold my attention and will it be enough to outweigh all the things about the show that drive me batty. I mean maybe I am looking for a show that drives me crazy now that Smash is off the air?

How about you? Did you watch the season premiere of The Killing? Are you going to keep watching season three? Talk about it below.

‘How I Met Your Mother’ and Other Fights I am Having with TV

Photo: CBS © 2013

Photo: CBS © 2013

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

“Our ninth season will tell the epic story of the longest wedding weekend ever.”

That’s How I Met Your Mother creator and executive producer Carter Bays in the official statement CBS released about the finale. It makes my stomach hurt. Look I completely understand artistic vision and no show runner can make all the viewers happy all of the time. Nor should they. They shouldn’t bow to viewers’ wants and desires. So if Bays and his co-creator and executive producer Carter Thomas want to spend the ENTIRE ninth season on Barney and Robin’s wedding, that’s their prerogative.

But, frankly, I don’t understand why. I was surprised to learn that Bays and Thomas had intended to end the series with viewers just getting a glimpse of the Mother as we did in the finale.  We’ve all invested eight years of our lives in this relationship and I, for one, would like to see it play out.  I want to see Ted and the Mother fall in love, maybe even get engaged. I want to see the Mother and Lily become best friends and share footwear. I want to see the Mother fully embraced by the gang.

Plus, for reasons I’ll never understand, the show has made such a big deal about the fact that Ted is still hung up on Robin. This last little do-si-do in the Ted and Robin dance is truly horrendous. Really we’re going to hold hands in the rain? The show has beaten the storyline in such a way that I’m worried there’s no way we can be happy if Robin marries Barney and no way we can be happy if she ends up with Ted.  They are slowly but surely sucking all the joy out of a show I once loved.

I get that Ted still being hung up on Robin may be somewhat realistic – some people do spend their whole lives trying to get over someone. But that truth doesn’t make Ted’s pining particularly interesting to watch.  For me to feel good about the Mother, I need to see Ted get over Robin and that can’t happen in one weekend.

In the “The Time Travelers” episode it seemed to me that the show was strongly hinting at the fact that the Mother was no longer alive. I still have this lingering fear that the Mother died when the kids were little and Ted has been married to Aunt Robin all this time. Is that what the flash forwards next season are going to tell us?

My other problem with this week’s big reveal is that it’s too little, too late. Timing is everything in romance and in television. What is arguably the show’s biggest moment happened at a time when I am past really caring who the Mother is. I am happy that she is a relative unknown. I’m happy for Cristin Milioti. TV is a tough business and it’s nice to see someone we haven’t seen before getting such a high profile role. Everyone is talking about her Broadway run in Once but I want to go back and watch the three episodes where Miloti played Johnny Sac’s daughter on The Sopranos.

How did you feel about the How I Met Your Mother finale? Talk about it below.

But it’s not just HIMYM that has irked me in the past couple weeks, I’m also bothered by the fact that:

Smash killed off Kyle: Ugh that episode was the worst. Kyle got the most amount of screen time after the show killed him off. And just a quick memo to Smash: We already get that Hit List is Rent. You really haven’t been subtle about that at all. And we already know that Jonathan Larson, who wrote Rent, tragically died the morning of the musical’s first preview. So did you really need the Rent poster in the background shot? No you did not. But if you were going to do that could you at least have the characters acknowledge Rent? The moment was already super meta because Jesse L. Martin stared in the original Broadway production of Rent. Honestly, I don’t know what the show was thinking with this maudlin VERY IMPORTANT EPISODE unless it was supposed to distract us from the rest of the show’s ridiculousness like Jimmy singing to himself or Tom becoming a different character every five minutes. Smash is in the midst of a colossal creative collapse. It’s rather fascinating to watch and see what they’ll come up with next (Derek being blackmailed?). I cannot wait until the cast is able to speak freely about what they thought about this second season.  Now that would be a show.

No closure on the Kalinda/Nick storyline on The Good Wife: I hear you. I don’t ever want to see Nick again either. But I do fear that the longer the story line goes unmentioned and unsettled, the more likely it could be that it could reappear when we least expect it. You can read my review of The Good Wife finale here.

Just about everything on The Following: I’ve been thinking a lot about why I’m so willing to allow ridiculousness on some shows and so intolerant of it on others.  For example, I don’t prefer but will allow the fact that James ended up being the one to interview Mellie on Scandal (especially because Cyrus explanation was somewhat reasonable in the Scandal world). But everything on The Following irks me. Maybe it’s because the premise to begin with is so unsavory or that the show keeps trying to find some poignancy amid all the gratuitous violence but the FBI’s utter incompetence (seriously how many times did they go places without backup?) and the show’s lack of basic logic made what was supposed to be a dramatic finale completely laughable. Obviously Joe Carroll is not dead and I’m pretty confident Ryan will survive (obviously).  Maybe the show will take a page from the 24 first season playbook and kill off Claire.  I started to wonder what would happen in season two and how the show could possible eke out more episodes on this ridiculous premise and then I remembered, oh that’s right, I DON’T CARE. I won’t be watching.

Not one but two more seasons of Glee?:  What can I even say about such absurdity? The season finale was inane even by Glee standards. As most of us had predicted but none of us cared, Unique was catfishing Ryder. Suddenly Joe and Sugar were back sans explanation. Rachel appeared to sing one song and then disappeared for the remainder of the episode. Britney got into MIT. Blaine’s still in high school but he wants to marry Kurt (what show do they think they are on? 7th Heaven?)  Next season, I must break up with this show. I must. I might need to form a support group to get me through it because when the show is good, it’s very very good (seriously that “Everything was Beautiful at the Ballet” number was splendid) and when it’s bad it’s beyond horrid.

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