Graduation Caps On Fleek

When we graduated high school 12 years (!!!!) ago, we didn’t have the option – or maybe didn’t even know there was the option – to decorate the tops of our caps. By college, I think the trend was still out there, but people at my school didn’t delve into their arts & crafts side, despite being an arts school. But now that it’s graduation season again, I am constantly seeing more and more elaborately decorated caps that are more exciting than any commencement I’ve ever attended.

And of course, there’s a good chunk out there that were inspired by pop culture, so here are some of the best from the Class of 2016 and their graduation caps on fleek*.

*I’m too old to be saying that they’re not “on fleek” I take that back.

Where is the lie?

Queen B for those Queens, B.

And of course the wise words of Michael Scott…

Some call it the Hamilton Effect (we do. we call it that.)

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The Trouble With End gAme

It’s been one week since the big -A reveAl on Pretty Little Liars, and per the Internet, there’s a mixed bag of emotions on who turned out to be torturing this group of teenagers for three (?) years.

***SPOILER – BUT REALLY IF YOU WATCH THIS SHOW YOU SHOULD’VE SEEN IT ALREADY – ALERT***

To me, it seems like 80% of fans are upset that -A turned out to be CeCe Drake aka Charles DiLaurentis aka the transgender Charlotte DiLaurentis, while 20% are happy with the turn of events. When I watched it, I wasn’t immediately angry, or annoyed, or much of anything really. I think the word to best describe it would be… ambivalent?

ed note: finding riggins/taylor kitsch BTS gifs on the interwebs is pure gold

I’ve seen every episode of the show since the pilot, and stuck with it for six seasons, looking for clues and reading theories, but not going too far down the rabbit hole like those die-hArd fans. I think a theory that most fans concluded was the most likely was that Wren, the hot British doctor, would be A, and that made sense to me. Annddd it turned out that was wrong.

Now that I’ve had a week to digest the whole CeCe/Charles scenario, what I’m really annoyed with when it comes down with it, is this trend of TV writers stringing along their viewers for a long period of time just to result in fan fury. For those of you who aren’t into teen dramas like I am, the best thing I can compare this to is the How I Met Your Mother finale.

Last year, after nine seasons, we discovered the titular Mother dies of an undisclosed disease, and 2030 Ted is telling his kids the story basically as a way to indirectly ask them if it’s okay that he moves on and dates Aunt Robin. Yes, in a spectacular two-hour finale of How I MET YOUR MOTHER, we see Ted meet The Mother after Robin and Barney’s wedding, a fast forward which features Robin and Barney divorcing, Lily and Marshall having another kid (that they probs didn’t really want), The Mother dying (RIP Tracy McConnell), and the show coming full circle with Ted standing outside Robin’s apartment with a blue french horn.

It’s not that I hated that Ted went back to Robin in the end, because, meh, whatever, but it’s the fact that the creators kind of misled the viewer into thinking the endgame was How Ted Mosby Met His Wife, not How Ted Mosby Fell In Love Again. Things were looking up at the end of season eight, when we see The Mother/Tracy McConnell for the first time. It was exciting to see flash forwards of her and Ted happily together, and her meeting the other four BFFs. I was looking forward to their happy ending in 2030. But when the series finale came, fans’ worst fears came true, and Tracy was dunzo. To me, she was used as a plot device, a minor character in the overarching storyline just to show the viewer that in fact, Ted had been in love with Robin the whole eight years we’ve spent watching the show. It was a plotline that had been brought up multiple times in the show, but we viewers dismissed it because it was clear that each Robin and Ted had moved on.

HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas revealed after the series finale that they had this plan of Robin and Ted coming together in the series finale since season one. Hey, remember in the pilot when Ted made it clear he called Robin AUNT Robin on purpose, because Carter and Craig wanted us to know that she wasn’t the mother? It clearly implied those two kids didn’t belong to Robin, and thus the viewer was hooked for the next nine seasons to find out who that Mother was.

Although not explicit in its title, Pretty Little Liars has done the same. It’s a mystery drama that in the pilot, is set up that this group of four girlfriends discover their other BFF, Allison, is dead after she went missing. The girls each receive threatening messages from a mysterious -A, and for the next six seasons, we went deep into the world of Rosewood, its many characters, and tried to uncover the identity of this psycho -A.

Those theories that I mentioned before – hardcore fans of PLL take down every note, every detail, scour over every minute clue that is shown in each episode and compile them in one huge Internet Bible as if the world of Rosewood is real. There have been five and a half seasons of twists and turns, and turns and twists on top of those, and red herrings and actual clues mixed in that it makes my head actually hurt.

prop clue board or the inside of a PLL fan’s brain?

Pretty Little Liars is in no way considered on the same level as mysteries like Twin Peaks or even classified in Netflix’s Thought-Provoking, Cerebral Dramas. However, the conceit of the actual program, like How I Met Your Mother, is interesting and intriguing, but the execution of the conclusion was nothing less than self-gratification, a bit condescending and overall, disappointing.

The point is, there is so much build up to the end game, not just in PLL, but in other shows like Lost or Gossip Girl, where the entire series is built upon and beloved because you’re hoping for resolution at the end. You put your trust in the writers that they’re leading you on through this (often times) exhaustive journey to be rewarded with a satisfying end. The problem, I think, is that sometimes writers get so wrapped up in their own vision of how their project is going to wrap, that they put fan service to the wayside. In recent years, I can think of shows like Parks and Recreation and Friday Night Lights that ended on notes that were accepted and praised by the fans. Although there are fewer and less ‘dramatic’ stakes for Leslie Knope taking a Washington D.C. job than, say, Emily almost getting chopped up by a buzzsaw thanks to -A, those shows reached endings that were the best outcome for the characters and not a blatant put-upon vision from the creators of the shows. So TV writers who are probably not reading this, I hope that you take into consideration that sometimes dragging out a story just to prove a point isn’t the way to go. And hey, PLL writers, there’s still time – we still have another season and a half for you to win our trust back. Make it count.

 

Tres Por Tres and Other TV Shows Lost in Translation

I was recently having a conversation about Full House, as you do, and my one friend, who is originally from Colombia, mentioned that when she watched it back home, Full House was called Tres Por Tres. Translated, this means Three by (for) Three, which quite literally is the premise of the show – three daughters and three men raising them. We obviously proceeded to look up YouTube clips and found out that in the opening credits, there’s a woman introducing each actor. Is this necessary? Probably not, but it’s entertaining.

And then she remembered that while everyone else’s name is the same (and Kimmy is ‘Kyyymmeee’), DJ is “Dejota” and we simply could not get over this. In fact we made it into a hashtag because Deej’s name en Español is so fun to say. You can hear Kyyymmeee say her name quickly at 1:55 in the clip below:

Either I’m fluent in Spanish or I understood all that because I’ve seen that episode so many times it’s almost embarrassing (a combo of both). Of course Full House isn’t the only show called something completely different in another language. Here are a few other programs that aren’t exactly what you’d expect they’d be titled around the world.

Arrested Development

Sweden: Firma Ruffel & Bygg  = Company Monkey Business & Construction

To be fair, “Company” and “Construction” are probably giving too much credit to The Bluth Company.

Six Feet Under

Russia: Клиент всегда мертв = The Customer Is Always Dead

It’s actually the customer’s family member that’s always dead, but vodka/vodka, right, Russia?

Breaking Bad

Bulgaria: В обувките на Сатаната = In The Shoes Of Satan

Creepily accurate.

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Brazil: Um Maluco no Pedaço = A Crazy in the Area

Fortunately, the Crazy in the area turned into the permanent crazy in the neighborhood.

Murder, She Wrote

Germany: Mord ist ihr Hobby = Murder Is Her Hobby

I’ve actually never seen an episode of Murder, She Wrote, so is this title right, or not? What am I missing here???

Two and A Half Men

Germany: Mein cooler Onkel Charlie = My Cool Uncle Charlie

The Germans probably weren’t expecting Charlie Sheen to go all Tiger Blood and die (twice) *spoiler alert?? ugh who cares* when they chose that title.

Pretty Little Liars

Finland: Valehtelevat viettelijät = False Seducer

DOES FINLAND KNOW SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW?? IS -A FINNISH?? IS ARIA -A BECAUSE SHE USED TO LIVE IN ICELAND AND THAT KINDA NEAR FINLAND?? THEORIZE, LIARS!

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

Poland: Tajemnica Amy = Mystery Amy

Is Poland doing an ABC Family crossover with PLL? What’s the mystery with a girl who got knocked up at 15?

Gilmore Girls

Poland: Kochane klopoty = Dear Trouble

I know Gilmore Girls backwards and forwards and I still don’t understand why it’s translated into “Dear Trouble”.

30 Rock

Brazil: Um Maluco na TV = A Crazy on TV

Just ONE crazy on TV? There’s too many to choose from.

Beverly Hills, 90210

Brazil:  Barrados no Baile = Barred From the Dance

Again, I’ve never seen a full episode of Bev Hills, but I’m assuming like many teen dramas, there are a fair share of dances, and I’m under the impression these kids were cool enough to at least attend one spring fling.

How I Met Your Mother

Finland: Ensisilmäyksellä = At First Glance

OKAY but Finland is up to something here. Based on what happened in the finale, did Finnish Craig Thomas and Carter Bays purposely title it At First Glance as a call back to the pilot when Ted first puts his eyes on Robin?? Because At First Glance is wayyyy less misleading of a title than How I Met Your Mother.

Scrubs

French: Toubib or not toubib = Doctor or Not Doctor

The answer is: ‘Barely’.

Everybody Loves Raymond

Israel: Mishpacah Lo Bochrim (משפחה לא בוחרים) = You Can’t Choose Your Family

While the Israelis have a good grasp of the concept, Everybody Loves Raymond executive producer Philip Rosenthal took his efforts to Russia in hopes of creating a version of the show in Russia called Voroniny, a play off the family name. He documented his journey in a documentary called Exporting Raymond, which is a great watch if you’re into this stuff and have read this far.

Married… With Children

Estonia: Tuvikesed = Pigeons

Estonia thinks they’re pigeons, and Hungarians call them “A Terribly Nice Family”… which one is the real show??

Best Of C+S 2014: Pop Culture Moments That Make Me Cry

Happy 2015, everybody! The start of a brand new year is always a happy, hopeful thing – but as you get older, the passing of time can also make you a little blue. As you get older, you are also more and more likely to spend New Year’s day holed up in bed, watching Netflix and eating whatever your go-to hangover foods are. This didn’t used to happen to us. Anyway, these are all of the pop culture moments that make us cry, on a scale from one to five Crying Dawsons, in case your plans for the day include a lot of media content and a little crying.


Some pop culture moments are engineered to make you cry. Any time they show you an old man who is alone, or a beloved dog bravely facing his mortality, you know they’re trying to make you bawl.

Others aren’t supposed to be sad, but for some reason they grab onto your feelings and twist them until your eyes water. For instance: any time a child sings and it’s very beautiful.

Then there are those moments that were meant to be sad, but came out hilarious instead. I present for your approval:

This is the rare tearjerker scene that makes us weep – because we’re laughing so hard. So with Dawson Leery as our patron saint of pop culture crying, we’re listing those moments in entertainment that brought us to tears. Our scale stretches from one Crying Dawson (your eyes are lightly watering, but there’s no real tearstorm) to five Crying Dawsons (or as we like to call it, a Full Leery). And disclaimer: there will be spoilers ahead. Consider yourself warned.

One Crying Dawson1 crying dawson

  • The final, heartrending scenes of The Notebook. And I’m only putting it here because zero crying Dawsons wasn’t an option. I’m a monster, I know.
  • The end of Bridesmaids where Maya gives one last glance back at Kristen before she gets in the limo with her new husband. There’s an unspoken understanding between two best friends that just gets me.
  • Any time an actor/actress that is announcing Emmy/Oscar/Golden Globe nominations at the asscrack of dawn, only to announce their own name as one of the nominees.
  • Cyrus realizing he was the reason his hubs got killed on Scandal. You brought it on yourself dude.
  • When Little Michael Scott wants to grow up and have 100 kids so he can have 100 friends and no one can say no to being his friend.
  • The end of City Lights (taking it way back to the 1930s here!), when the blind girl sees the tramp for the first time.
  • When Mary is sort of mean to Martha in A Secret Garden but it’s because she doesn’t know how to play or love and her parents are dead and she lives in a creepy house in the middle of nowhere.
  • The “Love Is A Dream” sketch with Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks, serving the one-two punch of old people thinking about their youth, and people who died before their time.
  • When the now-elderly Peaches take a team picture and sing their song one last time in A League Of Their Own.
  • In The Great Gatsby, both the book and film adaptations, when Daisy delivers the “beautiful fool” line. Gut punch.

Two Crying Dawsons2 crying dawsons

  • When Papouli taught us about Greek dance, the love of family, and brief character arcs on Full House.
  • The look on Louis’ face when his daughter plays the violin duet with the neighbor on Louie.
  • The episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets the crayon lodged in his brain removed and suddenly becomes smart. At the end Lisa reads a letter he wrote her from before he got dumb again and it was the first time anyone in her family understood her.
  • Also, after Maggie is born and Homer goes back to work at the plant, he covers the mean plaque from Burns “Don’t Forget, You’re Here Forever” with her pictures so that it now reads “Do it for her.”
  • When Brian Williams reported on the NBC Nightly News that his daughter Allison Williams had been cast in the live version of Peter Pan. No matter what you think about the casting decision itself, you have no soul if you don’t get emotional watching him be so proud of his daughter.
  • Mr. Feeny dismissing class one final time.
  • Jen Lindley’s final conversation with Jack. And TBH, I might have cried more when Jack and Dougie declared their commitment to each other on the beach.
  • When Will believes his father isn’t going to leave him again on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air but Pops lets him down again, and Will breaks down in the arms of Uncle Phil asking why his dad doesn’t want him.
  • The voiceover at the end of The Time Travelers episode of How I Met Your Mother, when Future Ted says that he wants 45 extra days with The Mother… probably because at that point I had a pretty good idea of what that darn show was going to do to us.
  • Leslie saying goodbye to Ann on Parks and Rec. Uteruses before duderuses.
  • When Mel Gibson is getting ready to leave in The Patriot, and his mute daughter runs after him screaming “I’ll say anything!” Doubly so now that she’s passed away.

Three Crying Dawsons

3 crying dawsons

  • The final moments of that old dog in Homeward Bound.
  • The Muppets (2012), just in general. It made both of us cry and neither of us knows why.
  • Jessie singing When Somebody Loved Me in Toy Story 2.
  • The little girl singing Desperado in In America.
  • I was in a hotel a few months ago and came across a documentary on like the Travel Channel or something that was about the new Diagon Alley attraction in Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Orlando, and the planning, construction and attention to detail that went into it before they opened the doors. Before opening it to the public, a select group of young HP fans were let into the park as a sneak peak and the look of awe was astounding. I can’t imagine being a kid, being obsessed with the books & movies and finally being in Diagon Alley for real.
  • In what is one of my favorite dances over all the seasons of So You Think You Can Dance, golden child Travis Wall choreographed an emotional contemporary (and Emmy nominated) piece to Coldplay’s Fix You, a dance based on his own experience of helping his mom through her bout with cancer. While Fix You is always a tearjerker, add on the brilliant dancing by Robert Roldan and Allison Holker and you have a piece of pure art that will leave you breathless.
  • Speaking of SYTYCD, season 11’s Ricky Ubeda was one of those winners who actually deserved the victory, thanks to his combination of talent and personality. But during Hollywood week, it was his solo that made me (and a lot of other viewers) single him out from the crowd, thanks to vulnerability and emotion he brought to the dance.
  • Lily telling Marshall his dad died on How I Met Your Mother.
  • The final scene in Friends when they all walk out of Monica & Chandler’s to go to Central Perk and there’s one final sweep of the empty apartment with swelling music in the background.

Four Crying Dawsons

4 Crying Dawsons

  • Carrie Underwood singing. Pretty much singing anything. Especially if it’s live. I’ve seen her in concert three times and every single time I was brought to tears. She sings with such passion and conviction. And if she’s singing any kind of religious song, you know she’s channeling the big JC, making her voice even more powerful for some reason.
  • The scene in both the book and movie version of The Fault in our Stars where Hazel is giving the ‘eulogy’ for Gus in the church.
  • The Normal Heart. All of it.
  • Friday Night Lights – pretty much the entire show. However, I’ll pinpoint one that stands out, which is when Coach throws Matt Saracen into the shower, but QB1 breaks down, insisting that his loved ones always abandon him. And to continue this Zach Gilford lovefest, the entire episode of The Son is heartwrenching, but I won’t ruin it for you if you haven’t seen it.
  • Call it the Jason Katims effect because Parenthood also makes me cry during every episode, no matter what. Again, it’s hard to pick just one, so the scene where Kristina tells the family that she has cancer – a scene so powerful with no words at all. This current season hasn’t been lucky for Zeek, and because of personal reasons, I’ve found his storyline extremely upsetting. Also Mae Whitman crying. Legit the best crier in the biz.
  • The series finale of Gilmore Girls in which Rory assures Lorelai that she’s “already given her everything she needs” before she goes on the road following Senator Barack Obama. In fact the final like 20 minutes of that show including Rory’s speech under the tent make me cry so hard that I’ve only watched the finale approx thrice, as opposed to like the 30 times for all the other episodes.
  • The finale of I ❤ Nick Carter where he and Lauren get married. Legit stayed up til 4am watching it and it was totally worth it. His family sucks but good thing they have the rest of BSB and other friends and family – that’s what got me.
  • Jim Halpert learning he and Pam are having a baby after she injures herself at the company picnic. The whole office singing Seasons of Love to Michael on his last episode. The ‘Forever’ flash mob at Jim & Pam’s wedding and them getting married on the Maid of the Mist and Jim cutting off his tie. The entire series finale. I had a hard time saying goodbye to The Office.
  • The first 5-ish minutes of Up.
  • When Mary and Edith realize that they’re the only ones left after Sybil dies.
  • I was never big into Buffy, but that scene where Buffy tells Dawn that their mom has died, and you’re watching it through the window of her classroom? Nope.
  • DOBBY. RIP.

Five Crying Dawsons

5 crying dawsons

  • The Quarterback episode of Glee where Finn (Cory Monteith) dies. I literally went through almost an entire box of tissues during that and I’m not even a huge Glee fan. The pain on everyone’s face was real, and watching Lea Michele sing – forget it.
  • The end of The Best Man Holiday – what in the fuck was that all about?! I paid $15 to see Taye Diggs and his fellow HBM co-stars possibly take their clothes off and it turned out that I needed extra sleeves because my tears and snot were all over the shirt I went in with.
  • Right before Leslie and Ben get married, when she’s talking with Ron in the hallway. I’m a wedding crier anyway, but jeez.
  • In Little Women, when Jo is going through the trunk in the attic after Beth has died (note: Beth’s death gets knocked down to 4 Crying Dawsons because of the weird brogue Claire Danes starts speaking in).
  • Everything that happens after Sara Crewe goes to live in the attic in A Little Princess. This is the second Frances Hodgson Burnett appearance on this list so I hope wherever she is, she’s proud of her vast legacy of children’s tears.
  • The funeral scene in Philadelphia, when they show the home movies of Beckett as a kid with his mom.
  • Good Will Hunting: 4 words – “It’s not your fault.”
  • My Girl: 6 words – “He can’t see without his glasses!”
  • Dead Poets Society: 4 words – “O Captain! My Captain!”

How to Cope with TV Haituses: 2014 Edition

Do you guys remember when the last episode for the year of a TV series didn’t have a term? Like, when did networks decide that the phrase “Winter Finale” was a thing? Definitely in the past couple of years, right? So dramatic.

But as the Winter Finale of your fave shows roll out over this month, you’ll obviously need something to bide your time and avoid your fam during the stressful parts of the holiday season. Like last year, I’ve created a hopefully helpful guide to lead you in the right direction when it comes to preoccupying yourself over the next few weeks! Happy watching!

If you like:

How I Met Your Mother

You might like:

A to Z

Just like we fell in love with Cristin Milioti on How I Met Your Mother and she was promptly taken away, as is the fate of Cristin on the sitcom A to Z. The Lord giveth and NBC taketh away. Cristin Milioti deserves better than this. She’s a great actress who is perfect in the romcom role. In fact, everyone on this show is great. Ben Feldman – oh how I swoon for Ben Feldman (The Mindy Project Ben, not Mad Men Ben,obvs) – is perfect as the A (Andrew) to Cristin’s Z (Zelda). Like HIMYM, the show takes a different kind of approach in telling their love story, since we’re told from the pilot that they stay together for 8 months, 3 weeks and 29 days – those aren’t the exact numbers, but you get the picture. They’re so cute together that you wonder how and why it ends. I guess we’ll never be able to find out since NBC hasn’t ordered more than the 13 episode order. Nonetheless, you should catch up with A, Z, and their best friends, who provide that balance needed for an ensemble comedy.

If you like:

Friday Night Lights

You might like:

Kingdom

I’m not really a sports person, so I was initially turned off to Friday Night Lights because it looked like a football show. And that’s what its ‘downfall’ was. NBC didn’t really know how to market the show because there really hadn’t been anything like it before. Ultimately, it’s a drama about the tight-knit community in small town Texas, and football just happens to play another character in the show. That’s what Kingdom is. TBH, I only started watching it because of Matt Lauria and Nick Jonas are in it, but this gritty new series set in the MMA world is about the relationships between family, friends, and lovers. While there’s a fair share of fighting and blood and sweat, you’ll come to find yourself hooked on wanting to see what’s next for each of the characters. In addition, Kingdom has three actors from the Jason Katims world – Jonathan Tucker (Parenthood), Matt Lauria (Parenthood/FNL) and Kiele Sanchez (Matt Saracen’s wife IRL).

If you like:

Happy Endings

You might like:

Marry Me

HAPPY ENDINGS RIP. If there’s one show in the past few years that really didn’t deserve to get cancelled, that show is Happy Endings. The chemistry of the cast was incomparable, the hilarious dialogue was like nothing I had ever heard before, and the situations they found themselves in were not too far off from my own life and the lives of people I know. So if you’re still in Happy Endings withdrawal, try Marry Me, an NBC comedy that actually scored a whole first season, starring Casey Wilson (Penny Hartz) and Ken Marino who play a newly engaged couple. It’s created/executive produced/written by David Caspe, the creator/executive producer/writer of Happy Endings and also Casey’s new husband. While it doesn’t have the same ensemble ‘Friends’y feel as HE, it does take on a similar (hilarious) tone. Plus it’s also set in Chicago, so there might be some crossover characters…

If you like:

The Mindy Project

You might like:

Selfie

Like you and the rest of America, I was turned off by the title of John Cho and Karen Gillan’s new sitcom, Selfie. It initially came off as this social media/internet/daft show that should’ve been titled #SELFIE, but turns out, it’s not. While social media does play a role in the show, as the season progresses, you’ll find that those two up there are at the heart of it. It’s actually a take on My Fair Lady/Pygmalion, in which John Cho plays “Henry”, who tries to class up Karen’s “Eliza”. Their dynamic reminds me a little of Danny and Mindy, where Danny’s kind of curmudgeonly and a no nonsense kind of guy, whereas Mindy is still smart yet flitty, into pop culture and clothes and the latest Cosmo. Mindy and Danny’s relationship works in an opposites attract kind of way, and so does Henry and Eliza’s. We’re at the point where there’s an inkling of a romance going on between them, but with ABC deciding to cancel it (BOOOOO) and Hulu picking it up (YAYY) who knows what we’ll get to seen and when we get to see it. All I’m saying is ignore the title and just watch the damn show.

If you like:
Dawson’s Creek

You might like:

The Affair

Sometimes I decide to watch a show based purely who’s on it, but then am delightfully surprised when the show turns out to be really good. Enter Joshua Jackson. Loyal readers may recall my journey through watching Dawson’s Creek for the first time earlier this year, and I was Team Pacey all the way (if you’re Team Dawson WHO EVEN ARE YOU). Like a fine wine or Leonardo DiCaprio, Joshua Jackson only gets better with age. In The Affair, he is hot as ever, and as Vulture pointed out earlier this week, he’s basically Pacey as a cowboy. But the storytelling is one of a kind in The Affair, and it’s what lured me in from the pilot. As stated in the title, there is an Affair – with a capital A – going on between Noah (The Wire’s Dominic West) and Alison (Luther’s Ruth Wilson). Noah’s married to WASPy Maura Tierney, while Alison is married to Pacey Witter. Set in the summer in Montauk, Long Island, Noah and Alison meet and start to have this affair. We also find out there’s a murder early in the season, and both Noah and Alison are being interrogated months after their summer affair. But the twist: the show is split into two parts, one from Noah’s point of view and one from Alison’s. Needless to say they have different versions of the truth. But also, Pacey on a horse.

If you like:

How to Get Away With Murder

You might like:

Serial Podcast

I HAVE A LOT OF THOUGHTS ON SERIAL, AND I’M GOING TO SAVE IT FOR THE DAY SEASON ONE ENDS. But for now, if you don’t listen to Serial, get on it. I lit’rally gave in to peer pressure and started listening to it over Thanksgiving because everyone kept talking about it and I had total FOMO. I’ll tell you that I’m not usually a fan of crime related entertainment – I’ve never been into the Law & Orders or CSIs or Criminal Minds of the world. But this is a horse of a different color. Serial is one podcaster/reporter’s journey into delving deep deep deep into a real murder case of a teen and her attempts to solve it. Is it really the guy sentenced to life behind bars or is it someone else? WE DON’T KNOW. This isn’t really a spoiler, but there’s a part, I think in episode 5 of Serial, where Sarah, the ‘host’ of the podcast, consults a lawyer who deals with a lot of Innocence cases – where they believe person in jail didn’t commit the crime and she tries to prove they didn’t do it. This lawyer is super interested in the murder case featured in Serial, and even has a team of her law students help her investigate. Sound familiar? Because that’s basically the plot of How to Get Away with Murder. Viola Davis is a high-power attorney who can quite literally get anyone off the hook for any crime, and she has a crack team of students helping her. While HTGAWM is much more dramatic than Serial, both have the same amount of suspense and theorizing that will make you go insane. In a good way.

O Come Let Us Adore… Holiday-Themed Sitcom Episodes

ATTENTION: IT IS DECEMBER. IT IS THE LAST MONTH OF 2014. WHAT HOW HUH.

Ok now that I’ve made you feel like you’ve done nothing this year, it’s time to introduce you to our special holiday playlists of the month, because we like spreading joy here at Cookies + Sangria.

If you are a frequent reader of our blog, you know that we usually have a Playlist of the Month featuring our favorite songs based on the given theme. For December, we decided to give our gifts to you early (yay!) and have THREE ‘playlists’ that are all holiday themed. Today we’re kicking it off with some of our favorite holiday sitcom episodes. If you’re like us, you enjoy watching stuff like this to get into the spirit, so break out the egg nog (or just like, wine or something) and kick back with some of the best Christmasukkah crap TV has to offer!

Molly’s Picks

Parks and Recreation – Citizen Knope
{Season 4, Episode 1}

Guaranteed to bring on my annual Yuletide happy-cry, in this episode Leslie learns that as much love and dedication as she has for her friends and community, they have for her. Leslie always gives almost obsessively perfect presents, but after her rough suspension she receives the best gifts a gal could ask for: the love of her friends, a gingerbread facsimile of her workplace, and a campaign staff.

Seinfeld – The Strike
{Season 9, Episode 10}

Yes, my family has celebrated Festivus. The Feats of Strength were a real bummer because my brothers are both 6’5, but I think the Airing Of Grievances hurt more. If you don’t know what those things mean, you need to watch this episode.

The Office – Christmas Party
{Season 2, Episode 10}

Remember those sweet, early ‘will they/won’t they’ days of Jim and Pam’s relationship? When a Christmas gift exchange turns into a forced Yankee Swap, Jim’s gift to Pam is in jeopardy. She ultimately gets the teapot he bought her, but not before Jim removes the note he wrote her … then gives it to her like 7 years later.

Guys. I really miss this show sometimes.

Friends – The One With The Routine
{Season 6, Episode 10}

Do you guys remember Millennium Fever? Survivalists were freaking out about Y2K and everyone else was under heavy pressure to have the best New Year’s ever. When Monica and Ross land a spot on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, they decide to bust out their childhood dance routine.

Surest sign you were a tweenaged Friends fanatic in the late 90s: you watched the episode (taped on VHS, naturally) over and over until you had that routine down. Guilty.

30 Rock – Ludachristmas
{Season 2, Episode 9}

This one had me at the title. What can I say, I love a good portmanteau. But the episode itself seriously delivered. Jack’s mom (Elaine Stritch) is in town, as is Liz’s family (including her brother, whose brain injury makes him believe that it is perpetually 1985). The TGS Christmas party is ruined when Kenneth takes it upon himself to teach everyone the Real Meaning Of Christmas, and saved when Tracy decides to ignore his alcohol monitoring bracelet.

The Simpsons – The Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire
{Season 1, Episode 1}

I was a big Simpsons fan as a little kid, and this is probably my favorite of their Christmas episodes. Homer gets a job as a mall Santa, but still comes up short on Christmas Eve. He and Bart hit the racetrack, and come home with the best present of all – Santa’s Little Helper, the losing greyhound they bet on.

Traci’s Picks

The Office – A Benihana Christmas
{Season 3, Episode 11}

This isn’t just one of my favorite Christmas episodes, it’s one of my favorite episodes of The Office – ever. There is so much going on in this episode that I don’t even know which storyline is my favorite. So let’s break it down. First we have Michael, whose realtor girlfriend, Carol (and Steve’s IRL wife) breaks up with him, leading him into a spiral of depression. To help him with the pain, he goes out to lunch at Japanese restaurant Benihana with some of the guys in the office. Michael and Andy pick up two of the waitresses (Kulap!) and bring them back to the office for the annual Christmas party. Except Michael can’t remember which Asian waitress was the one he was hoping to hook up with, and after a heart to heart with Jim, Michael realizes he really likes someone else and invites them to go to Jamaica with him (spoiler alert, it’s Jan). Speaking of the party, there are actually two dueling parties between Angela’s Party Planning Committee and Pam and Karen’s margarita-karaoke party. This is important because it’s the first time Pam and Karen are actually getting along despite the fact there’s the whole Jim love triangle. Eventually the two parties merge, and all is fine. Oh and as a Christmas present to Jim, Pam has been playing an elaborate trick on Dwight which involves the CIA. This episode is The Office at its finest. It has the perfect mix of humor, heart, and plot progression that will fit in a special hour-long episode. Ugh, I miss this show.

Friends – The One With The Holiday Armadillo
{Season 7, Episode 10}

This is obviously one of the more iconic moments of Friends – even though it’s from one of the much-debated later seasons. Ross wants to teach Ben about Haunukkah, since he’s half Jewish, but all Ben wants to do is talk about that Santa dude. Ross gives in, but it’s too late into the season that all the Christmas-related costumes are sold out, so he settles for an armadillo – the Holiday Armadillo to be exact (who is Santa’s representative for all the southern states. Annnnnd Mexico!) But because Ben has uncles who love him a lot and want to help out, Joey and Chandler dress up too, and the result looks like the Easter Bunny’s funeral.

Full House – Our Very First Christmas Show
{Season 2, Episode 9}

When I was a kid, I always thought Corduroy and his story was just the coolest. The fact that this bear came to life and gets to wander around a department store at night when it was closed just seemed so intriguing to me. Basically, any plot that involves people (or inanimate objects coming to life, I guess) being stuck in a place where they’re not usually supposed to be is great to me. In the first Christmas episode from Full House, the fam is on its way to Colorado for the holidays, but a blizzard forces the plane to land in a rando small airport and they have to spend the Christmas Eve in the baggage claim waiting room. Jesse’s dad tries to get Jesse to kiss Becky under the mistletoe, Deej is mad that their gifts have gone missing, Steph is upset because she doesn’t think Santa will find her in the stupid airport, and Joey doesn’t get a real storyline because this is Full House. Eventually some guy Steph was afraid of on the plane turns out to be the real Santa, and they all get their presents. It’s full of cheese, but what else do you expect from this show?

Parks and Recreation – Ron and Diane
{Season 5, Episode 9}

Because Leslie Knope is the greatest, she dresses up in this elf/santa’s workshop worker costume to tell Ron he is nominated for an award from the Indiana Fine Woodworking Association for a chair he recently built. Ron invites Diane to the ceremony and Leslie invites herself, and therefore meets Diane for the first time (cameo appearance from Tammy 2). Meanwhile, the rest of the gang are planning their annual Jerry Dinner – every time Jerry does something stupid, they put a dollar in the box, and at the end of the year, they use the money to treat themselves to a dinner. But on their way to spend the $500, Tom, Donna, April and Andy pass by Jerry’s house only to find out that the Gengriches, including Christie Brinkley, are having a big Christmas party without them. Ann, who is a guest at the party, won’t let them in, but they finally apologize and end up giving the Jerry Dinner money to Jerry to help pay for his hospital bills after his fart attack.

How I Met Your Mother – How Lily Stole Christmas
{Season 2, Episode 11}

Lily finds an old message on their answering machine that Ted left for Marshall after Lily left him to go off to San Francisco. He called her a grinch (bitch) and urged Marshall to get over her. Ted tells her that in all fairness she was being a huge grinch during that time, and refuses to apologize, which makes Lily furious. She takes away “Lily’s Winter Wonderland”, in which she decorates the entire apartment full of snow and Christmas items, and it’s Marshall’s favorite part about the holidays, especially this year since he’s busy studying for the bar exam. There are a lot of episodes in HIMYM focusing on Marshall/Lily and Ted/Marshall/Barney, but there are a few which get to focus on Lily/Ted, and this is one of them. Throughout college, it was Mashall, Lily, and Ted as a trio, and sometimes it’s hard to remember that with the Marshall/Lily ship, so seeing them fight and ultimately reconcile in this episode is certainly a Christmas miracle.

Saved By The Bell – A Home For Christmas
{Season 3, Episode 24}

Boy, do I love/hate a teen show which tries to incorporate adult subject matter. We briefly talked about how this show handled drunk driving and drugs during our SBTB Week a few months ago,  and this is no different. Most of the gang has jobs at the mall, and Zack lit’rally runs into this blonde girl and hits on her but he turns around for one second and she’s gone. Separately, Zack and Screech run into a man in the bathroom who they realize is homeless. Turns out, the blonde, Laura, not only works with Kelly at a department store, but is the homeless man’s daughter, and they’ve been living in their car after he lost his job. Zack’s mom offers to let them stay at their house until they find a place to stay. At the same time, the crew is putting up A Christmas Carol, which IRONICALLY mirrors a similar story between Laura and Kelly and their mean scroogey boss Mr. Moody. The episode ends with everyone singing Silent Night around a piano, and S2G, if I watched this episode as an adult I would hate it, but because I watched it so many times as a kid, the corny factor doesn’t even bother me. God bless us every one (esp Zack Morris).

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Woman Crush Wednesday: Cristin Milioti

We’re smack dab in the middle of fall TV premiere week and while we count down the hours to the #Scandal premiere with wine in hand, we’re also ready to try out some of the new shows. We covered some during our TV Week, and among the ones we’re super excited about is A to Z, starring everyone’s favorite Mother, Cristin Milioti.

Cristin is relatively new, considering she’s been specific roles to different groups of fans, and it’s about time she be recognized for the excellent talent she is. So in honor of A to Z starting next week, we’re dedicating #WomanCrushWednesday to one of our favorite “new” actresses, Cristin Milioti.

The Mother/Tracy ‘Not a Plot Device’ McConnell/TM

Let’s get this out of the way right now. If you’re not caught up with the series finale of How I Met Your Mother and don’t want to be spoiled, STOP READING NOW. Also props for managing to not find out the outcome for so long.

The series finale was a polarizing one, to say the least, and we lean towards the unfavorable side of the coin. Not to see we hated it completely, but we would’ve liked to see a happier ending. You know, with less death. To pull a Ted, let’s start from the beginning. The moment she walked up to the train ticket booth and said ‘One ticket to Farhampton, please’ I SCREAMED at my TV because I knew her as Broadway’s Cristin Milioti (more on that later).

cristin

I was so excited because knowing her style, she seemed like the perfect fit for the love of Ted Evelyn Mosby’s life. In the final season when they had scenes together, it felt worth it. That the wait to meet Her over the past nine years had culminated in Ted meeting and falling in love with his perfect match – even the Victorias and Stellas and Jeanettes were all worth it because Tracy was ‘better’ than them and it was clear just by the chemistry between her and Ted.

And then the conspiracy theorists turned out to be right. Everything we (me) hoped wouldn’t happen did, and Tracy, this perfect human, died from a mystery illness and Ted really completed his full circle love affair with Robin at the end. Whatever your position on the ending may be, I think we can all agree that Tracy was a good match for Ted, and it wouldn’t have been perfect without the brilliant talent from Cristin.

 A Girl and Her Ukelele

One of Cristin’s shining moments on the show is this short, sweet, heart wrenching clip of Tracy singing La Vie En Rose by Edith Piaf, which Ted hears for the first time while sitting outside his hotel at Robin and Barney’s wedding. The emotion she brings to the song is just as impressive as Edith’s original version, but in a slightly different way. Ted’s enchantment with her singing is one of the first glimpses of his initial connection with his future wife and gave me the gossebumps watching it. Fun fact: Cristin learned the song on ukelele just for the scene.

 “Tony Award nominee Cristin Milioti”

Like previously mentioned, I first found out about Cirstin when she got cast as the lead role of Girl in the Original Broadway Cast of Once. Even though I never got the chance to see her in all her glory live, I’ve made my way through the soundtrack more times than I care to share. When paired with Steve Kazee, the two make a super couple with one magical musical baby, as evidence by their duet of the hit song Falling Slowly, as seen above. It’s nearly impossible not to cry (okay, it’s possible, but I’m just a baby who can’t keep her emotions in).

 She’s a Sexy Baby

And now for something completely different, the same year Cristin made her debut in Once, she appeared in a standout episode of 30 Rock, which deals with sexism in the workplace. The show Liz Lemon runs is accused of being misogynistic, so she hires a female writer played by Cristin named Abby, who turns out to be provocative and really stereotypical. It was one of the most memorable episodes of 30 Rock and it’s hard to believe Cristin in the same girl as Girl or The Mother based on this alone.

She Has Leonardo DiCaprio’s e-mail, Probably

Cristin is originally from Cherry Hill, New Jersey and calls herself “Olive Garden Italian”, but in Wolf of Wall Street she plays Jordan Belfort’s (Leo) first wife Teresa, who looks like this:

So I feel like maybe this role was one of the most relatable for her…?

She has a Drunk Personality

If it makes you feel any better, Cristin, I don’t think ANYONE can recite the alphabet backwards while pointing to their nose. It’s nearly impossible to do sober, so your argument is valid.

We Would’ve Been A Part Of The Same High School Clique

I went through a really good-looking phase from birth to 9. And then things went crazy. I don’t know what happened, but between 9 and 14 it was really, really rough. I didn’t have a lot of friends. The only ones who were nice to me were the theater kids. And they were like, ‘You can come and join us. No one likes us.” {x}

In high school, Molly and I fell under the category of theater kids, but the kind that wasn’t completely hung ho about it, closer to that of the lower sports clique. Think Cool Asians, as opposed to Asian nerds. Cristin is one of our people, and not afraid to embrace her love for the stage like us, and I appreciate that.

She Rules The Rom Com

There are only a number of shows I’m super excited about watching in the coming weeks, and A to Z, starring Cristin and Mad Men’s Ben Feldman is one of them. If you like HIMYM, you’ll probably like this show. It tells the story of a couple’s complete dating history – and they only date for 8 months. Cristin puts on the charm and so does Ben, and together, you start to question your ship for Tracy and Ted Mosby. (A to Z’s pilot is on NBC.com, but premieres on October 2nd on NBC!)

TV Finales As Written By The How I Met Your Mother Writers

What a finale! During the last episode of How I Met Your Mother, we learned that Ted met The Mother at the train station after the wedding and stayed in New York, that Robin and Barney got divorced, that The Mother died of a nameless, convenient disease, that if you’re a career-focused lady your marriage will probably end but maybe in a decade your friend’s wife will die and he’ll hit you up, and that the writers must have liked Lily and Marshall the best. We also learned that the past nine years have been — in many Twitter users’ opinions anyway —  either a waste of time or a lie. Neither of us 100% hated the finale, but we sure didn’t love it, either.

The plus is, we now have a sitcom finale format that we can use to ruin the ending of any TV show that you ever came to love! Take a look:

Full House

Wait, we already knew the mother was dead the whole time, right?  It seemed like Danny would never find love – until Jesse and Rebecca get divorced. Then Danny gets with Becky, which is convenient because he was already keeping her and her children in his attic.

The purpose of the whole series was for Bob Saget to explain to his daughters why their cousins were becoming their step-siblings.

All of this is able to happen because Danny’s real love (Uncle Joey, natch) dies. Danny can finally go for Becky once that puppeteering, Popeye-impersonating cock-block is out of the way thanks to … I don’t know, cancer or something? Consumption? Some sort of vague, beautiful illness. It doesn’t matter.

I Love Lucy

Fred and Ethel get divorced. Ricky dies. Lucy confesses that she loved Fred all along. And the whole series was just a traumatizing story-session in which Lucy fishes for dating advice from Little Ricky.

Also Ricky Ricardo was really from Milwaukee. Because everything you thought was true was a lie.

Friends

The thing we were waiting for for years finally happened – Ross and Rachel got back together and tied the knot! Then, quicker than you can say “four divorces,” the marriage ended. Rachel didn’t hang out much anymore. Then Monica died. And Chandler married Rachel, which makes Emma and the twins some sort of cousin-siblings. And the whole series was just a way to explain to the twins why daddy’s trying to get with Auntie Rachel.

Joey gives his last “how YOU doin’.” To an accident-baby.

M.A.S.H.

How could you possibly improve on arguably the best TV finale of all time? Easy, using the HIMYM Series-Ruining Format. The good news is that the events that viewers spent years waiting for finally happened.  Klinger and Soon-Lee get married. And divorced. But it’s cool, she hooks up with Father Mulcahy. The war ends! Hawkeye boards a helicopter, and looks fondly down at  the goodbye message that B.J. wrote in the camp.

Then the helicopter crashes. Onto Sophie the Horse.  Because if you wait seasons and seasons for something to happen, the writers just might give it to you – but true to the HIMYM Series-Ruining Format, you can be sure that they’ll take it away by the end of the episode.

Seinfeld

Make the Seinfeld finale worse? Sure! The HIMYM writers are up to the challenge. When the gang’s plane makes a crash-landing, they see a man getting carjacked and fail to help him. Under the jurisdiction’s Good Samaritan Law, they are put on trial, and all of their old acquaintances come back as character references. Elaine gets reluctant about hanging out with her friends – maybe because she’s in a separate facility, maybe because bitches be crazy and have too many feelings to maintain friendships –  which makes things real weird between everyone. Then, she and Jerry get together and get married by a justice of the peace in the local jail! But they get divorced real quick. They are all found guilty.

And sentenced to death.

Roseanne

Everyone remembers the real Roseanne finale, right? We learned that Dan actually died of a heart attack at Darlene’s wedding. His survival – and everything that happened afterward, including winning the lottery – was a story created in Roseanne’s imagination to cope with the immeasurable sorrow that filled her days.

Actually, this one can stay just how it is.

St. Elsewhere

NEVER SHAKE A DOCTOR. NEVER.

The audience learns that the whole show took place in the imagination of a little boy who has autism, who gazes at a snow-globe containing the titular hospital. The boy drops the snow-globe as he – the kid you hadn’t even met until this episode but who was the key to the entire show – dies. You see the main characters, in miniature, all fall out of the tiny snow-globe hospital. Maybe some of them die too. Were any of them married? Cool. They divorce.

The Office

Remember the wedding between Dwight and Angela? Well, they hadn’t finished paying it off before they got divorced. Jim dies. Pam marries Dwight. I guess Kelly and Ryan can be the Lily and Marshall of this operation, and nothing bad really happens to them. Toby fathers some sort of baby.

Newhart

Dick and Joanna split up. Joanna takes up with George Utley.

THEN, Dick wakes up and we find out that the whole thing was a dream. His name is Bob, he does NOT live in Vermont, and he did NOT divorce Joanna. Really dodged a bullet there! We meet the woman that he actually married. She is wonderful.

She dies.

In the last frame, Bob has taken a train to Vermont in order to track down the woman of his (literal) dreams – Prudence Goddard.

 

Lost

The whole time, you thought you might have been in purgatory.

Actually, you were in hell.

Life Lessons I’ve Learned From How I Met Your Mother

Kids, after nine seasons, 208 episodes, eight slaps, three Canadian pop star music videos, countless girlfriends and one person revealed to be the perfect mother, How I Met Your Mother is coming to an end.

himym

I’ve been a HIMYM fan since season one, which I suppose is rare in this day and age, especially since the show has lasted this long. And while my level of obsession never quite hit an embarrassing peak like I did with The Office, I can’t help but compare  the two. Both are sitcoms that will forever have a mark on television, both have loyal fan followings, both ended (are ending) with nine seasons to their resume. Like The Office, fans were given a year’s worth warning that it would be the final season, but that doesn’t mean the end comes any easier. It’s been a year since I’ve watched a full episode of The Office, because it hurts my heart too much to know there will most likely never be another new episode again.

And with every episode of HIMYM that passes by, with every last slap, every last high five, every last ‘legendary’ uttered, the reality of the show ending is hitting me like a brick wall, and I’m unable to keep my emotions in tact. I’m like pregnant Lily with the non-stop crying. But let’s not focus on the show ending, but rather what we’ve been able to learn over the past nine years.

We all know that the point of us hearing Ted tell all these stories is to explain to his kids how he met and fell in love with their mother. But in that nine year span of storytelling, we watched him and the gang experience love, heartbreak, births, deaths, and overall, grow up. I mean think about yourself nine years ago compared to who you are now. You’ve gone through shit and it’s changed you for the better or worse, but either way it has changed you. Everything Ted recalled to his kids over nine seasons helped explain how and why it’s led to meeting the love of his life. Like Ted, I’m a very big ‘everything happens for a reason’ person, and this entire series is the epitome of that. So in the spirit of that mantra, here are the best life lessons we’ve gleaned from HIMYM, the ones that help shape who we are, and the ones we will remember for the rest of our lives.

Because sometimes, even if you know how something’s gonna end, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ride. – Ted Mosby

Get out of the house, Go for a walk, Get a bagel

Season 4, Episode 22: Right Place, Right Time

Architect Ted is down in the dumps because he was commissioned to design a chain restaurant called Rib Town in the shape of a giant cowboy hat. Not exactly what he imagined he would be doing with his life. Clearly frustrated, Robin suggests he get out of the house, go for a walk and get a bagel. A series of circumstances lead him to crosswalk where his ex-fiancee, Stella runs into him. That meeting led to his eventual hiring at Columbia University where he taught an architecture class – which is where The Mother, a student, sees Ted for the first time.

In times of frustration or when we feel like we’re at a dead end, it’s hard to figure out what our next move will be. But maybe the best move you can make is one that is out of your comfort zone. Maybe the best move you can make is just go out and do something. Period. We don’t know what we’ll find when we go off the beaten path, but it might turn out to change your life forever.

Nothing Good Happens After 2AM

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

Ted relays to his kids that his mom used to say, ‘Nothing good happens after 2am.’ Proving this theory right, he recalls the time he was waiting up for a phone call from his girlfriend Victoria, who lived in Germany. However, Robin (Ted’s ex and forever one of the great loves of his life) was feeling depressed and alone, and called Ted asking him to come over. It was past 2am, and he should have gone to bed, but he went to Robin’s instead. One thing leads to another, Ted tells Robin that he & Victoria broke up (they hadn’t), Ted starts making out with Robin, Ted goes to the bathroom to call Victoria to break-up with her, only to go back out to the living room to see he had Robin’s phone, and Robin is on the phone talking to Victoria and everything in Ted’s life crumbles down like the Arcadian.

Just quit while you’re ahead. Or behind. Better yet, just go to sleep. Stay in. Whatever you do, don’t go out after 2am. It’s too late for anything good to happen.

The Front Porch Test

Season 4, Episode 17: The Front Porch

Lily admits she has been conducting a secret test with all of Ted’s paramours, and if they don’t pass it, she attempts to break them up. Called The Front Porch Test, Lily would picture said significant other of Ted when they’re old and playing bridge on their front porch, and if she can’t imagine them being a part of their tight-knit group years from now, she’d smoke ’em out.

I’m not suggesting you purposely break your friends up with their boyfriends/girlfriends here. The point is that Lily knew that they would be best friends for the rest of their lives. She didn’t just imagine growing old with Marshall and their kid(s), but with Ted, Barney, Robin and The Mother too. While this show is largely about finding out who the love of Ted’s life is, it’s really about these friends who become each other’s family. They’ve already been through so much together in nine seasons, and it’s crazy to think that it’s just a little slice of their entire lives. And if we’re lucky enough, we have these friends that easily pass the Front Porch Test too.

Admit You Actually ARE Too Old For This Shit

Season 4, Episode 19: Murtaugh

Any fan of HIMYM can tell you that one of Barney Stinson’s favorite pasttimes is laser tag. In this episode, he tries to get Ted to go play laser tag with him, but Ted refuses, citing his Murtaugh List. Named after Danny Glover’s character in the Lethal Weapon series, whose signature phrase is ‘I’m too old for this shit!’, the Murtaugh List is a record of things he believes he has become too old to do anymore. Among the activities are pulling an all nighter, put off going to the doctor, going to a rave and using a beer bong.

Somewhere around the age of 27 it kind of hits you like a ton of bricks that you’re not getting any younger. Well, it was for me, at least. You’re checking off the next level of age range boxes on forms and looking around you only to see that it’s like everyone you know is getting married or having a baby – because we’re old enough that it’s normal to do so. For example, some of the things on my Murtaugh List include but are not limited to: going to midnight premieres of movies, drinking to vomit-inducing levels, sleeping past noon, using my undated college ID for discounts, shopping at Forever 21 (which is probably the hardest thing on this list for me to stop doing), and wasting my time.

There’s No Escaping Your Embarrassing Past

Season 2, Episode 9: Slap Bet

For the record, this episode was a complete gamechanger in the world of HIMYM – and one of the best in the entire series. The gang finds out Robin doesn’t like going to malls, and they set out on a quest as to why. They have their own theories – Marshall thinks she got married in a mall, Barney is adamant Robin did porn – so the two agree to a Slap Bet, in which the winner of the bet gets to slap the loser as hard as they can. Barney finds a video of someone named Robin Sparkles, and thinking he won, slaps Marshall. However, it turns out the tape is actually of Robin as a teen pop star in her native Canada, whose hit single was called Let’s Go To The Mall. Because of his premature slap, slap bet commissioner Lily allows Marshall to dole out 10 slaps in succession or five for all eternity, and Barney chooses the latter. Hence the reason the slaps were randomly placed throughout the series.

I’m assuming there are very few of people out there who lived a past life as a pop star, so let’s put this in layman’s terms. Whether there’s physical evidence of your less-than-stellar years past or emotional remnants leftover, the things that have happened to you yesterday never really leave you. But you can either choose to run away from it or embrace it. Use your personal Robin Sparkles to empower you, to make you a better person.

Some People Have Expiration Dates

Season 2, Episode 22: Something Blue

Ted: Seriously, where do you see yourself in five years?
Robin: Where do you see yourself?
Ted: Honestly, in five years, I’d probably want to be married.
Robin: And I’d probably want to be in Argentina.
Ted: Argentina?
Robin: Or Tokyo, or Paris. Look Ted, I don’t know where I’m gonna be in five years. I don’t wanna know. I want my life to be an adventure.
Ted: We have an expiration date, don’t we?

Spoiler alert: Ted and Robin’s romantic relationship didn’t really legit expire until this past week, TBH. But in general, we have to accept that sometimes we’re not meant to be friends or in a relationship with people that are currently in our lives – even if you think they pass the Front Porch Test. Like I mentioned in my Murtaugh List, I’m too old to waste my time. That applies to people too. If a relationship in your life feels ‘rotten’ or on its way out, it’s time to accept the fact there’s an end date, and you just need to throw it away.

Never Miss Big Events, If You Don’t Want To Know The End

Season 2, Episode 14: Monday Night Football

The gang makes it an annual tradition to watch the Super Bowl together, but this particular year, Mark from their favorite pub dies – and his funeral is the night of the Super Bowl. The wake lasts all night, so they’re forced to watch it all together the next day. However as you know, avoiding big news like who won the biggest game of the year in America is not an easy task. Ted even wears the “Sensory Deprivator 5000” (made of sunglasses with tiny holes to see out of and blinders duct taped to the side made out of an old cereal box) to avoid seeing and hearing anything while he goes to pick up their favorite wings from a sports bar. Hilarity ensues.

I hate spoilers. I am that person who avoids social media starting at 5pm PST if I know a show I love will have a strong social media presence, because I don’t want to know what happens. On #Scandal Thursdays? Forget it. I avoid Twitter like the plague. I often wish I had Ted’s Sensory Deprivator 5000, because I’m that serious about not getting spoiled. That being said, no one can complain about getting spoilers while online, because then you’re just being an idiot. Like our head Gladiator, Kerry Washington recently tweeted:

“Folks mad about spoilers are making me laugh. I feel u’re pain but thats what EVENT TV is! If u dont wanna know the score, dont follow ESPN.”

Challenge Accepted

Most people know that this phrase is used throughout the series by Barney, mainly, even taking on things that aren’t necessarily challenges as challenges anyways. For example, he’s accepted the challenges of sleeping with Marshall’s professor, talking his way out of a speeding ticket, hook up with a girl while wearing Marshall’s old overalls, get a girl’s number while talking like a dolphin, and perhaps my favorite, get a girl’s number in a garbage bag, without using the letter ‘e’.

While I’m not judging if you decide to you Barney’s ‘Challenge Accepted’ to pick up girls/guys (well not that much anyways), perhaps we can accept challenges in our lives a different way. Go out of your way to do something you’re never done before . It can be as simple as trying a new item on the menu of your fave restaurant or as big as deciding to move to another city. Another big theme of HIMYM is taking chances. Don’t be afraid of the possibility of making a mistake. And sometimes even when you know something is a mistake – you just have to make it anyways. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. Stagnancy is the ruin of life – how do we expect to be better if we don’t at least try?

Some Things Are Better Left Unspoken, Enjoy Each Others’ Company Instead

And it’s funny, in a moment like that, when what’s really happening is too intense to deal with, sometimes it’s best to leave it unspoken, and just enjoy each other’s company instead. {x}

Season 9, Episode 19: Vesuvius

The final season, the writers have been focused on one weekend, that of Barney and Robin’s wedding. That’s 24 episodes taking place over the course of three days. A lot happens in that span of time, and by episode 19, Ted’s planning to go off to Chicago and Marshall and Lily are saying Arrivederci to NY and Ciao to Italy. It’s this very moment that the group realizes an epic era is coming to and end and it might be a while before all five of them are in a room together again.

It’s all a bit overwhelming, because as characters, it hits them that they’re not going to see each other every day. As actors, I imagine they thought the same thing. As a viewer, it hit me that the show is actually ending. It has an expiration date. Shit is getting real. But like Future Ted says, ‘sometimes it’s best to leave it unspoken and enjoy each other’s company instead.’ It reminds me of when our group of high school friends were all together one last time before we each went our separate ways for college. It hurt like a motherfucker, knowing it was going to be different when we returned. We would never have that time together again. While I obviously still love them to this day and we go back to our old rhythms as if nothing’s passed when we do see each other, nothing will ever compare to the time we spent in high school. The best we can ever do is enjoy the moment while it’s here.

Wait For It…

Ultimately, HIMYM has always been a lesson in patience. Patience for Ted to find the love of his life and patience for the audience to find out who that person is. We live in a world where we expect everything right away. Our food delivered to us speedily, the scores of the game, information about the exports of Guyana at the click of a button. I mean we live in a world where binge-watching exists, and we want more as soon as it’s over.

Ted had to go through a number of heart-wrenching breakups and a slew of women he didn’t care about (lit’rally called someone ‘Blah Blah’ because he couldn’t remember her name. Carol. It was Carol.) – and if he didn’t experience all those years of frustration in that exact sequence of events, he would have never met The Mother. While it may be inexplicable why you’re going through what you’re going through now, there’s a bigger picture than we can see or even imagine. All we have to do is trust that everything will work itself out the way it’s meant to be.

One of my favorite quotes is by Lewis Smedes, and he says,

“Waiting is our destiny. As creatures who cannot by themselves bring about what they hope for, we wait in the darkness for a flame we cannot light. We wait in fear for a happy ending that we cannot write. We wait for a ‘not yet’ that feels like a ‘not ever.’ Waiting is the hardest work of hope; waiting is the land between where things were and where things will be; and you don’t get to choose when you get to a waiting room, but you certainly get to choose how you will respond to waiting.”

So thank you cast, crew, writers, producers, everyone involved with How I Met Your Mother. It’s clear that you didn’t just create a classic sitcom forever etched in the history of television, but have also inspired millions of people to be better, to do better, to live their best lives, and to love – because it’s the best thing we do.