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Our favourite gay characters on television

Our favourite gay characters on television

With Pride week this past week in Mumbai and everything you know, we realised we hadn’t ever acknowledged our favourite gay characters on television. No time like the present though! Whether it’s for their style, wit, humour or personality, we really really dig these guys. Here are our ten best.

Kima Greggs from The Wire: So Kima has been on about five different lists on Project Small Fry and that should prove our eternal fandom. She’s awesome! Not only is she a well-written, nice rounded of character, her no-nonsense, let’s get down to work attitude is downright kick ass.

Omar from The Wire: President Obama called Omar the most interesting character on television. Word. Not only is he the Robin Hood of Drugs in Baltimore, but he carries his sexual identity with pride. Omar comin!

Ian Gallagher from Shameless: We become aware that Ian was gay in the pilot episode of Shameless and we’ll admit it, the moment we saw his pretty face we felt a horrible sense of doom. Would he be written off as a caricature? But hells to the no! Ian trains in JROTC, can shoot straight, can punch out (and then get with) the meanest bullies ever and has a kind, kind heart (remember what he did for Mandy Milkovitch?)

Cameron from Modern Family: Cameron, the more flamboyant of the gay couple in Modern Family simply takes the prize for being interesting. I mean, the man used to be a clown, he won prizes for fishin and huntin, he sings, he dances, he has “reactions” and he loves his mama. Yay Cameron!

Sam from How I met your mother: Though he’s barely on the show, Barneys gay brother, made a great impact. This brother got the Stintson swag, well tell you that much AND he’s about as funny as Barney, which really say a lot. Also, do you remember the style on his kid?

Kurt from Glee: Kurt is a brave teenager and the only openly gay person in his town. He’s dealt with way too much bullying and had way too many slushies thrown in his face and he stays true to who he is. He and Blaine make a perfect couple (We are assuming they are still together. We gave up on Glee some time ago).

Max from Happy Endings: Max is sloppy, gross, funny and kind of hot. He is exceptionally un-cheesy and has no grandiose ideas of romance. He is constantly plotting crazy things and he keeps himself pretty entertained. And his taste in guys is superb.

Callie from Grey’s Anatomy: Callie, of course takes a while to realize she loves women. She is briefly married to George and sleeps with Mark Sloane and has his baby but she is strong and funny and so good at her job. Even this season, when Arizona is being pretty darn difficult (we don’t blame her really. She doesn’t have her legs anymore), Callie is a pillar of resilience.

Oscar from The Office: That episode where Steve Carell attempts to kiss Oscar to prove that he is not homophobic was so tough to watch and we weren’t surprised when Oscar decided to quit (but a paid vacation changed his mind). But post that, Oscar has became a fun, a bit of a know-it-all but very likable.

Jack Mcfarlane from Will and Grace: Just Jack. *Jazz hands*

Er, close the door on your way out

Er, close the door on your way out

A very important lesson that many shows must learn is quitting while you’re ahead. Sometimes, a great story stops being interesting if you take more than 8 years to say it. A lot of shows in the past have done it (I’m looking at you, post Topher Grace That 70’s show) and there are way too many shows, still on air that have overstayed their welcome.

Two and a half men: Currently in its 10th season and with talks of an 11th, this show should have ended many many many seasons ago. I’m a fan of Jon Cryer and to some extent, Charlie Sheen. Their banter was fun to watch in the initial seasons but after a point, the jokes got predictable and the plot lines got thinner than Anushka Sharma. I would be totally open to forgive the few weak seasons if they had shut it all down after Sheen left but they got Aston Kutcher in and now I can’t even stand to watch the ads.

The Office: The Office (the US version) is one of the finest and funniest shows I have ever seen. It is currently in its 9th season and it makes me so sad that every new episode now feels like a burden to watch out of respect, if nothing else. It barely manages to make it past the average line and that’s pretty bad for a show that has made me fall of a chair laughing on many occasions. They should have ended when Steve Carell left in that beautiful episode that was a perfect combination of laughs and tears and that is how I like to remember this show.

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How I met your mother: A guy telling his kids the story of how he met their mother while he lived in New York with a bunch of friends. A great premise that should ideally lend itself to 4 seasons, or 5 if I’m being benevolent. HIMYM just completed its 8th season with no sign of the mother or good writing and it breaks my heart.

Grey’s Anatomy: I have now invested seven years on this show. It is in its 9th season and a season 10 may or may not be on the way, but I have watched it, with dedication for 7 whole years. In an ideal world, Grey’s should have ended with five seasons. With the last episode being Derek and Meredith’s post-it wedding. And that entire Izzie imagining Denny bit should have been omitted. Also, Owen Hunt should have been introduced much much sooner. In an ideal world.

30 Rock: I absolutely love Tina Fey and everything about 30 Rock. I love Jack Donaghy, I love Jenna, I love all of Lemon’s boyfriends, I love Subash but the show should have ended with five seasons and its current season being it’s 5th. This season is actually quite brilliant, I just wish it had come sooner and I didn’t have to watch two seasons that made me question whether it was actually ever funny.

Here comes the wedding post

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Here comes the wedding post

After I spent last week ranting about lovelorn romantics on television, this week, I thought about another of my favourite television staples: the big wedding. Oh what fresh hell is this one going to bring? Ruined gown, groom getting cold feet, father of the bride drunk and boisterous? Television’s approach to weddings is usually pretty damn predictable, whether it’s Full House where Jessie lands in jail or Carrie from Sex and the City who puts a bird on her head only to be abandoned at the alter. But there are some, of course, that make me cock my head to one side and go “Aww, I also want.”

This week, I watched a lot of wedding scenes, some because they restore my faith in love and unicorns and some because they remind me of a car crash where I just can’t stop looking.

My viewing started off with one of my favourites; Lily and Marshall on How I met your mother. What makes this wedding so utterly believable is that I can totally imagine this happening to me. Getting carried away by the grandeur of that perfect wedding and then just going for an ‘intimate outdoor wedding; just close friends and an acoustic guitar’. In the follow up to the big day, they make a list of wedding clichés to avoid (slideshow of pictures set to Green Day’s Time of your life, Conga line, the Corinthians) and decide to spend nights away and fail, which of course introduces us to the super cute Night night Lily. Everything goes wrong, Marshall shaves his head, the harpist goes into labour but true love and champagne trumps everything.

The next one is the real life wedding on Keeping up with the Kardashians. There is a perverse joy in watching this episode because listening to them talk about how much they love each other makes me giggle and scream “72 days you guys!” at the TV screen. You just have to register the epic size of this wedding (and Kim’s chest in that wedding gown!) and it’s easy to see why preparations make the bride insane. I mean more insane than usual, of course. Our diva turns so super controlling that Kris starts feeling left out and has to remind himself that he IS on a show where the spotlight will always be on her. It always amazes me that weddings are a license for women to go nuts and men are supposed to be the cool ones. They don’t care about the details; the most they can do is show up. I call bullshit.

Next up; Turk and Carla from Scrubs. The wedding that gets delayed because the groom is stuck in surgery which he opted for so he could get two extra days off for his honeymoon. Though the wedding episode was funny, the dress rehearsal was where it all went down. Turk can’t seem to write his vows and ends up reading the speech from when Harry met Sally (Carla’s evil brother tricks him into it). He saves the day, of course by delivering a beautiful love speech in the end, JD tells Elliot he doesn’t love her any more and all hell breaks loose. Of course, the highlight of the episode (apart from all the love and Kelso calling him Turk Turkelton) is Scott Foley’s entrance.

Of all the things to go wrong and turn your wedding into the most awkward one, nothing beats Margaret Sterling’s wedding in Mad Men. It is absolutely the worst thing for a wedding to be cancelled after all that preparation (like Phoebe and Mike’s almost does in Friends) but to go ahead with it on the day President John F. Kennedy is assassinated? Terrible, terrible move, Margaret. Your dad’s new young wife getting wobble-on-your-high-heels-drunk at the wedding is just a speck of the awfully embarrassing things to happen to you on that day.

I am not the biggest fan of Monica or Courtney Cox but I have such immense love for Matthew Perry and his character Chandler on Friends, that I have watched this wedding episode more times than any couple has had to change their seating arrangements. Predictably of course, Chandler takes off, Rachel lets everyone believe Monica is the one pregnant and Joey shows up late to officiate. I always hope that if this happens to any of my friends, I’d be able to lie better than Rachel’s “ooops, I’ve fallen down” delaying tactic. Of course, they do end up married and in a super follow up episode Chandler loses all the pictures and creates new one’s at a stranger’s wedding. A classic wedding episode, if there ever was one.

The best wedding episode I have seen on television so far, is April and Andy’s on Parks and Rec. A party-turned-wedding with absolutely no thought whatsoever (“I can’t emphasize how little we thought about this.”), this wedding is part hilarious and part super-duper-makes-you-want-to-dance cute. Andy makes everyone his best man and the soundtrack is Simon and Garfunkel. Andy’s speech is beautiful (April you are the most awesome person I have ever known in my entire life. I vow to protect you. From danger. And I don’t care if I have to fight an ultimate fighter, or a bear, or him. Your mom. I would take them down. I’m getting mad right now even telling you) and April is unabashedly sentimental (I guess I kinda hate most things. But I never really seemed to hate you.” So I wanna spend the rest of my life with you, is that cool?). There are dead pigeons, a creepy goth wedding guest that everyone avoids and Jean Ralphio. April’s sister gives an emotional speech, which ends with “Has anyone seen my grey hoodie?” Everything about this episode is so unexpected and not dramatic like you would expect a wedding episode to be; it stays true to the characters and it is the most sweetest and coolest wedding.

All you need is love

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All you need is love

The quest for love sure is one of life’s biggest priorities. Unless you’re on television; then it’s pretty much your entire life and being. Television is full of optimistic, angsty and hopeless romantics that jump from relationship to relationship with funny and creepy results but they power through. Yes, they do.

They are almost all about 30 and their life comprises of endless hours spent at the neighborhood bar discussing their ever-changing love life with their friends.

The most recent ones to join the list is Mindy Lahiri from The Mindy Project. A doctor by profession, she lives on a standard fare of romantic comedies and believes she will find “The One” as long as she looks hard enough. The critics are pretty torn about this rom-com but three episodes in, I quite like it. It’s a bit typical what with the playboy who has a deeper side, the mean coworker who we secretly hope Mindy will end up with but there is room for good intelligent comedy and I can feel it coming. Also, I absolutely adore Mindy Kaling and will watch anything she’s in. And this show is produced, created, written and stars Kaling.

One of the most popular hopeless romantic of course is, Ted Mosby of How I met your mother that we have been watching since they invented the computers and let people write terribly lengthy scripts on. Mosby bravely (and stupidly) continues on his quest for love while drawing up a long list of what she’ll be like “oh, she has to love my lame jokes”, “oh, she must be a fan of my constant neediness and tears”.

Now, this elusive “one” leaves in its wake a bunch of really nice, pretty and normal people who seem to be dumped because of these character’s delusions.

Finding love and being happy forever? B-o-o-ring. But the constant hunt for one that starts with optimism followed by a disaster date that involves crap like she smiles weirdly, she doesn’t like hummus or she talks about killing her cats all the time and ends with a shrug and ‘eh, the one is still out there’ and more damn optimism.

If I went on as many dates as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, I’m pretty sure I’d probably run out people in Mumbai. Plus, be very broke (anyone notices how this writer never reads and never picks a guy who reads? C’mon, make out with Mr. Big and then discuss Hemingway. That would be hot! Also, I’m quoting Newsroom here, but I know Carrie must’ve made boatloads writing her eight-hundred-word column for a newspaper no one’s ever heard of).

All of these lovelorn characters have jobs that they barely pay any attention to, how can you when you spend half your day running into pretty men at the bakery and the other half obsessing over what she meant when she said “we need to talk”. You’d think after about a billion failed relationships, they’d know better.

My problem isn’t that these are unrealistic, it is television after all, but I’m tired of all of them being clones of each other. The idealistic talk of “all encompassing, unconditional love”, the stupid insights on love….the works. It’s always the same. Surely, the cynics who understand deadlines and dwindling bank balances also find love. Yup, they do. They just don’t spend as much time talking about it and crying on their friend’s shoulders at 3 am on weekday.

Oh Season nine! Zey zink zey are so cool wiz zeir baguettes and zeir Eiffel Tower.

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Oh Season nine! Zey zink zey are so cool wiz zeir baguettes and zeir Eiffel Tower.

Variety reported recently that How I met your mother might come back with a 9th Season.

This show is the perfect example of a great series that’s overstayed it’s welcome, even though Season 7 had great ratings. I love How I met your mother, I relate it to my real life (I want to own a bar called Puzzles and meet a man like Marshall), I quote it all the time and I think that’s how Sheena and I became friends.

But I can’t watch it anymore. I mean, I will still watch Season 9 if and when it does happen but I will hate it.  The last two seasons, with the exception of a few episodes, have been painfully humourless with plots as weak as Barney’s moral ideals.

Since the possibility of Season 9 has been announced, I have been talking to people about what they want from the finale. Most people said they are only watching it because after the amount of time in invested in caring for this mysterious mother, it would be a shame to not know.

The end of Season 7 had Victoria and Ted driving off into the sunset and the big reveal was that Robin was getting married to Barney.

Here are things I hope the next (last?) season manages to do –

A good justification for the Barney and Robin story arc. When the Canadian and the player first started dating, it was a mess. After Nora, there was less legen-dary and more bleh-really? With Barney turning into an annoying puppy. In Season 7, Barney was in the perfect relationship. Quinn was fun and feisty and didn’t turn Barney into a wuss. And bits like the Quintervention and Broath were hilarious. They get engaged and, while I truly love Robin and Barney, I thought Quinn and Barney would make a better couple. Now that Barneys decided to make a go for it with Robin instead, there’d better be a damn good story.

Give Marshall more to do! With the death of his father and him becoming a father himself, his story has been the emotional element of the season but hopefully next season he’ll go back to being funny.

With Lily…actually she’s entirely unnecessary, so who cares.

The mother! While I don’t see why anyone would marry the needy Ted, I need to know who the mother is, and soon. Unlike a lot of people, I don’t want the last scene of the show to be Ted meeting the mother. I want to know the mother a little well before, I want to see Ted falling in love, I want to see them dating and mostly, I want to see every loophole, clue and hint filled and tied up; Rachel Bilson’s roommate, the St. Patrick’s day party, the economics class and everything else. We already know Victoria isn’t the mother because the economics class happened way after he had met her.

One theory that I read online and love is the Barney’s sister theory. When Barney meets his biological father, he talks about a daughter in college. She could have been in the eco class, the party, Rachel Bilson’s roommate and she would be at Barney’s wedding, where Ted meets her….it’s a possibility.

Of course, there are a lot of theories. Whatever way they decide to bring the mother in, just please make it funny!

It would be a shame if the finale was disappointing. That’s 7 years of my life I’ve already given you, HIMYM, make it worth it, please!

Haaave you met Neil Patrick Harris?: A tribute

Neil Patrick Harris or NPH or Barney Stinson is awesome. And not only because he is a brilliant actor and has a name that are actually three first names but because of these reasons –

NPH started his career as a child star with Clara’s Heart and Doogie Howser MD, he went on to do a bunch of movies, plays, TV shows, he has a nice family, has never been accused of drug abuse, alcoholism or crazy behaviour. He didn’t grow up to be utterly annoying and a cliché. And thank god, otherwise we may never have gotten

Barney Stinson. NPH plays an opportunistic, manipulative, naïve and incredibly self-obsessed guy with ADHD who “likes to create crazy situations and then sit back and watch it all go down.” I can’t think of anyone other than NPH who could have played Barney; he is perfectly vulnerable and indifferent and has set the bar pretty high for living an “awesome” life. Barney Stinson has a great following in the guys-who-need-a-playbook-to-get-girls category and his catch phrases are legend –

NPH and David Burtka (He played Scooter, Lily’s ex boyfriend in How I met your mother) are a lovely, normal couple. They aren’t over the top, they don’t make the tabloids for any other reason, expect when people want to awww at their cute little baby girls (who are hanging out with Oprah in this picture). Here is the two of them playing The Chewlyweds game.
 

During the writer’s strike of 2008, Joss Whedon created the Dr. Horrible Sing-along log. NPH ays Dr Horrible, a failing superhero who must defeat Caption Hammer, played by Nathon Fillion who is dating the girl he is in love with, Penny, played by Felicity Day. It has 3 acts, was released exclusively on the internet and features some brilliant songs recorded in a small studio in Whedon’s loft. When I re-watched it before writing this story, for research of course, it amazed me all over again. NPH is one of those people who will do interesting things because he has an opportunity to. He has a great part in a big sitcom, he has his movies on the side, but that doesn’t deter him from trying fun new things. Something we all wish we can do with our careers that easily get stunted or boring.

Among his many talents which include looking hot in a suit is singing. He shows it off in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along blog and on even better on Glee. Listen to his cover of Dream on by Aerosmith with Mr Shuster.

Talking about Glee, here’s where you can watch NPH dancing and convincing you that Broadway is not for gays anymore.

Like Barney, NPH is a magician. That’s right. He is currently serving a two year term as president of the Academy of Magical Arts. They are headquartered at the Magi Castle (remember when he threw a dinner party there as a part of a challenge on Top Chef Masters.)

Is there anything this amazing man cannot do? God!

– Sharanya

Six television couples we love

Six television couples we love

Matt and Harriet from Studio 60

There’s something deeply romantic about these two. She’s his beautiful, spirited muse. He falls to pieces and becomes a gibbering wreck without her. Politically, socially, spiritually they’re at complete odds. She’s a star comedienne and he’s a deeply talented humour writer, so that’s a lot of funny in one relationship. She’s conflicted, he is stubborn.  But there’s something deeply romantic about these two.

Andy and April from Parks and Rec

“We’re in love, we didn’t over think it. I mean, I cannot emphasis how LITTLE we thought about this.” Best. Wedding. Speech. Ever. April and Andy are really children playing at being married. They eat out of Frisbees because who needs plates, their role play involves an FBI agent and a rich, 1920’s widow and they get a bunch of medical tests done for fun, when they learn they have health insurance. And they’re the cutest. April and Andy!

Marshall and Lily from How I met your mother

Lilypad and Marshmellow. Sigh. Where to begin. They met in college and they still tell each other what they had for lunch. She finds his calves irresistible and she knows never to bring up chucky before bedtime. He plans elaborate parties for her because she loves birthdays. “Happy happy lily day.”

Joey and Rachel from Friends

If I was friends with on again/off again/on a break/getting married/having a baby/load a gun and kill me already and whatnot Ross and Rachel, I would have slapped them. A lot. Joey on the other hand was perfect. He was madly in love with Rachel, so pretty, and he was closer to her IQ level than Ross was. Also, clearly he has better game.

Jackie and Hyde from That 70’s show

She is uptight and rich and he’s a rebel with sideburns; they are meant for each other. Unfortunately they don’t work out what with the strippers, weddings, Kelso and Fez in the middle, but Jackie and Hyde were the cutest couple on that 70’s show.

Joey and Pacey from Dawson’s Creek

Joey Potter was caught in the eternal struggle between her best friend and his best friend. Well, it happens to all of us (not really). The kids on the creek sure experimented with a whole bunch of people before a moderately bad boy swept Joey off her feet. And thank god for that. Dawson Leary is the most boring, weak-ass protagonist to roam the land of teenage romance television shows.

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