Broadchurch

Ah, the fall television season. One of my favorite times of year. Scanning through the entertainment articles for new pilots to look out for, I noticed Gracepoint, the American counterpart of Broadchurch, the murder mystery starring the 10th doctor himself, David Tennant.

Now, being the angliophile that I am, I had every intention to watch Broadchurch before the American version. But life, unintentional marathons of The Office reruns, actually being social every once in a while, and spontaneous and uncontrollable naps got in the way. Until, that is, I had an iTunes gift card to spend a few spare hours post taking a graduate school entrance exam. And thus, I began my journey into Broadchurch.

I KNOW IF THE KILLER IS OR IS NOT IN THIS PICTURE AND IT IS TAKING MUCH SELF-CONTROL TO NOT SPOIL IT (photo from BBC America)

I KNOW IF THE KILLER IS OR IS NOT IN THIS PICTURE AND IT IS TAKING MUCH SELF-CONTROL TO NOT SPOIL IT (photo from BBC America)

and OH MY GOODNESS what a journey it has been. After the first episode…I was hooked. If Tennant’s broody, Scottish, permanent 5-o’clock shadow-sporting detective Alec Hardy isn’t incentive enough, the other characters will get you hooked. With a cast full of other recognizable British actors-Rory from Doctor Who/Once on Broadway actor Arthur Darvill, Filch from Harry Potter-among them, the show is dark, mysterious, and and excellently executed “Who dunnit?” But beyond intending to catch the killer of an 11-year-old boy in the small seaside town, it’s a character study. Every time you think you know who the killer is, it turns out to be a red herring.

Granted, I made the mistake of going on the Wikipedia page to look up some of the actors’ name. DO NOT GO ON WIKIPEDIA. IN FACT, DO NOT RESEARCH ANYTHING RELATING TO THE SERIES UNLESS YOU HAVE FINISHED. Right there, next to one of the cast names WAS THE KILLER. WHY OH WHY.

At this point, I was halfway and had just finished episode 4. I was so intrigued by the ending and needed to know the nitty gritty details of the killer’s plot, that I just jumped to the end and watched the finale. IT WAS CRAZY. Then, I went back and watched the rest. I’ll concede my watching experience was greatly affected by already knowing who the killer was.

*Update: Apparently I never posted this and have just found this in my drafts. But in all seriousness, I still recommend this show to other people, and cannot wait for the next series to come out.

I did not watch the U.S. version, “Gracepoint” but shall give it a chance in the future.

Fed up with the set-up

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Ah, the perils of early twenty-something-dom. Inevitably, post high school graduation, and the closer you inch to college graduation, the next major step, or at least hot topic of conversation, turns to marriage.

Or as I like to call it…

mawwage

The older I get, (yes, I realize I’m not actually old at all thank goodness) the more I realize that until that (hopefully) hunk of a rock is on my finger, every Tom, Dick, and Harry will inquire as to my romantic perils.

Specifically, it’s more of an Karen, Susan, and Tiffany, since most males I’ve met fortunately tend to have no interest in my dating life.

Alas, seeing as I am a deceptively nice person, who, as I was once told is “not ugly,” well-meaning friends, family, and random acquaintances instantaneously take it upon themselves to find me a husband.

*Disclaimer. I’m watching Thor 2 while writing this, so this post may turn into a Chris Hemsworth appreciation forum. Just a warning.

At times, it can be extremely frustrating to be likened to a commodity of sorts. Like any single male and I are like two chemical substances that can be thrown into a test tube, and have some kind of spark. (see what I did there?)

The majority of the time, it is funny to see what eligible bachelors are presented to me, as if all single people are cards in a game of memory, just to be randomly flipped over, in hopes of a match.

If you do decide to try to find me a husband, please use this as a template.

If you do decide to try to find me a husband, please use this as a template.

PSA: On behalf of all single people, do not feel it is your duty to find me a husband. Unless you are a matchmaker by trade, or Patti from The Millionaire Matchmaker, it is simply alright to respond to my answer that I am single, with an “Oh” followed by a smile, joke about how you wish you were still single, or kind statement about how I’m still young, and there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Feel no obligation whatsoever to run through your brain archives for any single nephews, neighbors, coworkers, baristas, dentists, doctors, aliens, lumberjacks, that you think might like, or at least tolerate me.

Not to say that single people are completely free of guilt in this predicament. I more often than not will look at your picture or listen to your verbal descriptions of said eligible bachelor, and will instantly respond with a “yes, hook a sister up,” “no thanks,” “ew,” or any other natural response.

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But when I think about if the situation was reversed, I hate the thought of being judged. Whether based on a picture, where I unfortunately display a beautiful double-chin, a highlight reel of my faults, or any other unintentionally unattractive criterion, I don’t want to be judged.

Thus, rather than immediately dismiss the prospect of marriage, or mentally walk down the aisle with a guy I’ve been offered, I’m going to pause. and think about the other person, and how I’d feel to be rejected through a third party by a guy.

Married friends, or friends in a relationship, we’re okay if we’re single.

 

If you are going to set us up, don’t tell us, so we get all weird like Michael Scott/”Date Mike” when under pressure to be charming and live up to your most likely inflated description of us.


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To end this on a happy note, my father always tells me that while set ups may be cumberbatch cumbersome for the time being, if I was a totally gross or repulsive person, people wouldn’t be taking the steps to try to find me a guy. So I guess I’m doing something right if people think I’m worthy of a man.

That last statement makes me wonder if I’m watching too many Jane Austen movies.

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How I Met Your Mother, but fast forwarded through all the important parts

Oh Tracy. We hardly knew you. Photo from Washington Post

Oh Tracy. We hardly knew you. Photo from Washington Post

How I Met Your Mother premiered when I was 13. 13! That means I’ve been watching the gang of five gallivant through NYC for just a little less that half of my life. (well, give or take a few years. #Math)

Needless to say, I equally dreaded and couldn’t wait for the season finale. I have stuck with Ted Mosby on his amusing, yet sometimes pathetic, journey to find love.

I read the message boards. I read the comments. I knew what people were saying. All the rumors swirled in my mind. Yet the (sliver of an) optimist in me held on to the hope that they were wrong.

Because sometimes in life, well in television life at least, people can have happy endings right?

I guess I stand corrected.

At approximately 8:55 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, I knew I was wrong.

It was then that good old Theodore quickly recounted his life with the Mother, in what seemed like just one minute, from their spur of the moment marriage, to her terminal sickness.

Granted, I’m way more invested in television than I should be, but I felt like I had been punched.

And to make matters worse, when we finally saw Ted “interact” with the kids, they called him out for only mentioning the Mother minimally. His entire story had been about their “Aunt Robin.” Said children encouraged him to go after him. And he did. Cut to black.

Hold the phone. This entire SEASON has been about Robin’s wedding. Not to Ted. But to Barney. Heck, Ted even met the Mother/adorable Tracy at the wedding (technically, it was at the train station afterwards, but I’m trying to make a point here.)

Just get together in real life.

Just get together in real life.

Now, let’s step out of the t.v. writers’ mindset here. Why do I care about the ending so much?

For starters, let’s just say as I’ve gotten older, I’ve empathized more and more with Ted Mosby. I couldn’t exactly bond with Marshall or Lily- the longterm couple who also happen to be best friends and are just plain perfect for each other. Nope, not me. But I’ve been fortunate to be the Ted in a trio, which has only strengthened my ability to be an impeccable third wheel.

I’m not a Barney, seeing as how I have 0.0 game with the opposite gender. Also he’s just generally awesome, and I never wear suits. (Well, once I did. But it was in the name of acting. Back when I was an act-or.)

Robin and I have a love for dogs in common. But girlfriend had game, and could hang with the boys. I wouldn’t call myself a girly-girl by any means, but man, she gets sports. and laser tag, and beer. Other than the fact that I’m studying the field Robin works in, my life trajectory has been quite different. Also, she constantly has guys pining over her, basically my antithesis. (See above Barney reference)

Robin's dogs. aka my dream life. Photo from EW

Robin’s dogs. aka my dream life. Photo from EW

So I’ve always been the Ted. The one sitting alone amidst the couples. Reading haughty books, occasionally being a know-it-all, and keeping up the general hope that “the Father” in my story would magically pop up.

I guess that’s why the ending hit me so hard. Ted met the Mother. He had kids with the Mother. Seven years later, he married the Mother. But then, as life so unfortunately and mercilessly does to us, he lost the Mother.

But the show isn’t “How I Met Your Aunt Robin.” It’s not enough to fast-forward through Ted’s journey with the Mother, all to reveal that Ted’s back to pining over Robin, some 20-odd years later. Honestly, what was the point of even introducing the Mother in that case? At one point, Robin refers to Ted as “the one I probably should’ve ended up with.” I hate the thought of “the one that got away,” although I’ll confess that I do love the song. It seems like Robin realized things with Barney didn’t work out, and defaulted back to Ted.

Also, I should mention that Barney and Robin got divorced after three years. Yes, despite spending an entire season on their wedding weekend, and starting the finale on their happy wedding ceremony, they split. Where’d you go character development?

They were friends. They hooked up. Broke up. Spent time trying to win each other back. (Hello, episode where Robin changes her mind and stays with lame Kevin instead of going back to Barney who has to hold back tears.)

So what was the point of them? I get that that’s real life, and couples don’t last.

I guess my main question is, what was the point? Why tell the story at all? It’s one thing to finally get to Ted’s current life, which granted is immensely sad seeing as the Mother is gone, but sad endings work. Sometimes love doesn’t last or we lose people we love. (For good “ending up alone” endings, see the Ugly Betty finale.)

So, is the point that Ted and Robin were meant to be together the whole time? That a couple that wasn’t compatible, even went so far as to marry other people after convincing themselves, and other people, that they wouldn’t end up together, will eventually get together?

Let’s end on a happy note here. Best part of the episode: Barney’s monologue with his baby. No further comment. Just watch it.