REVIEW: HUNTERS – SEASON 1

 

Al Pacino, Logan Lerman, and Josh Radnor in Hunters (2020)

Starring

Al Pacino (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)
Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson)
Jerrika Hinton (Broken Angel)
Lena Olin (Alias)
Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13)
Carol Kane (Scrooged)
Josh Radnor (How I Me Your Mother)
Greg Austin (After the War)
Tiffany Boone (Beautiful Creatures)
Louis Ozawa (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Kate Mulvany (The Great Gatsby)
Dylan Baker (Miss Sloane)

Hunters (2020)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Izabella Miko (Clash of The Titans)
James Le Gros (The Last Winter)
Ebony Obsidian (Sistas)
Jeannie Berlin (Inherent Vice)
Celia Weston (Hulk)
Victor Williams (The King of Queens)
John Noble (Sleepy Hollow)
Raphael Sbarge (Risky Business)
Henry Hunter Hall (Harriet)
Anastasia Barzee (The Society)
Hannah Reid Rubinek (Over 21)
Megan Channell (Contest)
Julissa Bermudez (Danger One)
William Sadler (Roswell)

The first death in Amazon Prime’s new series Hunters shouldn’t be a surprise, especially given the show’s title. But when it comes, the violence of it is so unforgiving and so visceral that it shocks you into paying attention. This is a thriller that isn’t interested in subtlety. Created and written by new kid on the block David Weil, the series feels as though it’s appeared out of nowhere, but any show produced by powerhouse director Jordan Peele (Get Out and Us) and bolstered by the unexpected but brilliant casting of Hollywood legend Al Pacino will have a lot of hype to live up to. Thankfully for everyone involved, Hunters exceeds those expectations.Hunters (2020)The action, taking place in 1970s New York, follows an unassuming teenager, Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman), who spends his time going to movies with friends and selling drugs to the popular kids in his neighbourhood. He lives with his grandmother, Ruth (Jeannie Berlin), who survived the Holocaust and shows her love through bowls of chicken soup. Tragedy strikes when an unknown assailant breaks in and shoots her in the middle of the night. Turns out, sweet old Ruth was a member of a group of Nazi hunters, led by millionaire Meyer Offerman (Pacino), who takes Jonah under his wing in the absence of his grandmother. Hell bent on revenge, the teenager is intent on joining their crusade against those who tortured the Jews in the 1940s.Al Pacino and Logan Lerman in Hunters (2020)It’s here Weil’s most obvious influences come out to play: superheroes and Quentin Tarantino. Overstatement is the name of the game – at one point the group are referred to as “Jewperheroes” – and nowhere is this more evident than when the hunters actually find a Nazi. Making an old soldier’s ears bleed by sadistically turning up the bass in his own music studio feels particularly Reservoir Dogs-esque. Taking a leaf from Tarantino’s book may grate on some diehard fans of the legendary director, but the story behind the fisticuffs is enough to keep the series afloat. Alongside Jonah’s tale of revenge are meticulously detailed flashbacks to the toils of the concentration camps. Here, the terrors of the Nazi regime are laid bare in scenes that are hard to watch, even in the more subdued moments. For every Nazi we see murdered in the 70s, five are slaughtered in the camps.Al Pacino and Logan Lerman in Hunters (2020)There’s also a seemingly unrelated story running parallel with the hunters narrative, as police detective Millie Morris (Jerrika Hinton) begins investigating a series of strange deaths. Her hunt leads her into a tangled web of corruption, secret Nazis and the terrifying rise of a Fourth Reich. This is where Hunters’ greatest weapon comes in – Travis Leich, a psychotic young neo-Nazi wreaking havoc on the orders of his superior, a German woman known only as The Colonel (Lena Olin). It’s tempting to say that Hunters has come at just the right time, when anti-Semitism is growing around the world and neo-Nazis are crawling out of the shadows. To claim the show is saying anything important about our own time would be a bit of a stretch – it doesn’t go deep enough into why Nazis still feel empowered enough to spout their hatred. But it does serve to grimly remind us of the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust. Soon, these stories will be the only ones told of that time and it’s easy to see that Weil found them important to include.Al Pacino in Hunters (2020)There are moments which push you to question who the bad guys are before swiftly reminding us – via a barbarous scene in the camps – that the answer is: the Nazis. Hunters is an exercise in living out a cathartic fantasy. It’s a very bloody, very stylised pipe dream, in which the bad guys get what’s coming to them.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – THE FINAL PAGE – PART 1 & 2

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MAIN CAST

Josh Radnor (Mercy Street)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (Agents of SHIELD)
Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers)
Alyson Hannigan (Date Movie)
Bob Saget (Full House)

GUEST CAST

Ellen D. Williams (Bskets)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Peter Gallagher (Ameircan Beauty)
Alexis Denisof (Angel)
Marshall Manesh (The Brink)

PART 1

Ted’s new building is set to open and he invites his favorite architecture professor, Vinick, from his college days to the grand opening. The group says that Ted has put the professor in his “pit”, in that he has obsessed over him and hasn’t let him go since college. This is further confirmed when the professor declines the invite. Ted takes the group to Wesleyan, intending to unleash his wrath on Vinick. After hearing one of his inspiring lectures, Ted craves Vinick’s approval and shows him a sketch of the GNB building. Vinick is unimpressed and Ted brings a 3crD model, but Vinick views the attempt as pathetic. Ted realizes he has to move on.

Marshall and Lily explain they are in someone else’s pit. Daryl, a friend from college, became obsessed with the two, causing them to feel uncomfortable. They run into Daryl at Wesleyan, having formed a company selling hacky sacks named after the three of them. He invites them to his house; Marshall and Lily fear they will be killed, but find that Daryl’s company has become successful, and they unknowingly reject his offer to give them $100,000, claiming it was partly their idea. Daryl seems to accept that they don’t want any part of his life.

Marshall calls “Jinx” on Barney when they utter the same phrase simultaneously. Future Ted explains the group takes the game very seriously; Barney had previously broken the jinx out of mockery, but later had been hit by a bus, causing everyone to follow the rules whenever they’re jinxed. The group relishes Barney’s silence. Robin has someone in her pit, Patrice, and plans to fire her for getting together with the man she loves. She moves on and lets Patrice stay. Barney tricks Ted into saying his name by showing him a wedding ring, breaking the jinx. Barney explains that he’s serious and makes Ted promise not to tell anyone he plans to propose to Patrice.

PART 2

Ted’s new building is opening that night, but he is distracted by his promise to Barney; he winds up asking Robin to be his date to the gala when he loses the nerve to tell her. When Ted meets up with Robin, he tells her. Robin claims to be fine with Barney’s plans, she admits that she has still loved him for a long time, but cannot keep chasing after Barney if he will never feel the same way about her. Finally letting go of his pursuit of her, Ted takes Robin to the WWN building where Barney intends to propose to Patrice. Marshall and Lily are excited to have their first evening away from baby Marvin, thanks to her father Mickey taking care of him. Marshall hears about Barney and the two end up missing Marvin. They decide they are more content spending the night back home with him.

When Robin heads to the roof of the building, she sees no sign of Patrice. Instead she finds a page from Barney’s Playbook, titled “The Robin”. Barney had a long plan to get back together with Robin, which started with proclaiming his love for Robin and intentionally getting shot down. He went to Patrice for help and pretended to date her so that Robin would realize her feelings for him. When Barney arrives, Robin feels that she can’t trust Barney because of how he manipulated her to get to this moment. He still proclaims his love for her and proposes; Robin accepts, and they embrace and kiss. At the gala, a GNB executive proposes a toast to Ted. While Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lily are shown happily in their respective couplings, Ted stares out from the GNB building alone.

The second Part is one of the best episodes of the season, and a lovely ending. A great final Christmas on HIMYM.

 

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER -THE OVER-CORRECTION

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MAIN CAST

Josh Radnor (Mercy Street)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (Agents of SHIELD)
Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers)
Alyson Hannigan (Date Movie)
Bob Saget (Full House)

GUEST CAST

Chris Elliott (The Abyss)
Suzie Plakson (Red Eye)
Ellen D. Williams (Bskets)

Robin, Marshall, Lily, and Ted are trapped in different closets. Future Ted narrates how things came to be.  A week earlier at MacLaren’s, Marshall and Lily tell Ted and Robin that Marshall’s mother Judy is staying at their apartment. Judy tells Lily that having gotten over the death of her husband, she is ready to date again and she hooks up with Lily’s father Mickey, so Marshall seeks refuge in a closet. Noting Robin’s frustrations over Patrice and Barney dating, the gang claims that Barney has “over-corrected”. Robin says that Barney is just using Patrice to compensate for not trying to pursue her. Still in love with Barney, she tries to convince Patrice of his real intentions, but when it fails, she breaks into his apartment to steal a copy of the Playbook and show it to her. While trying to find it, she scrambles to hide in Barney’s bedroom closet as he arrives home. She calls Ted and asks him to distract Barney for her to escape.

Ted, who is angry at the gang for failing to return anything they borrowed from him over the years, helps out as Robin finally uncovers the Playbook. When Barney returns to the apartment to wait for Patrice in setting up a Christmas tree, Robin and Ted hide. Robin calls up Lily for help only to discover she is in a nearby closet; Lily needed a place to safely use her breast pumps after discovering that her father tried it out on himself. Robin leaves the Playbook on the bed for Patrice to see. While Patrice and Barney argue at the terrace, Robin, Lily, and Ted hide in another closet – just in time to see Barney confess to Patrice that he wants to change, starting by burning the Playbook. When they leave, Ted gets back his red cowboy boots and a label maker. He declares to never again lend the gang anything. Lily returns to the apartment, only to vomit after learning their parents hooked up. Barney consoles them at the bar, saying people can change. Robin asks Marshall, Lily, and Ted to hold an intervention for Barney – but the three hold it instead for her. Lily and Marshall tell Mickey and Judy that it’s okay for them to date, but when the parents admit just wanting to have sex.
There are a lot of laughs to be had here, its a great festive episode and is the rpecurser to the events of the next episode.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – SYMPHONY OF ILLUMINATION

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MAIN CAST

Josh Radnor (Mercy Street)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (Agents of SHIELD)
Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers)
Alyson Hannigan (Date Movie)
Bob Saget (Full House)

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GUEST CAST

Vicki Lewis (Finding Nemo)
Chase Ellison (Mysterious Skin)
Todd Grinnell (Hollywoodland)
Danielle Weeks (The Day Before)

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Instead of Future Ted narrating to his kids as usual, this episode opens with Robin telling her two kids about the time she revealed to their father that she was pregnant. The scene cuts to Barney and Robin in the bathroom of Marshall and Lily’s Long Island house, picking up from the end of the previous episode. Robin explains that she is a week late with her period, and has a doctor’s appointment to verify that she is pregnant. She also reveals that she and Kevin have not yet had sex, meaning that if she is pregnant, Barney is the father. Although Barney is giddy at the prospect of becoming a father (which causes Robin to faint), Robin is not happy and is still firmly against having children of her own (since it would mean an end to her desired career path). While helping Lily shop for baby furniture at “We B Babies”, Barney shares her feelings when he sees how the life of an old friend, “Insane Duane”, has changed since marrying and having children. Both Robin and Barney are relieved when the doctor informs them that Robin is not pregnant. For a day Robin celebrates not being pregnant, until she receives additional news from the doctor: she is unable to have children. Robin struggles to find a way to tell her friends, so she lies and says instead that she is disappointed at not making the Canadian women’s pole vaulting team.
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Meanwhile, Marshall wants to have better Christmas decorations than neighborhood rival Richard Holdman, planning an entire display which he names the “Symphony of Illumination” for the Long Island house. When he begins the installation, he gratefully accepts an offer of assistance from a neighbourhood teenager, Scott. However, Scott leaves him stranded on the roof, steals Marshall’s phone and uses it to his advantage when texting Lily, and throws a party in Marshall’s house. Though Marshall briefly relents, recalling his own antics when he was young, he is outraged when he sees Scott abusing a giant stocking that his late grandmother had knitted for Marshall’s future child. He remains stranded on the roof until Lily arrives, unwittingly paying Scott 50 dollars for his help, and then sees the damage Scott has caused inside the house during the party.
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The other friends notice that Robin has been acting strange lately, and try to figure out why. Though Ted and Lily jokingly guess that Robin hooked up with Barney, they dismiss the idea, to Barney’s relief, and Ted assumes that she is homesick for Canada. When Ted offers her plane tickets for a Christmas visit to his home town in Cleveland, Ohio, Robin dismisses the notion. When Ted attempts to find out what has upset her so he can try to make her feel better, she gets angry and tells him that he should not feel responsible for cheering her up before leaving. She goes on for a walk in Central Park, where it is revealed that the kids Robin is telling the story to exist only in her imagination, and she is only talking to herself on a park bench as she begins to come to terms with her bad news. She returns to the apartment to discover an intricate Christmas light display, animated and accompanied by vigorous AC/DC music, which Ted has erected. He tells her that while she doesn’t have to tell him what happened, he will never stop trying to cheer her up. Robin dissolves into tears and is comforted by Ted, as Future Ted tells his kids that Robin never had children, but did become a famous journalist, traveled the world and even enjoyed a stint as a bullfighter, and he also notes that she was never alone.7x12-symphony-of-illumination-how-i-met-your-mother-27462287-500-281Honestly, the best episode of season 7 and one of the best in the whole series. A simply amazing episode for Cobie Smulders, and a classic Christmas episode for HIMYM.

 

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – FALSE POSITIVE

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MAIN CAST

Josh Radnor (Mercy Street)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (Agents of SHIELD)
Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers)
Alyson Hannigan (Date Movie)
Bob Saget (Full House)

GUEST CAST

Alex Trebek (Jeopardy)
Ben Vereen (All That Jazz)

Ted is outside a movie theater showing It’s a Wonderful Life, waiting for the rest of the gang and carrying a gingerbread house as their Christmas-themed movie snack. Future Ted backtracks to two days before, when Marshall and Lily eagerly await the results of her latest pregnancy test. The test is positive and they tell Ted, Barney, and Robin the news, but the doctor later says it’s a false alarm and Future Ted tells the story of what happened while the gang thought Lily was pregnant. Prior to the test, Ted and Punchy begin talking about Punchy’s wedding. After hanging up, Ted argues with Robin about his ability to be an effective best man, especially in the event that Punchy gets cold feet. Robin reveals that she auditioned as a “currency rotation specialist” (coin-flip bimbo) in the game show Million Dollar Heads or Tails, hosted by Alex Trebek. Ted rebukes her for bailing on her New Year’s Resolution to be working for the Worldwide News Network by the end of the year. Robin admits that she applied for the Network, but only an associate researcher position is available. When Marshall and Lily break the news of the pregnancy, Robin becomes aware of how her own life is stalling, and resolves to take the research position, but when they reveal the false positive, she changes her mind once more, deciding that she is content to be a “coin-flip bimbo”.
Barney, meanwhile, has received an end-of-year bonus, which he intends to spend on luxuries for himself, including a suit with diamond pinstripes. When he hears about the pregnancy, he realizes how unfulfilled his selfishness has left him, and decides to spend the money helping others. After buying the patrons of MacLaren’s designer clothes, toys and condoms, and taking them to a strip club, Barney goes to see Sam Gibbs, his brother’s father and a minister, to make a donation to his church. He is in the process of writing a check for $10,000 when he gets the news about the false positive, and adds a decimal point to turn it into $100, returning to his selfish ways and, indeed, buying his diamond-striped suit. Immediately after they discover the pregnancy test’s results, Marshall and Lily begin to panic about how unprepared they are to raise a child, and scramble to complete pre-delivery remodeling of their apartment in one night. They announce the news of the pregnancy to the gang, and pretend to share their excitement, but are still terrified inside. After an argument about playing music for the child, the couple see the doctor, who tells them Lily is not pregnant.
Marshall and Lily meet up with the rest of the gang outside the theater and admit that they are relieved about the false positive. Since they are not ready for kids yet, Marshall says they’re considering getting a dog for now. When Robin and Barney agree with Marshall, Ted explodes in anger, smashes the gingerbread house and angrily orders everybody to reconsider their decisions, forcing Marshall and Lily to go straight back home to try to conceive, ordering Robin to take the research job, and yelling to the “criminals of New York” about Barney’s suit, effectively making him a walking target for theft. When Punchy calls him, suffering the predicted cold feet, Ted angrily orders him to get married, solving that problem as well. After everybody leaves, he decides to watch It’s a Wonderful Life all by himself. In the end, Marshall and Lily continue trying to conceive, Barney makes his intended cash donation to the ministry and also donates suits for jobless people to wear to interviews, and Robin begins her first day at Worldwide News. Back at the apartment, Robin thanks Ted for his fit of rage and he accepts her offer to be the best man if she ever gets married to anyone other than him. In the ending scene, Barney tries a Christmas message-style play on a girl called Noelle (Melissa Molinaro) at the bar, who turns him down.A really fun episode, Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan are both excellent, as is the always brilliant Neil Patrick Harris. I enjoyed the Barney storyline, and the ensuing “Barney’s Favourite Things” his diamond suit and the scene at the church with Barney’s brother, James’s Dad.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – THE WINDOW

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MAIN CAST

Josh Radnor (Mercy Street)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (Agents of SHIELD)
Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers)
Alyson Hannigan (Date Movie)
Bob Saget (Full House)

GUEST CAST

JoAnna Garcia Swisher (American Pie 2)
Jamie Kaler (Spanglish)
Charlene Amoia (Seven Pounds)

91wpdo2jzkl-_sl1500_Marshall stops by Ted’s apartment with a box of childhood memorabilia from his mother. Ted receives a call from an old woman telling him “the window is open”, and races over to a woman’s apartment a few blocks away. Later at MacLaren’s, Ted explains that “the window” was the window of opportunity to date a woman named Maggie (Joanna García), who followed up every long-term relationship with a very short break, and then an even-longer relationship. Ted had known Maggie, the “ultimate girl next door”, since college, but she has always quickly found a new boyfriend after being single. After several failed attempts Ted begged Maggie’s neighbor, Mrs. Douglas, to tell him the moment she was single again. Ted arranges to meet her at the bar, and is determined not to screw up this time to make sure she comes in contact with as few other men as possible, even ordering her a taxi with a female driver. Robin reminds Ted he still has to teach his evening class, and he is forced to leave Maggie with Marshall and Lily.
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While his class counsels Ted on finding love, Marshall rifles through his childhood belongings at the bar. He finds a letter to himself from 1993. The rat-tailed, overalls-wearing 15-year-old insists that Future Marshall get an expensive vehicle, a hot wife, and that he never “sell out”. Marshall mournfully reflects that his job at Goliath National Bank is the ultimate sell-out. He leaves MacLaren’s, and Lily chases after him, leaving Maggie with Robin. Under Robin’s watch, a coworker of Maggie’s, named Jim, slips into the booth. Robin shamelessly flirts with Jim and butts in on his invitation to take Maggie to an art show, trying to keep him distracted. Robin passes Maggie off to Barney, who has dared himself to get laid wearing Marshall’s old overalls. Ted races back to the bar, only to face Jim and Barney, who both want Maggie. Lily heads to GNB, thinking Marshall is about to quit his job, but upon further inspection of the letter, she finds another thing that young Marshall was proud of: his ability to dunk a basketball. On the GNB basketball court, Marshall explains how sad he is to have never reach his dreams, but Lily insists that he has led a wonderful life. He attempts to dunk and injures himself. Lily offers to make it up to him and have sex in his office, unable to move he suggest instead they have sex right there on the court.
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Robin covertly sends Maggie back to her apartment while the three men bicker over who should get first crack at Maggie. They race to her apartment door, and they find she has reunited with her childhood neighbor Adam, “the guy next door.” Future Ted briefly retells their long-standing romance, the second-greatest love story he’s ever heard, and flashes forward to their married bliss. When Ted exits the apartment building, he tells Barney he’s ready to find true love again. Barney then sleeps with the old woman in Maggie’s building to complete his overalls challenge. Marshall returns to the bar to write a letter to himself 29 years further in the future. In the letter, he makes a small request for his future self to let him know if time travel exists. Lily returns to the booth with a free plate of hot wings, which she says someone “sent back” because they were too hot. Marshall finishes the letter, telling Future Marshall that so long as he is still with Lily he will be doing all right. As it turns out, an older version of Marshall is on the other side of the bar, who apologizes to Wendy the Waitress for sending the wings back, saying he “already had some wings earlier… much earlier”.91wpdo2jzkl-_sl1500_Another great episode the highlight of this one been Barney trying to pick up women whilst wearing Overalls.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – LAST CIGARETTE EVER

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MAIN CAST

Josh Radnor (Mercy Street)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (Agents of SHIELD)
Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers)
Alyson Hannigan (Date Movie)
Bob Saget (Full House)
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GUEST CAST

Lyndsy Fonseca (Agent Carter)
David Henrie (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)
Benjamin Koldyke (The Finest Hours)
Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad)
Harvey Fierstein (Independence Day)

ad1ba3e9-588b-4b17-bc65-5e73acb90567Future Ted explains how frustrated Robin got at her early morning news show, and describes her taking a smoke break up on the roof, much to the surprise of his listening children. She is then joined by Marshall, who is stressed about his new department head Arthur Hobbs. Barney explains that Marshall’s job is at risk because Arthur does not remember Marshall, even though Marshall worked for him before and made an angry, explosive speech when he quit. When Marshall takes a rooftop break at work, he bumps into Arthur, and to gain his confidence, they share a smoke. Even though Marshall rigorously cleans himself, Lily can still smell the smoke on him, and uses it as an excuse to start smoking again herself (which leads to her voice lowering to a raspy growl). Finally, Ted and Barney feel left out as their friends smoke outside MacLaren’s, and they join in as well. As the week continues, their smoking takes its toll, decreasing Ted’s stamina on the stairs, worsening Lily’s voice, burning Barney’s tie, and giving Marshall’s boss, Arthur, a heart attack. They all pledge to stop smoking, though Robin is reluctant at first.
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Meanwhile, Robin is joined by a new co-anchor, Don Frank, a legend of the pre-6am television world, having broadcast in 38 media outlets. Robin is impressed at first, but is quickly disappointed by Don’s lack of professionalism and total indifference to his job—to the point that he does the news in his underwear. She works even harder to prove that her job means something, even booking Mayor Bloomberg on the show. When Don tells her to stop taking her job so seriously, Robin loses her temper and calls Don a rude, unprofessional loser; in the middle of her tirade, Don tells her that the Mayor canceled. As Don lights up a cigarette and offers it to Robin, saying she’ll never quit smoking, the gang calls from the apartment, pleading for her not to break their pact. She agrees, but when she returns to the apartment, she finds everyone smoking on the roof. Future Ted tells the audience in the voice-over that Robin and Don were dating within three months.
91wpdo2jzkl-_sl1500_The gang agrees to have “one last cigarette” as the sun rises, but Future Ted reveals it took years for each member of the gang to actually quit, listing events in their lives that lead to the change: Lily quits the day she decides to try to get pregnant; Marshall quits the day his son is born; Robin quits in June 2013; Barney quits in March 2017; and Ted quits two weeks into dating the children’s mother. Throughout the episode, Marshall says he had his first cigarette when he was 13, and is shown periodically imagining himself traveling back in time and beating up his younger self for taking up the habit in the first place. At the end of the episode, Marshall once again visits his 13-year-old counterpart in 1991, but instead of beating him up, he apologizes and gives him a peace offering: a picture of Lily, to which Young Marshall replies “Wow she’s hot”. Marshall explains to his younger self that he will one day marry her. Surprised and excited, Young Marshall disappears into his tent with the picture to apparently masturbate; Present Marshall is disgusted at first, but then understands and walks away.1203df2e7c495a6371edaacac8426dceA great episode the highlight was Lily speaking Harvey Fierstein. Not been a smoker myself  I couldn’t relate as much but it was still a fun episode.

 

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – LITTLE MINNESOTA

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MAIN CAST

Josh Radnor (Mercy Street)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (Agents of SHIELD)
Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers)
Alyson Hannigan (Date Movie)
Bob Saget (Full House)

GUEST CAST

Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Time Force)

Robin enters MacLaren’s wearing an unseasonal T-shirt and explains to Ted that the cold weather doesn’t affect her because she’s from Canada. Marshall agrees and compares New York City in winter to a spring day in Minnesota, except for all the taxis, skyscrapers and non-white people. When Robin expresses homesickness, Marshall takes her to the Walleye Saloon, a Minnesota-themed bar that he goes to when he misses his family. Unfortunately she likes it so much that she ends up pretending to be from Bemidji, Minnesota to befriend the bar patrons, much to Marshall’s frustration. His frustration grows when she claims his story about the 1999 NFC Championship Game as her own and boils over after she beats his high score on the Fisherman’s Quest video game, at which point he unmasks Robin as a Canadian. Marshall later apologizes to Robin and reassures her that despite her lack of job or boyfriend, she still belongs in New York with her friends. To help ease her Christmas homesickness he takes her to a Canadian-themed bar, the Hoser Hut, capped off with a crowd-pleasing karaoke rendition of Robin’s teenage hit “Let’s Go to the Mall”.
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Meanwhile, Ted reveals that his sister Heather (Erin Cahill) has arrived in New York and is planning to move there. According to Ted, Heather is irresponsible, citing examples such as the time she sold his possessions to buy tickets and travel to a Nine Inch Nails concert in Spain, and he doubts that she will ever actually move there. Additionally, Ted has prevented Barney from meeting Heather each time she has visited, fearing that Barney would try to hook up with her. However, his attempt to prevent their meeting again is immediately foiled when Barney is found waiting for the group when Ted brings Heather to the apartment after Lily, being unable to keep secrets, accidentally tipped off Barney. Barney is hurt that Ted tried to keep him away from Heather and explains that he never intended to act on all the inappropriate jokes he made. Ted explains that he does not trust Heather or Barney, though he eventually relents and invites Barney to dinner with them on Sunday.
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Over dinner, Heather and Ted discuss her decision to move to New York to work in finance and she asks him to co-sign the lease of an apartment she found. However, his lack of faith in her proves an obstacle. Frustrated with Ted’s insensitivity, Heather and Barney stage a fake sexual encounter after their interview at Goliath National Bank and ensure that Lily walks in on them, knowing that she won’t be able to keep it a secret from Ted. Heather and Barney persist in taunting Ted until he confronts them at MacLaren’s, claiming that Heather has never taken responsibility for herself. Barney explains the plan to the surprised Ted and Lily, at the same time revealing that he kissed Ted’s mother. Heather storms out to find a hotel, denouncing Ted for refusing to accept that she has grown up. Eventually Ted makes up with Heather and co-signs her lease, telling her he wants to get to know the new her.

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Absolutely loved this episode ! It was full of laughs and surprises ! Once again Lily’s “secret keeping abilities” were tested ! But the highlight of the episode has to be Barney’s songs in which he expressed his desire to have sex with Ted’s sister !

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – HOW LILY STOLE CHRISTMAS

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MAIN CAST

Josh Radnor (Mercy Street)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (Agents of SHIELD)
Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers)
Alyson Hannigan (Date Movie)
Bob Saget (Full House)


GUEST CAST

Cristine Rose (Heroes)
Harry Groener (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Michael Gross (Tremors)

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Ted has decided to spend Christmas in his home this year with “his other family”. He doesn’t want to spend it with his mom and her new boyfriend, Clint; or his dad and his new ‘girlfriend’, microbrewing; or his super-religious cousin, Stacy, in Staten Island. While Lily decorates his apartment, Marshall says he must go to the law library to finish one last paper that is due that day. He refuses to look at any of the decorations as he leaves because the “winter wonderland” will be his reward for finishing the paper. After he leaves, Lily finds the old answering machine that was unplugged after Lily and Marshall broke up. Lily plays messages that are still on it, and hears a message from Ted to Marshall telling him to get over Lily. In this message, Ted calls Lily “a bad word…a very, very bad word” (implied to be either “bitch” or “cunt” – based on the fact that Ted has no problem with using a varied pronunciation of the word “bitch,” in his stories, it is more likely the latter) which is substituted in future Ted’s re-telling of the story with the word “grinch.”
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Lily asks why Ted would call her that word, and Ted reveals that he was trying to get Marshall to stop idolizing Lily even after they had split during the summer, and told Marshall at the time if he did not stop putting her up on a pedestal, he would never get over her. Ted asks Marshall to tell him one thing wrong with Lily. Finally Marshall gives in and he does and follows with making jokes about Lily along with Ted and Barney at the bar. Ted tells Lily that he was just trying to help Marshall and he refuses to apologize to Lily because she was “kind of a grinch”.
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At the bar, Ted is telling Robin and a progressively ill Barney about what happened, and realizes that he has to apologize to Lily. Ted brings a beer back up to the apartment to offer as an apology. When he opens the door, he finds that Lily has taken all the Christmas decorations away from their apartment. Ted wants to make sure the winter wonderland will be there when Marshall gets back from the library. Ted tries to call Lily but with no result. As Robin and a very sick Barney stack at the apartment Ted decides to go to Lily’s apartment to apologize. He tricks her into thinking he’s the pizza delivery guy so he’s able to get her to open the door to her tiny, crappy, cramped NY apartment. He says he’s sorry that he called her “a grinch”, but Lily works out that he is faking an apology, and is clearly still angry with her. She asks Ted why he won’t forgive her when she has already apologised to Marshall. He replies that she never apologised to him, and that her abrupt departure and lack of contact had hurt him as well. He and Lily get into another argument, when her power suddenly goes off, with Lily saying that Ted pissed off the “big man up stairs,” her super, that lives above her. He then tells Lily that she can take the decorations back to his and Marshall’s apartment because he’s going to visit his cousin’s family in Staten Island. Marshall comes back home to the apartment, claiming he blew off his paper, but he had been spending hours tracking down his gift for Lily. He finds the winter wonderland intact and no knowledge of what happened earlier in the day.
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In the meantime, Robin insists upon taking care of Barney, who has caught a terrible cold. He whines about wearing sweatpants, not getting ice cream for dinner, and everything else he can until Robin spikes his tea with codeine. Marshall has brought a package with him, a present for Lily. He tells the story of how he went to the post office to find out why it hadn’t come in when it was supposed to. The lady tells him that the package is already on the truck headed to Poughkeepsie. Marshall runs the truck down and asks if he can have the package back. The driver says yes but that he’s running behind on his route so Marshall has to ride along. Marshall gets his package, but when the driver tells him that he won’t be able to deliver all of the packages in time for Christmas he decides to help out. Lily opens the package to find an Easy-Bake Oven, something she wanted since childhood, but never got because her feminist mom didn’t want her to conform to traditional gender roles, and gave her a Lego set instead. Since she has no idea how Marshall knew about her preferred item, he admits learning about it from Ted, whom Lily told her story to back in college. Marshall asks where Ted is and Lily tells him Staten Island.
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At Ted’s cousin’s house, Ted is having a miserable time. Lily, Robin, Marshall and Barney arrive with an apology beer for Ted. Ted tells his cousin that it’s carolers to keep her from coming to the door. While the other three sing, Lily says she’s sick of apologizing and the two agree to skip straight to the forgiveness. Ted takes off after his cousin’s children overhear Lily say she “was kind of a grinch”, and they all begin to cheer “grinch!” over and over.maxresdefaultIt is great how they keep on finding ways to get Lily leaving Marshall back into the story and at the same time not only make it funny but also use it to make that part of the story less likely to hurt them later as all their friendships are just getting stronger.

 

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – THE LIMO

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MAIN CAST

Josh Radnor (Mercy Street)
Jason Segel (The Muppets)
Cobie Smulders (Agents of SHIELD)
Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers)
Alyson Hannigan (Date Movie)
Bob Saget (Full House)

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GUEST CAST

Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass)
David Henrie (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2)
Kathleen Rose Perkins (Gone Girl)
Marshall Manesh (The Big Lebowski)
J.P. Manoux (Community)
Natalie Denise Sperl  (Naked Surrender)
James Tupper (Revenge)

1203df2e7c495a6371edaacac8426dceTrying to avoid the usual letdown of New Year’s Eve, Ted rents a limo for his friends so that they can party together. Robin has plans with her rich boyfriend, Derek, but Ted, Lily, Marshall, and Barney plan to attend five parties in the three hours before midnight to find the best party to be at to begin the new year. With Ranjit as their limo driver and Barney’s “Get Psyched” mix CD to psych them up, the group goes to the first party where they pick up Ted’s coworker Marybeth (Kathleen Rose Perkins), who has been flirting with him at the office. Barney also finds a date, a woman with a Russian-like accent named Natalya. Lily complains that her shoes are hurting her feet, but Ted asks that she power through the pain and they head to party number two.
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Disappointed with party number two, the gang heads to party number three, leaving Natalya behind because no one except Barney liked her. Robin calls Ted asking if they could pick her up because Derek had to work late and canceled their plans. Even though the extra stop jeopardizes the schedule, Ted cannot refuse to pick up Robin. Robin joins the group and her disappointment caused by her canceled date brings down the mood. Ted tries to lift Robin’s spirits by saying that he will kiss her at midnight and suggests that they go to Gray’s Papaya. Lily returns to the apartment to change her shoes, intending to catch up with the group at party number three, while everyone else gets hot dogs. Lily tries to wish Marshall a happy new year in case she can’t rejoin the group, but Marshall says that they will find each other.
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The limo heads to party number three when Marshall sees Moby (J. P. Manoux) out the window of the parked limo. Ted asks Moby if he wants a ride to the party that he’s going to and once inside the limo the group wangles an invitation to Moby’s party. Worried that Lily won’t find them and unable to reach her on her cell phone, Marshall leaves the limo to find Lily. The group heads to Moby’s party, but discover that he is not Moby (nor ‘Tony’, but Eric) when he brandishes a gun and rants crazily. As they drop off Not Moby at his party, Marshall’s cell phone, that he accidentally left in the limo, rings. Barney answers the call from Lily and tells her that Marshall is looking for her at party number three. Lily doesn’t see Marshall but she does see Not Moby walking into the party. Ted tells her to leave the party quickly and when she rejoins the group they realize that Lily accidentally went to party number four, which coincidentally is Not Moby’s party. The group heads to party number three to find Marshall. Barney realizes that Not Moby took his “Get Psyched” mix just as the limo gets a flat tire. While Ranjit fixes the tire, Barney laments the loss of his CD. To cheer up everyone, Ted and Robin begin singing the first song from the “Get Psyched” mix. Recognizing that Ted is in love with Robin, Marybeth decides to leave the group.
e1e77b2e-3853-4284-91c8-5892de651406_imgStill stuck with a flat tire and only 15 minutes until midnight, Ted suggests that the group begin walking so that they can get to party number three by 12:45 and celebrate the New Year in central time. As Lily tries to find Marshall by yelling his name, Barney tells Ted to stop trying so hard-—he can’t keep New Year’s Eve from being what it is, the biggest letdown of the year. Just as Ted is about to give up, they hear Marshall yelling Lily’s name. Marshall runs up to the limo and tells the group that when he couldn’t find Lily at party number three he walked to party number four (Not Moby’s party) where he heard Barney’s mix CD playing and he swiped it, and got his shirt signed by “not Moby” as “Eric”. Marshall then went to party number five, which was awesome, and says that they need to be at party number five at midnight. With eight minutes until midnight, everyone climbs in the limo—-where they find Natalya who had been sleeping in the front seat—-and they head to party number five. With three minutes until midnight, the limo is stuck in traffic. Accepting that the group won’t make it to party number five, Ted opens a bottle of champagne and pours everyone a glass, saying that they have a great party in the limo. Derek appears at the limo’s window, having left his business meeting early to be with Robin at midnight. As the countdown to midnight begins with everyone in the limo paired off except for Ted, he leaves the limo. To Ted’s surprise, Robin follows him, saying that she hadn’t forgotten their deal to kiss each other at midnight, and they share a kiss.the-limoThe first festive episode for HIMYM and it’s defiantly a classic one. A good start for the holiday season.