HIMYM Re-watch: Season 1

I decided that I’m just going to post a little recap and some commentary at the end of each season with the possible exception of particularly monumental episodes that I feel deserve their own posts. I probably would post more, but taking time to blog would mean it would take much longer to get through the episodes. Plus, I just don’t have time to sit down and blog everyday.

Recap

It had been awhile since I had watched any of Season 1, and I had forgotten how much actually happened during that first season. Of course, we had the first episode with Ted and Robin’s first date and the infamous blue French horn. Then, we had Ted’s relationship with Victoria. Ted then out-did the blue French horn with a blue string quartet. Marshall and Lily frantically tried to plan a wedding. Of course, throughout the whole season there were great moments of hilarity from Barney. Ted almost gets Robin a few times, he thinks he’s finally going to find love on several occasions, and then he finally gets Robin for real. And finally, the season ends on a bitter note with Lily leaving Marshall to go to San Francisco.

Commentary

I think the first season really encapsulates everything that I love about this show. There were tons of hilarious moments that had me laughing out loud even though I had seen and heard all of the jokes before. There were also plenty of heartfelt romantic moments. And there were also some moments that tugged at the heartstrings and made you really feel for one of the characters (such as, Lily leaving Marshall). Another thing that I think gets under-appreciated is the life lessons that you can learn from the show. I know it might seem stupid that you can learn life lessons from a sitcom, but this whole show is a story that Future Ted is telling his children. Obviously, some of these stories are way more inappropriate than anything a father should be telling his teenage children, but he’s also telling them about lessons he learned along the way and mistakes that he made and regrets he has. One of my favorite quotes from the whole season is from the episode “Sweet Taste of Liberty” (the one where they lick the Liberty Bell). Future Ted tells his kids, “I never got where I thought I wanted to go, but I always got a good story.” I love that quote because it reminds me that sometimes it’s ok to just do something crazy with your friends that you normally wouldn’t do because if you never did something crazy then you would never have any good stories to tell.

Final Thoughts

One plot line that has never really been addressed since the first season is the “Love Solutions” girl that was a perfect match for Ted that he never actually met because he was still in love with Robin. I’m curious if they will incorporate that into the mother’s story and reveal that she was that perfect match that Ted stood up. I think it would actually be great if in the finale she just said a throwaway line like, “I even tried a dating service once, and I got stood up.” Only people that remembered that plot line from the first season would get the reference.

I also love all of the little running gags that were started in the first season that are still going 8 seasons later. For example about midway through the season, Barney is asked for the first time what he does for a living. To which, he replies “Please…” Of course, only a few weeks ago in season 9 was it finally revealed that his job is literally P.L.E.A.S.E. (Provide Legal Exculpation And Sign Everything).

Ok. That’s it for Season 1. I actually finished watching it a few days ago, but I just didn’t have time to write the blog post until now. It’s very unlikely that I will be able to finish the series by the day of the finale, so I’m setting a new goal of getting to the 100th episode by that time. Onward to Season 2.

The Veronica Mars Movie and Why It’s a Big Deal

In case you haven’t heard about it over the last year or so, Veronica Mars, the TV show that was on UPN/the CW for 3 seasons 2004-2007, used a Kickstarter campaign to fund a movie that is going to be released later this week. Let me start by saying that I never watched the show when it was on the air. I don’t think I had really ever heard much about it or knew what it was. After hearing about the Kickstarter campaign and learning a little bit about the show, I decided I might as well watch the show and see what all the fuss was about. It turns out that the show is really awesome, and I ended up burning through all 3 seasons in about a week. The premise of the show is that Kristen Bell plays Veronica, a teenager in a small town called Neptune, California. The town is very class divided with the billionaire movie stars, record producers, and Fortune 500 CEOs on one side and the people that work for them (maids, butlers, secretaries, etc.) on the other. Veronica’s father, Keith Mars, is the former sheriff who was ousted from office after accusing a prominent citizen of murdering his own daughter (this is central to the main plot arc that stretches over the entire first season). Now Keith is a private detective and Veronica works part time helping her father with his cases. Veronica is a very smart girl who goes through all of the typical drama that goes along with high school (which is of course magnified by all the class division), but she also spends some nights staking out seedy motels taking surveillance pictures for cases as well as occasionally doing some sleuthing for some of her classmates. The thing that I think I like most about the show is that the writing is very intelligent and it doesn’t talk down to its viewers. To sum it up, the show is really great and deserves a movie, but after hearing about the Kickstarter campaign and doing a little research, I decided that it doesn’t matter what the show was about or even if I like the movie. I want this movie to succeed.

Apparently, Rob Thomas, the creator of the show, has been trying to make this movie ever since the show was cancelled in 2007, but no studio would give them the money to make it. Finally, he, Kristen Bell, and the rest of the cast decided that they would just crowd-fund the movie. Warner Brothers told them that if the crowd-funding campaign made their goal of $2 million then they would distribute the film. Not only did it make it’s goal of $2 million, but it broke that goal in less than 10 hours after going live. It went on to make nearly $6 million and broke nearly every record that Kickstarter had for the film category.

There have been several successful crowd funding campaigns over the last few years.  I recently contributed to the campaign for season 3 of the web show “Video Game High School” by Freddie Wong, which has had all 3 of it’s seasons largely funded through crowd-funding. However, to my knowledge there has never been a movie that was funded through crowd-funding and then went on to become a box office hit. The Veronica Mars movie seems poised to do that. It already has a built-in loyal fan base from the TV show. It also won the MTV Movie Brawl fan vote for most anticipated movie of 2014 (beating several big time movies like Amazing Spiderman 2 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I). That alone makes this movie a trailblazer that could change the way people go about making and marketing movies, but there’s more. Advertisement for the movie is being done entirely online. There haven’t been any billboard or TV spots for the movie. The movie is also being released nation-wide in mostly AMC theaters on 270 screens, but they are also simultaneously releasing the movie through most Video-On-Demand services. So, even is you don’t live near one of the 270 theaters where it will be showing, you can still contribute to the movie’s success by buying it on demand.

The fact that Warner Brothers and AMC are both willing to try this experiment that has never really been done before (at least not for anything other than low grade B movies), might mean that the film industry is finally realizing that the internet and the “global community” that it has created can actually be used to find out what people want and deliver quality content to the people that want it instead of just producing big budget films that appeal to the lowest common denominator. Maybe the film industry is realizing this faster than the music industry did.

The movie will be released on March 14, so you have a couple days to watch the TV show and prepare yourself. You can find all 3 of the seasons on Amazon Prime. If you don’t have Amazon Prime, sign up for a free month trial.