The 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother was legen- wait for it…

…-dary! How I Met Your Mother celebrated its 100th episode with a comedic driven, Mother teasing, suit wearing, dance spectacular!

Lets start with this episode’s secondary plot. Barney struggles with hooking up with a bartender while Marshall, Lily and Robin fight over if the bartender is actually hot or not. Robin says its only circumstantial hotness because she is behind a bar. This results in Robin sneaking behind the bar and for a small moment, during which she becomes extremely irresistible. Meanwhile, Barney, played by NPH, normally has no troubles suiting up and getting with the ladies. But this time his two favorite things, girls and suits, conflict with each other because the bartender hates men who wear suits. Barney’s story concluded in a climatic dance number joined by the rest of the cast, about Girls Versus Suits, titled “Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit“.

Now for the main plot of Ted Mosby’s continuing struggles to tell the simple story to his kids of “How I Met Your Mother“. Finally, in the 100th episode, everyone gets to meet the person we have been anticipating since the first episode. That’s right, we all finally met the Mother’s roommate. The missed opportunity of this episode being called “How I Met Your Mother’s Roommate” actually resulted with a great comedic and engaging story. At the start of the episode Ted Mosby meets Cindy, played by cute Rachel Bilson. Due to the unreliable narrator and clever writing of the show we are led to believe that Ted has finally met the Mother. A quarter through the episode they flip it on us and reveal that she is not the Mother but instead the true Mother’s current roommate. The twist was introduced when present Ted, in 2010, picks up a little yellow bus and future Ted tells his children that that was the first time he saw the bus that is currently on the shelf behind them in 2030. Major props, pun intended, to the writers to think to include a prop in the story that has been in the future 2030 scene of Ted talking to his children since season 1. After Ted picks up the bus, Cindy quickly explains that it is not her little yellow bus, but in fact her roommate’s. Sadly that is when we learn that Cindy is not the Mother but lucky for us she is fully willing to explain what kind of person the true Mother is.

Cindy has a roommate complex because she always fears that her roommate will steal her boyfriend, (which she, obviously, eventually does). Ted promises that he will never fall in love with her roommate, (which he will). On the date Cindy can’t stop talking about her roommate. Cindy tries to explain the weird things her roommate does but Ted loves all of them. The Mother making paintings of robots playing sports and also likes making breakfast food sing show tunes. Future Ted says that in 2030 the robot volleyball watercolor is currently in the den and the Mother’s rendition of “Memory” by an English muffin is the most hauntingly beautiful thing he as ever heard.

Since Ted is a teacher at the same university Cindy is attending as a student, she stops her relationship with Ted, even though he does not have her as a student and they are not even in the same department. She has a scholarship and does not want to lose it if something happens. The true Mother also goes to the same university but she might not be so concerned about the strict university rules or have a scholarship to worry about. Plus, Ted wants to ignore the rules with Cindy, so of course he will want to ignore them when he finally meets the love of his life. As far as we know, Ted and the Mother might not even meet for another few years so they could both have finished working or attending the university.

In 2010, however, Ted does not want to give up on Cindy so he goes to her apartment in the rain with the yellow umbrella. When he gets there Cindy says her roommate is in the shower so they talk in Cindy’s room. As Ted tries to get back together with Cindy, he tries to find things in her room they have in common or that he finds interesting. He ends up picking the only three things in the room that are her roommates, showing that his true love and future wife is only a few feet away. Ted picked up the roommate’s album that Cindy is borrowing, “Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone” by The Unicorns, and Ted has never met anyone who owns the album. The roommate liked World’s End by TC Boyle enough to give a copy to her roommate, which Ted also liked. The roommate also plays bass in a band and Ted says his ideal woman plays bass. Ted leaves Cindy’s room defeated, as they decide that he is clearly not into Cindy. He ends up not meeting the woman of his dreams that night, but happens to see a glimpse of her foot as enters her bedroom from the bathroom. Ted leaves the apartment and forgets the yellow umbrella, inadvertently leaving it with the original owner.

It was a great episode overall but I am a little disappointed that Rachel Bilson does not play the Mother. She would have been great in the role but I am assuming she does not want to commit to a TV series. I hope Rachel Bilson does show up in more episodes as the Mother’s roommate because she would be an interesting side story until Ted finally meets the true Mother.

Californication and Dexter season finales

Showtime’s two starring bad boys had their season finales last night. No matter how many bad things these guys do, everyone can not help but love them, and their shocking season finales only leave you wanting more mischief.

Californication is not one of my favorite shows of all time like Dexter is. I am only teaming these two shows into one post instead of two due to the fact I don’t want to spoil either finales, so lack of content to talk about. I had only started watching Californication right before the start of this season. It has grown on me, each season better than the last. The third season had some really great comedic episodes with a nice amount of drama sprinkled throughout the season to make it the best season so far. The season three finale had a more dramatic tone with a story that spanned all three seasons and concluding with a shocking final scene. David Duchovny plays the main character, sex addicted Hank Moody, who always gets himself into situations but always smoothly manages to get out out them. The finale deals with a long running situation Hank started in the first episode of the series and had to deal with for the past three seasons. Everything finally spirals out of his control and for the first time, Hank may not get out of it. I have no clue what to expect from season four, but the series has taken itself into an interesting direction.

The season four finale of Dexter was fast paced, shocking and emotional. Of course they wrapped up the main plot of season four but they also had a good subplot that was building up from four seasons worth of content, calling back to many elements, especially season one. Like always, Dexter’s finale narrative was amazing with many twists and turns and another shocking final scene. This scene was completely unpredictable and extremely emotional. I will admit that I cried my eyes out.

Epic Mickey

An 81 year old cartoon mouse is now in the hands of a prolific video game designer. Warren Spector is turning Mickey Mouse into a unique platform action RPG video game exclusively for the Nintendo Wii. It will be called Epic Mickey. Warren Spector has had a long history as a video game designer, involved with over 20 video games. Now that he has a hold of the highest profiled cartoon character of all time, only good can come of it.

Mickey Mouse has been in many video games over the years, but it has been a long time since Mickey has stared in a new video game that is not watered down garbage geared only towards kids. The last notable adventures are the Disney’s Magical Quest games and Mickey Mania from the early and mid 90s. Classic platform video games placing Mickey in different worlds inspired by his cartoons of the past. Which Epic Mickey sounds like it took the key ideas that made those games great and brought them to a new generation.

Another notable mention would be the Kingdom Hearts series, which at first glance sounds like Epic Mickey. Instead, Kingdom Hearts collided the Final Fantasy universe with the Disney universe resulting in a strange world of contrasting properties. Mickey is not the star and the main playable characters are Final Fantasy inspired, playing through Disney’s most memorable modern feature films.

In Epic Mickey, the Disney universe collides with itself.  Almost collapsing, leaving behind a bizarre and twisted amalgamation of its former self. Instead of modern films, Epic Mickey feels to be inspired mainly of retro films and creations. Any thing created by Walt Disney himself or the Disney company, from the minds of Imagineers or from classic cartoons, actually used or unused has the possibility of being thrown into the mix. Some of the first concept art depicted a dark steam punk and decaying world. Newer concept art still has a dark tone but features classic Mickey cartoons mixed with current theme park rides, unused concept art, retired rides and forgotten cartoon characters.

The most important of them all is Walt Disney’s own forgotten creation, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Oswald is bitter that Mickey became super famous and himself forgotten and left in the past. He is the primary antagonist in Epic Mickey and responsible for gathering together all the forgotten Disney creations to dethrone the top mouse. First creating the chaotic mixed up world with the help of the sorcerer Yen Sid.

Epic Mickey’s world is dynamic and changes by the character’s direct and indirect actions. Most situations Mickey will be presented with, the player can fight, run away, help or ignore and end up changing the world around him by whichever action is chosen. Mickey will have the ability use paint and paint thinner to modify or erase objects in the world. Actions will also physically change Mickey himself between three different morality alignments. Changing between the good Hero Mickey and the bad Scrapper Mickey, with a Mickey that fits in between. You can fight your way through the game and become the Scrapper Mickey or you can correct the world and befriend the enemies and become Hero Mickey. The game goes as far as being able to avoid boss battles with the right actions. The game feature both a full 3D world and in between levels where Mickey is sucked into a movie screen and plays a side scrolling platform level inspired directly by one of his classic cartoons.

The game is set to be released on September 16th, 2010. Warren Spector wishes for Epic Mickey to become a trilogy of games. If it is successful enough to deserve two more games, I will be wishing for it to be turned it to at least an animated short film. Warren Spector is also rumored to be wanting to create a brand new DuckTales video game. I believe anyone who has played the original NES version or it’s sequel would want a current generation version and would ask for more moon, please.

Steamboat Willie was released November 18th, 1928, making Mickey Mouse 81 years old today. Even though technically Steamboat Willie was not Mickey’s first cartoon, it is popularly recognized as such, so today is recognized as his birthday.

Happy 81st Birthday Mickey Mouse!

Demented Daddy Dexter

The thrilling tale of everyone’s favorite serial killer is back again for the fourth season of Dexter. The Showtime original TV series, based on the Darkly Dreaming Dexter novel, tells the story of Dexter Morgan, a serial killer whose modus operandi is to kill other killers. The narrative and Michael C. Hall‘s portrayal as Dexter are strong, showing him as the lesser of two evils, that you will find yourself supporting the likable serial killer and hoping he does not get caught.

Most seasons of Dexter are setup with a main antagonist, another serial killer who Dexter is trying to hunt down throughout the entire season. Meanwhile, Dexter is satisfying his own personal fix by killing other murderers in almost every episode. Normally, the antagonist is a mystery and stays in the shadows for the majority of the season, but in season four, the opening shot introduces him and shows his face. John Lithgow is The Trinity Killer, one of the most notorious serial killers in the country, who finds himself in Dexter’s town of Miami, Florida. Dishonest detective Dexter is a blood spatter analyst for the Miami police, who discovers clues about the new serial killer in town. Finding and killing the Trinity Killer would be the ultimate trophy in Dexter’s collection, but it will be a race against the Miami police before they find and deal with The Trinity Killer the legal way.

I normally do not like knowing who the main antagonist is in a TV series because it always adds to the compelling mystery. The fact that it is the high profile John Lithgow and seeing his kills from his perspective will balance out the show’s lack of the mystery. The writers always find an interesting new approach to the show each season so Dexter’s character does not get stale. Along with Dexter’s strong competition of The Trinity Killer, Dexter has also become a new father. Family life is distracting daddy Dexter and making him a more clumsy killer, putting him at risk of getting caught.

Dexter season four premiered September 27, 2009. The beginning of the episode was a slow burn of exposition, but ended with a giant cliffhanger of dozing driving Dexter crashing his car. The crash happened after one of Dexter’s kills, leaving the viewer believing there was a severed body in the back of his car. I hope that all of season four can keep up the high impact storytelling that ended of the first episode.

Lost again

Starting the other day, I began to casually re-watch the TV show Lost. I viewed episodes one through four and then a handful of random episodes of season one even though I have already watched the entire series so far. I believe that Lost is the greatest show ever (Yes, a hyperbole, but the show is that good to claim it). Despite the fact that I enjoy the series so much, I have always believed that Lost was a one time watch because of it is strong focus of mysteries that surround every element of the show. Having the insight of five out of the six seasons, I can say that watching the series a second time is just as good as the first. I might know the answers to some of Lost’s major mysteries but I still found myself engrossed by the beginning of the series. This was made clear to me during the fourth episode of the first season Walkabout featuring the first flashback of the character John Locke. I knew exactly what was going to happen but still enjoyed the twist ending and the reactions from the first time viewers.

The reason I am watching Lost again, but not viewing all the episodes, is because my sister Kyle just started watching the show for the first time. She was lucky enough to remain spoiler free for over five years since Lost premiered September 22, 2004. Kyle instantly was hooked and she can not stop watching. She is currently a little more than half way through season one, only a few days after she started. The best part of watching Lost with someone who has never seen the show before is their speculation of all the shows mysteries and knowing almost all the answers yourself. Often their guesses are comically wrong but a few times they get one right.

Watching Lost again with a new viewer is a good way to recap before the sixth and final season that will primer in early 2010. Now that Lost has proven to me it can be watched more than once, I will most likely buy the series when a “complete series” collection comes out in the future.

The First Post

I am TJ McKimmey and this is my blog. I graduated from Columbia College with a bachelor’s degree in film & video with a focus in traditional animation. I am constantly playing video games, watching films and TV shows. So I will be posting my opinion on the ones that stand out. I plan to find time to read more books and comics and post my opinion on those too. And of course I will post about random events from my life.

In the meantime watch my animation reel.

TJ McKimmey – Animation Reel (2009) from TJ McKimmey on Vimeo.