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The best thing I saw on Tumblr this week, from a collector reassuring a younger fan worried about dating that it should be OK to love My Little Pony even when you're past the age of a kid: "When I moved in with [my boyfriend], he gave me a whole room for my ponies and books."
Does that not sound like heaven?
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And now, for some loooooong overdue television. I am now watching so little television that I would almost need to watch in reverse to go any slower -- or in my case, now I not only don't have time to stay caught up on even five shows, sometimes I'm watching episodes multiple times because one viewing just isn't enough for thorough grokking.

Criminal Minds, "200"
a/k/a "oh hey, try some more backstory on for size."

Without being a longtime fan of the show, I can't really say if this changes my perception of JJ at all. The only thing I know with any certainty about her past was that she was off the show for a time; I assume this mission was during at least part of that time? I am never interested in anything that takes place in the Middle East, which is one part of why this fell flat for me. I should probably have feelings about briefly getting Prentiss back, but other than liking their dynamic aesthetically, neither character does that much for me. Not even the torture scenes worked for me. There were just so many, and so aggressive, and it all just felt a bit much. But of course, it's very possible that is a result of her also not having a sufficiently interesting romantic interest or other loved one to be there for the aftermath, immediate or otherwise.

The only parts that got my attention were the brief spotting of Strauss (hey there Erin! You're great. So much better than that other [Aaron]), and the second pregnancy/miscarriage. That was a twist. I also kind of enjoyed Garcia and whoever her cohort of the moment was repeatedly getting intercepted and hauled away by security as they tried to investigate things above their security clearance.

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How I Met Your Mother, 9x15, "Unpause"
I loved basically every single second of this episode. I had to watch it four times before I was able to finish processing all my feelings of UTTER DELIGHT about it. In no particular order, a list of things I loved:

At the Farhampton Inn in 2017
Oh my god Ted and his wife are so unbelievably sweet I think they might have given me cavities, multiple. THIS is the Ted I love, the one who seems smart enough to be a professor, who is properly devoted to one woman who's worth it, and is not chasing skanks or pining obsessively for people that he has been given multiple signs are wrong for him or otherwise being selfish/self-absorbed. I want to watch 97 episodes of THIS Ted. The banter reminds me of something I would have in my own life.

Hot Factor: Ted expertly and competently juggling both a hugely pregnant wife and a baby. Plus the kids have names now! So happy. I don't know how this is possible, but in five minutes I already love their family twenty times more than I care about Lily, Marshall and Marvin the Martian.

At The Table: "Things I Loved" edition

  • When a simple "yes" won't suffice in response to "You can't still see where Marshall slapped me, can you?"

Ted: Your face looks like a don't walk signal.
Robin: Your face looks like a photo negative of the Hamburger Helper box.
Ted: A palm reader could tell Marshall's future by studying your face.
Robin: The phrase "talk to the hand 'cause the face ain't listening" doesn't work for you, because the hand...is on yo face.

  • Embarrassing Souvenirs From Ted's Childhood Home. ("His best friend is a balloon." / "I WANT TO SEE THAT PHOTO MORE THAN I WANT TO GET MARRIED.")

  • Barney's Levels of Drunkeness montage, plus Jabba Drunk. I have spent a large portion of the last few days chortling "Globin frobrin HO, HO, HO" to myself.

  • "Where's the baby?/THE ELEVATORRRRR!" is my favorite thing since "what the damn hell."

  • The Crapload as a unit of measurement, from Barney spending 1/16th of his salary on suits every year to Robin's family being worth 6,000 (Canadian) Craploads. Also, that last reveal? GLORIOUS. I have so many feelings and questions right now about how many lights this may or may not shed on 8.5 years of canon now.

  • "Not so fast, princess. I guess subtle clues and the bar tab are two things you just don't pick up."

  • Barney: No, you guys are being stupid. Especially Ted.

        Ted: I didn't say anything...
^ OH MAN can that statement please be commentary about how Ted is being stupid about Robin? Please?

  • Ted casually charging the super-expensive Glen McKenna to the bride's room. That's how you go big, Teddy Westside!

  • Barney's degree from the Magician's Institute, his perfect score on the ACTs (Advanced Card Tricks), and SPECIAL DEHYDRATED DOVES FROM CHINATOWN.

  • FINDING OUT WHAT BARNEY DOES, AND HOW IT IS SO GREAT/how he has been secretly telling the truth this whole time. ("Provide Legal Exculpation And Sign Everything")

  • FINDING OUT BARNEY'S SECRET, AMAZING PLAN, WHICH IS SOMEHOW EVEN GREATER THAN FINDING OUT WHAT HE DOES.

Imminently Arrested Boss: Why would you do that?
Barney: Oh, gosh. Countless moral reasons...could have applied, but this is pretty much revenge for stealing my girlfriend.

  • And my favorite moment of all time: "Who am I? Just a guy who served you coffee once. Peace out, losers."

*pause for effect*
"BARNEY STINSON, BARNEY STINSON, THAT GUY'S AWESOME (AWESOOOOOOME!)..."

I have rewound the moment the music bursts onto the scene about ten times and it still makes me laugh until tears come to my eyes. Sheer. Perfection. Never has Barney Stinson been more awesome than in this moment.

  • The glorious, glorious moment where you wince and brace yourself for some horrible last-minute truth that will send your hopes for Barney and Robin's pending nuptials down in flames -- and instead you get the most beautiful and eloquent statement about this ship that has ever existed or will ever exist:

"I'm a little nervous, but I love Robin more than I've ever loved anyone, and I'm gonna do everything I can to make her happy. For a long time, deep down, I felt sort of...broken? But I don't feel that way anymore. Robin, along with the idea that vengeance will soon be mine, has made me 100% awesome."

(so SUCK IT, TED!!)
(also, SUCK IT!!, everyone who says that you can't depend on another person to fix you)
(also, laughing myself silly at the perfect line delivery of that little aside about vengeance)

  • TREVOR HUDSON THE RING BEAR. I suspect that from the moment Barney admitted there would be a ring bearer (way to change your question phrasing at the worst moment, Robin), mostly because of my previously expressed wish for the ring bearer to be a dog named Bear, but somehow seeing that burly dude dragging an ominous chain for "feeding time" just made me howl with laughter, again possibly to the point of tears.

Hot/Cold Marriage Wars: "Things I Loved More" edition

  • The Unpause Flashbacks Montage

  • Marshall's weird pride in "You did it. You banged your wife to sleep." Also the fact that he immediately ruins it by stepping on the I Wuv You Mommy, causing Lily to spring upright like the title figure in a Don't Wake Daddy board game: "UNPAUSE."

  • "Medium sized" and "Still Big" Fudge are monikers that I find inappropriately hilariousI wanted to hate the sexy/unsexy song montage, which was definitely the episode's low point, but damned if I didn't lose it at "bugs with booooobs."

AND THEN THE FIGHT.

  • "You broke up with me and moved to San Francisco."


As amazing as the reveal of Barney's master plan was, which I truly didn't think could be topped, this fight is the real reason it took me a month to wrap my head around this episode. We're talking years upon years of satisfaction flowing out of me, because you know what has two thumbs and never quite got over the season 1 finale? THIS GAL. To this day I can't watch it without getting angry, and I still have issues with that handful of season 2 episodes where they aren't together. I love how fierce and seething Lily gets in defense of her dream, because she technically has the upper hand in this fight (and I really like the anguish in "you went behind my back. you hurt me," because it's true), but Marshall's total and utter calm in playing that trump card is a masterpiece.

I also get immense emotional satisfaction, in that way you can only get when you know the pain isn't going to cause a permanent scar but simply make the resolution/relief amazing, out of the fact that Lily doesn't stay angry after that -- not in the same way -- but is just as hurt at the wound being reopened on her end. "I apologized over and over and over again." (also, this is the point where I yelled "PAUSE!" and ran off to double my satisfaction by scribbling down a future scenario in which Kurt throws the cheating back in Blaine's face.)

When I unpaused, I was bowled off my feet to see it keep going. "Well, let me ask, what if you had found success in San Francisco? How do I know that you even would have come back to me?"

Ladies and gentlemen, that is an AMAZING question. While 90% of me has faith in Lily, I also think it is a fair thing to wonder. Unfortunately, it is also the kind of emotional lance you can only strike when you know a person well enough that your words can cut them to the core unlike anything else. I thought Lily's face when Marshall arrived at the Farhampton was spectacular, her look of devastation here is even better. I'm glad she runs out. I'm glad that Marshall at least knows how harsh that was and probably feels bad. But I'm also glad he isn't entirely apologetic, either. I'm especially glad he isn't angry at this point, per se -- he just sounds resigned. Resigned is worse than anger in the Something's Gone Terribly Wrong department, and I cannot WAIT to see the fallout.

In conclusion: thirty-two gold stars for you, writing/content planning/directing/acting departments!

P.S. Further vindication for Marshall's "for what is CLEARLY just a hobby" slip-up. This may or may not secretly also be my feeling. I like Lily's passion and I believe I have previously cited actually WANTING them to move to Italy -- hell, I still want them to move to Italy; screw the future, we go big this year -- but I do not feel at all harsh toward Marshall's subconscious feelings about it. I'm sure Professionally Offended Tumblr is all "misogyny" about it or something, but I'm not going to look there, because good writing makes you see all sides and feel all emotions of a fight at once.

Ultimate conclusion: wild reveals, humor off the walls, highlighting all three couples, emotional sweetness, and an intensely satisfying emotional gut punch to boot. It's everything I wanted, and nothing I didn't.

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9x16, "How Your Mother Met Me"
We're now up to three amazing episodes in a row. Unfortunately, I watched this before I had finished digesting my feelings about the previous episode, which was foolish because I was not prepared for this level of greatness, or how much I love The Mother, and I couldn't even think about packing any more into my brain until I unpacked both of these eps in excessive text format.

I mean, there were some parts I did not love. Like how we seriously have to wait until eternity to find out her name?? Or having to look at fucking Andrew Rannells' face again, or the uber creepiness of The Naked Man formerly being her music teacher. WTF IS THAT. Why the -- how the -- NO. Teacher feelings toward current OR PRIOR students should never, ever, ever, under any circumstances be focused on trying to get naked with them, absent of a romantic relationship built off mutual intellectual admiration first. EV-ERRRR.

(Also, I will never not feel resentful that you made Rachel Bilson's character a confused lesbian when she was the second-best person Ted ever dated, so I did not appreciate that nonsense being brought back in front of my eyeballs. It just makes it that much harder to enjoy the awesome best-friendship I have cooked up in my head if their hugs are not purely platonic.)

But from the moment the love of her life tragically died, I was pretty much 100% on board with this backstory. One of my favorite things in fiction is the Soulmate Trope that breaks your ability to fall in love for years. And the best part of the Soulmate Trope is when you try to have a serious relationship with someone who really loves you, but you still miss the soulmate person, and you desperately want to talk to them for reassurance that you're making an OK choice, and YES FINE I had to pause the epiode and cry for like twenty minutes when she started asking Max for a sign. I am crying again right now*. This is not the first time I have cried over it since the episode aired, either.

(*this just in from Future Me: I was already kinda upset, so I actually cried for an hour and eventually wore myself out so much I fell asleep)

I'm feeling a little uncertain about the timing of her turning down a proposal like 24 hours before she meets her future husband, during which time he has his head up his own ass, so I have great side eye about how they possibly get together and get married so quickly with a setup like that. I have seen how cute they are in the future, so I know it happens, but I still don't understand HOW.

Other things I really liked were:

* The fact that The Mother is a few years younger than Ted. I don't know why this pleases me, but it does.

* Her seeing him in class for the first time and giggling at his stupid shellfish joke. I'm pretty sure I mentioned in season 5 that there is nothing hotter to me than teachers, except the idea of a student falling in love with a teacher without any particular rules against it, so her being in that class but not HIS class was like the best news ever.

* Randomly meeting her future roommate at the same time as the above. Also great. ("What are the chances we're BOTH serial killers?"). I'm really looking forward to rewatching the series and thinking about where she is in a given point.

* "I believe that each of us only gets one, and I got mine already," another thing I really love about Soulmate Trope -- the part where the left-behind person is still sad underneath, but perfectly pragmatic and genuine about not being interested in dating.

* "'And for a couple of years, that was fine. It just wasn't love." Thing #3 that I love about Soulmate Trope is the part where you are kind of in love, but not really and you know it, but you're still lonely so you're like "what the hell," and you just go with it as long as it goes.

* The way she got her umbrella back. Pretty great. (although I'm still not quite sure why, once she figured out she was a lesbian and not jealous of her rommate's dates, she didn't attempt to hook Roomie and Ted up? Unless she'd started dating Future Fiance at that point, I guess; never mind)

* How she pronounces it "ren-AY-sance" fair. SOULMATEHOOD CONFIRMED.

* I just watched the St. Patrick's Day of Reverse Karma episode, so I was glad to see that reference worked in so well.

I didn't love the song. I wish I had, because that closing scene was begging for a moving, heart-rending musical interlude, but that incredibly boring number ain't it. In future rewatches, I'll be putting it on mute until I find a suitable replacement song. I've got zillions of sad songs, surely I can find one to match!

P.S. "Is this what it's going to be like being single in New York? Even the nice guys turn out to be creeps?"
WHOOPS SORRY, IT APPEARS I'M NOT QUITE DONE CRYING YET. (fact: even Ted is a creep if you meet him at the wrong time, so the answer to your question is yes) (fact #2: I assume this goes equally if not doubly true for the gay dating scene, so in case you were not previously aware of the fact that my Soulmate Trope feels have been pretty heavily concentrated on Kurt/Blaine, you should be now)

Also, I watched the episode again while I finished editing this post, and I ugly-cried like six times. Whoops. (still mostly happy, though! Overall!)

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You know what, we're just gonna keep this train of joy going. Guess which show FINALLY stopped being terrible for a while?

2 Broke Girls: I don't remember what happened in specific episodes anymore, so I will just say that even though I mostly wish Deeks would get crushed in a trash compactor, and this is SO NOT HOW I wanted to see Max in love for the first time (love! She is SAYING THE THING now! Even though it's not really coming across as actual love so much as the sort of giddy teenage love you fall into when you really like a person and that words seems both convenient and novel), I have not been hating their relationship. I think it's because I'm just that enchanted by the cozy interior of the Dumpster trailer home. Or something about the episodes is just generally better, so my Hate Trigger has cooled off a bit, and I've been able to laugh at this show again. I missed that feeling.

The fact that his family comes from money is pretty...I want to say interesting, and then I remember how I saw this "loser pothead dates (kinda) poor chick who is way too hot for him and then finds out he's secretly wealthy but rejecting family money" story on 'Til Death. Although at least in this case the too-hot chick is only played by one actress, so that's an improvement. Looking forward to seeing how this develops/if Max can possibly get over her classism enough to forgive him.

Also, I loved Caroline being afraid to stay in the apartment alone, despite her protective animal friends. I've missed Jinxy the cat!

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