Batman Eternal #37

Things get a lot more interesting.

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #37
Written by Tim Seeley; Drawn by Andrea Mutti

Tim Seeley comes back on to the book and give us one the best issues in a while. We’re back to juggling several stories at once which is kinda where Eternal is at its best. I love some the more centralized story issues like when the book first started out but there is such an energy to the way this book can balance so many things going on at once and have one plot thread connect into another. It was really captivating and that’s what this issue is, captivating.

Our prime focus is Selina Kyle as she is still getting the hang of running her family empire. We open with her easily taking an an assassin which dynamically flowed thanks to the artist of the week, Andrea Mutti whose art is a nice welcomed style. Its dynamic in its action sequences and how the characters move, giving nice perspective. Her facial works are nice, giving each character a distinct look and making them stand out. She brings the story to life. Selina feels like she still needs to stake her claim in the Gotham Underground. We do start in the club where the majority of Batman #28 took place which makes me excited for what’s going to be coming next and how much closer we are to the end.

Batman meanwhile is trying to get word on where Arkham escapees are at and follows a lead to the docks where he has a very nicely done conversation with Killer Croc. Seeley makes this scene really good with the words being said and the way they are being delivered. The pacing on it, and hell on the issue as a whole moves so nicely well its a joy to read.

Batman gets nowhere and afterwards, Catwoman, revealed to be Eiko, daughter of the head of the Yakuza, offers Croc revenge.

Said villains are in a “safe zone” of the Gotham Underground and this might be my favorite part of the issue. Mr. Freeze, Bane, Clayface, Poison Ivy, Joker’s Daughter, and Scarecrow are all interacting and its great. It really is. Seeley makes the scene pop with great back and fourth. Especially how Scarecrow weasels his way out of Bane’s bad side by promising Bane he can improve his Venom formula. Its a nice touch. Of course Ivy is trying to convince Bane to take her and ditch everyone else, professing she’s the better chemist than Crane.

Little is known that Selina is recording this via a camera in a cat’s collar she sent their way and she offers Batman the chance to catch them.

Oh and hey follow up on Batwing! It seems The Spectre’s chamr on Luke’s suit didn’t take since his roommate is seeing ghosts. I will also say, Mutti draws some very good ghosts. It has nice potential to it since its what ends the issue. The only other thing we get is Bullock and Sawyer loosing all respect for Bard and refusing to help him up when he falls on his bad knee.

Batman Eternal feels like a new book with this latest issue. Its alive, feeling good, confident, and exciting to read again. I love this issue a lot and can’t wait to see where it goes.

RATING: 4.5/5

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Stakeout

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Stake-cation all I ever wanted, stake-cation had to get away!

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2: Episode 11: Stakeout: GRADE: A-

Stake me out tonight, I don’t want to let you go ’til we catch the guy! Watch this episode and tell me you’re not going to be humming that to yourself a couple days after. Boyle’s theme song for his stakeout with Jake is one of the many highlights of this episode that much like Chocolate Milk earlier this season, it explores Jake’s true friendship with someone else in the squad, his best friend, Charley Boyle. Holt needs two teams of two for an eight day stakeout, two on four then a switch out. Jake and Boyle volunteer, but no one else does. They plan to take on the full eight days and yeah we can all see how this goes. Samberg and Lo Truglio’s chemistry and ability to make the material work makes this a strong outing for the show. The writing is always solid and even with a familiar story like this and ones they done before, they make it all work. This is also more certainly going to be better than the upcoming updated version of The Odd Couple.

Jake and Boyle learn how much they can indeed stand of each other as best friends and learn how much they really are best friends. Its really nicely done. The lists of things that annoy them of course take up all four walls in the living room of stakeout apartment. It is quite funny and we of course get great bits such as Boyle trying to alley oop a mini basketball, the aforementioned song, and Boyle has sleep apnea, in fact this is a bit more a great Boyle episode. Jake has great laughs too, but its Boyle that’s one the stars of this episode.

Their tempers fly and it blows the operation which they redeem themselves for at the end of the episode, but it feels earned. Jake again learns how he often blurs the lines between work and fun, especially when it comes to those he works with. Samberg plays the serious side so well it still really sells me on his capable range as a performer. Though again, Boyle had the bigger laughs here since chewing with his mouth open helps to oxygenate the food he’s eating. I don’t know why but that made me laugh so hard.

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Our B-story also has to do with relationships within the department. The episode began with Holy, Jake, and Rosa getting accommodations for their part in the success of the Giggle Pig task force. holt revels in this since Wuntch has to put the medal on him and took all night to think of the perfect line. “Wuntch time is over.” Again, took all night. Why mention this? Well to set up the story that follows, but also because after he does become the bigger man after listening to Jake, there’s a beat when she moves on to Jake and Holy just yells the line out and is overjoyed by it. Goddamn its a treasure to watch Andre Braugher. Anyway, Nick Cannon! Yeah he comes on as Holt’s nephew who is staying in and Rosa instantly has the hots for. It makes things weird, but not awkward until they are discovered in Holt’s house the next day, I’m only slightly disappointed that Marc Evan Jackson only makes a cameo again here, but his time on screen is worth while. Holt’s dismay at the situation is just brilliant. Braugher has truly gotten to run the full gambit of emotional reaction and range on here, more so this season. It is a again a treasure to watch him. He’s obviously having a ball playing this and enjoys it immensely.

Cannon himself does good in the role, it wasn’t a big notable role for now, but the ending of the subplot guarantees he’s going to be back sometime later. Speaking of said ending, Holt’s attempts at talking straight to Rosa about this are just as funny. Especially when trying to give Rosa the bra she left over. I look forward to how that plays out.

C-story, kinda the weakest. Terry is drawing a book for his twins and they are all drawn in the vain of his co-workers. Amy and Gina get hold and see their personalities might be reflected as well. Now this subplot does mine some good laughs such as Gina realizing she is absolutely perfect in her own way. Her own narcissistic way. Amy is afraid she is too much a push over and seeing Melissa Fumero take nice and sweet Amy and play her as trying to be a uncaring badass is the funniest I’ve maybe seen her on the show overall aside from trying to stop smoking in this season.

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This episode was a lot like in Chocolate Milk in how it looked at the friendships among the squad. It was really interesting to see and each had strong performances. To see how close this crew is, ints interesting to see them when they aren’t as close. The disconnected between then and the resolution that brings them together as friends feels honestly earned thanks to the writing and the performances of the actors. Its a real treat to see these things happen naturally instead of feeling so forced just to have a happy ending. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is on a hot streak right now with the latest episodes its had and once again it all comes down to how well its carried by the brilliant ensemble cast of theirs. Goddamn do I love this show.

Batman Eternal #36

#36 in the weekly Batman series keeps going on along as we get deeper into Jason Bard’s past and hey suddenly Harper Row’s story is a thing again.

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #36
Written by James Tynion IV; Drawn by Fernando Blanco

Well Tynion and Blaco are back together this week to continue on what they started last week with Bard controlling the Batmobile with Batman in it, trying to kill him. Yeah he doesn’t succeed thanks to Julia remembering from Alfred a protocol that let’s Batman escape.

Well yeah, its Batman. Anyway he finds Bard and rightfully gives him a great punch to the face as we learn from Vicki and local Detroit bartender as to how a Batman impersonator in Detroit ruined a drug bust with him and Jodie where Bard was the only survivor. I’m a tiny bit upset this doesn’t tie into Batman Inc., but that would screw up the time line, well further. Bards then on hates masks, meets Hush in the bar, and here we are. This honestly felt a bit paint by numbers, but of it wasn’t for the writing of Tynion and the build up this has with the Batfamily telling Bard they’ll come at him harder than he’ll come at them. Its a nice little moment to see the Batfamily, yes even Red Hood, together and being badass like that. Even Batgirl with her new costume making its first Eternal appearance. HOORAY CONTINUITY!

I will say the more interesting aspect was the return of Red Robin and Harper Row’s storyline as they still deal with the nanobots in the body of Cullen, Harper’s brother. They try, but Tim has to go and help out Bruce and crew. It was so great to see them kick off the issue and reminds us this is still a part of the ongoing story right now. I would like more of this.

Hush of course fuck with Batman’s head and Tynion writes that very well. Blanco’s art is so wonderfully done here and again, especially in the ending panels when Batman tries to figure out who is behind this all while we see elsewhere The Riddler is planning to screw with Batman once again. I’m a huge Riddler fan and think the character is great. I’m curious to see what he does in the present after seeing how great he was in the past with Scott Snyder’s Zero Year.

Overall its another fine chapter in the weekly series which I personally think needs to kick into high gear soon,

RATING: 3.5/5

Tube Talk: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Pontiac Bandit Returns

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine takes elements from two of its best episodes and combines them into one great new episode.

SPOILERS!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2: Episode 10: The Pontiac Bandit Returns: GRADE: A

From the moment we first saw Jake undercover as Santa ringing a bell on the street asking for donations and on walked by Craig Robinson as Doug Judy AKA The Pontiac Bandit, I could tell we were in for such a treat of an episode. Back in season one, “Christmas” was the last episode of 2013 for the then new Fox comedy and it returned in early January with “Pontiac Bandit”, both of which helped really showcase what Brooklyn Nine-Nine is capable. I bring up the opening scene again as to bring up that the ensuing chase and fight in a lot of Christmas trees along with an accidental fire among them and Jake proclaiming this is what happens when you’re on the naughty list that goes into a wide shot of him in the forefront of said burning trees got the biggest gut laugh out of me and it never stopped for the rest of the night.

Craig Robinson and Doug Judy both help to bring out the best in what is still the most surprising aspect of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Andy Samberg and Jake Peralta. While the show is a full ensemble and completely character driven, its Samberg at the center. He surprised me and all of us with his capable range and ability to keep things funny, sharp, and act as a capable straightman. Now as an actor of course he’s gotten have range but this was the first time I got to see him use it fully to the best of his abilities and I must say I’m impressed. The great chemistry between Samberg and Robinson is ever so present here as it was back in January. Jake truly doesn’t like the Pontiac Bandit since he’s been eluding him for so long and yet Jake doesn’t mind Doug Judy as they weirdly bonded with each other when they last encountered. Its expected Jake would be soured on that now that Doug’s back and he is but yet they do find ways to keep bonding. Jake is a straightforward cop and as its been brought up tries too often to see the good in people, but Jake can and does get the full job done when he needs to.

The reason for their bonding this time, Doug just so happens to know someone who is involved with Giggle Pig distribution and Rosa still needs a huge win for the task force and the department as a whole. So of course a deal is made where he’s put up in a four star hotel, Rosa has to call him Big Sugar, and a reduced jail sentence. Negotiation was a nice, sharp, quippy exchange which brought in Captain Holt.

The bonding is a good part of what makes this episode so funny, Robinson is a great comedian and performer in his own right and he is once again a prime example of the perfect casting the show has in who to bring on to interact with the main cast. Especially when Doug helps Jake steal a car to help give a good impression in front the Giggle Pig contact. Of course Doug screws them over and plans an escape during the bust which is followed by hilarious confession shot on the very far away beach he’s on. Jake and Rosa vow to get Doug the next time, which I already look forward to.

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Meanwhile Amy finds a loophole on Captain Holt’s no gift policy for the upcoming Christmas party, she makes one seeing as how Holt sees a gift being something bought for someone else, which yeah kinda, but because of that Amy makes a scrapbook of Holt’s greatest hits which are put together by tape she refuses to let Hitchcock uses to tape the nasty cut on his hand. Though he does logically since he doesn’t wanna pay someone at a hospital $100 to use the same tape on his hand. He’s truly the voice of reason of reason. Anyway its because of this that she and Terry comes across and very interesting subplot for the season that most likely will involve Wuntch. Years ago Holt put away an arsonist and while he was arrested for the fires he started, Amy discovers three of the fires he’s charged with might not have been started by him. I’m honestly intrigued by this to see what drama and jokes can come from this. What comes from this is still of course character moments from Amy’s scrapbooking, Terry being Terry, and just Holt. Its all a fine plot for the episode.

Just like Boyle and Gina’s story of their parents getting a lot closer together. Literally in the sense they will be moving in together and I am happy they brought them back so we could get more of Stephen Root and Sandra Bernhard. Joe Lo Trugilo and Chelsea Peretti’s disgusted reactions are perfectly suited for their characters in how they would react to such news being announced. They still bounce off each other so well and keep up the timing and pacing of jokes perfectly. Having both characters still involved with each other via their parents relationship is great since I was hoping they would interact together more after they were so suddenly discovered earlier in the season. I’m never going to doubt these writers again. Well except maybe the Jake and Amy situation, but that’s not here this week.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been on a roll lately with the latest batch of episodes that not only make me laugh and showcase it as one the best offerings on TV at the moment but will kindly provide a gapping hole of good network sitcoms with The Middle, Black-ish, Bob’s Burgers, Mindy Project, and New Girl with reigning chamption Parks and Recreation and sadly cut short newcomer A to Z going away. Season 2 is doing a great job improving upon the show and I can’t wait to see what else is in store.

Tube Talk: The Flash and Arrow Crossover

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I’ve reserved comic book TV reviews for my comic book based live radio show but this was too big to not extend my thoughts beyond the internet airwaves so here is my review of The Flash and Arrow’s two night crossover event on The CW.

SPOILERS!

GRADE: A

Superhero crossovers are something that can be fun, but tricky sometimes. Heroes show up, sometimes a misunderstanding leads them to fight, then team up, and the day is saved. Usually its the writer or the heroes involved that can make or break a crossover. Comics are great for it and well TV has too with the DC Animated Universe works and yeah event Smallville succeeded with season 9’s Absolute Justice, which featured the emerald archer himself. I was much more excited for this than the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Clown Car of Justice, oops, Dawn of Justice which is pretty much a clown car at this point. Thankfully this crossover turned out to be every bit as fun as expected.

Now I want to get general thoughts on each show out first before we get into the nitty gritty.

The Flash is the best comic book adapted show airing right now. I said it, I mean, I’m sticking to it! It really has gone off with such precision its fantastic. Actually seeing them get everything just right and nailed down about Barry Allen, couple tweaks there too, and the world he inhabits with the people he’s surrounded by has been just utterly too much fun. Its had a couple missteps, but nothing too big. Its fun, charming, exciting, funny. Its like I’m reading some the earlier Flash comics all over again. Only issue is they’re using The Flash Rebirth, recommend you read right now, origin with the death of his mother but yet, its only a slight issue since its not the main drive for Barry. They keep him true to wanted to be with the police to help people and wanting to keep doing that when he gets his powers.

Arrow didn’t quite fire off that fast with me. I liked the pilot fine and seeing how this wasn’t going to be the Oliver Queen I know from the comic, I went with it since its primary basis was Green Arrow: Year One by Andy Diggle and Jock, which I highly recommend you read. The next few episodes after that didn’t do so hot. Yeah I liked Deadshot being brought on but it was just not doing it for me until a two parter with The Huntress debuted and kicked things off. Arrow got much, much better in its second half of the first season as did Stephen Amell as it found its footing, its characters, and then when on to season 2 which had more hits than it did misses and kept me waiting each week in anticipation for what was next. some still give Arrow flak as a low grade Batman, but the show, much like the hero in the center of it, has truly carved out its own identity. Season 3 so far has been on target.

Both shows are just on and are exciting to watch week in and week out even when the occasional episode is dud. The CW and DC are doing something very right together.

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This time last year saw Grant Gustin appeared as Central City forensics scientist Barry Allen. Now he is the fastest man alive thanks to an accident in his lab involved a freak lightning storm and the STAR Labs particle accelerator and is ready to fight side by side with this pal Oliver Queen AKA The Arrow.

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My what a difference a year can make.

The crossover began on The Flash Vs. Arrow then concluded on The Brave and The Bold. Surprisingly these weren’t that too connected. They each felt like an episode of their own shows respectively. There was of course a connection with one Digger Harkness AKA Captain Boomerang since he’s started using his trademark weapons about Starling City to get the attention of A.R.G.U.S. agent Lyla Michaels, Diggle’s ex wife, girlfriend, now fiancé, and I love that since it allows him a connection to both shows as a member of the Flash’s Rogues Gallery and his connection to the Suicide Squad and I must say Nick Taraby was just so damn good to watch him as Boomerang. He plays the role so damn well with a fine understanding of the character and his great precision of throwing his weapons and his fighting style but as well as having smarts that keep both heroes on their toes against him. He’s already a much better choice than Jai “I have the same charisma as a plank of wood” Courtney for the upcoming Suicide Squad movie in 2016. The fight scene with the heroes made me a little excited seeing how fully realized this universe has truly become.

Boomerang leads our Arrow crew to Central City for the first hour and while there, helps Barry and his team try to take down Roy G. Bivolo AKA The Rainbow Raider who if I had any complaint, I’d love to seen him try to take on our team of heroes, but he does serve as the purpose for our main fight scene.

If there was anything that made me hesitant about this it was the fact we’d get our heroes fighting but thanks to Bivolo we got a spectacular fight. Now I do love my superhero crossovers to personally be more like how Arrow’s episode was with the heroes just working together and letting the excitement of that help to drive the narrative story that’s being told. Like when it was first done back in 1940 with the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner in Marvel.

Now while I prefer it done that way, I can’t deny how wonderfully fantastic the titular fight is. It was so well staged, choreographed, and exciting. There was fun character traits each would use to their benefit in the fight such as Oliver’s array of trick arrows such as one full of horse tranqs which Barry vibrates out of his body and run up the building to stop Oliver’s escape. Its mixed its CGI elements and actual fighting blended in wonderfully. The conclusion with Joe West and Harrison Wells using the strobe lights to help get Barry unwhammied is nicely clever. Then after getting a trace on evidence to help find Sara Lance’s killer, Cisco and Caitlin hop the first train over on to Starling City.

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Both shows use the characters they needed to for each side of the story for good effect. We get to see each team get a glimpse at how each other works. Barry’s side is something of the more traditional superheroism whereas Oliver is the more tortured soul that operates on the more extreme side of things. Both compliment each other very well. The chemistry that Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin have is wonderful to watch. Oliver being the top ranked hero having gotten two years on Barry allows him to be the big brother to Barry and those moments of them together talking about the hero business is nicely done, as shown in the training sequence which does do Barry some good, minus getting hit in the back with some arrows. Barry allowed Oliver to lighten up and Oliver allowed Barry a little more gravitas. Each played it well and giving more depth to their own character, including Barry when he’s full of rage which shows off more of Gustin’s talents and let Barry get out what he has pent up inside.

Seeing the team of supporting characters together works to help them see how the other works and the realities of what each other does, more so with Barry’s team seeing the grim side of things when Captain Boomerang attacks them and gravely hurts Lyla. Its a nice offset of how they are thinking that their world seems very different with all the powers they encounter and codenames they give. The barrier gets broken and Diggle starts to think about how it all was before, but Cisco nicely brings up how The Flash might be here to help deal with the crazy the real world has gotten with people like Harkness, which does help to ease Diggle’s mind.

Same for when the Arrow crew was in Central City and David Ramsey got to show his lighter side of things, especially when seeing Barry’s powers for the first time. I think that might have been the biggest laugh of the entire crossover, next to Oliver’s line of admitting that he isn’t as emotionally balanced as Barry is. That’s fine Oliver, that’s why we have Roy who exudes the same broodiness while not being as serious about it as Oliver is. In fact Roy is the center of Arrow’s humor next to Felicity, but Roy is that more so here since he reacts well to Caitlin and Cisco in lab. He helps loosens things up.

Also I love the neat little meta moment as it were of Diggle debating with Caitlin and Cisco who might do more damage and Felicity’s reaction to that is goddamn priceless to me. As was Flash running past Thea. I’m going to stop now before I go over every single little detail that made me happy.

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Each show had a sense of progression for themselves with what was going on before such as Barry’s dealing with Iris and Eddie, also thanks to Dark Flash he’s now got an Eddie lead task force on him, and Oliver with trying to deal with how he feels for Felicity, which had a nice mirror put up to it on the Flash episode with Iris, though Ray Palmer was absent from Arrow’s half.

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The crossover succeeds at continuing the connection between the shows but also providing a big dose of superheroic fun and excitement, with some dark edges to it. Its refreshing to see when a good portion of the adaptations now are trying to ape Nolan’s Batman style that there can be different depths and tones to comic books adaptations. Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Geoff Johns, and Marc Guggenheim have all brought something exciting to TV. I think DC might have better luck here than it might on the bigger screen and you know what, if it means we get much more shows like the two we have right here, that’s fine by me. Here’s to the next adventure of the Scarlet Speedster and the Emerald Archer.

Batman Eternal #35

Batman Eternal’s latest issue puts a new spin around one its characters.

SPOILERS!

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Batman Eternal #35
Written by James Tynion IV; Drawn by Fernando Blanco

“Jason Bard is behind all of the events of Batman Eternal.”

That’s a theory I believe is going to be brought up after reading the latest issue of the weekly series. Bard is actually at the center of this issue as he has Lucius help take over the Batmobile in an effort to try and arrest Batman and he even tells Batman it is personal. Why? Well Vicki Vale goes to where Bard transferred from, Detroit and it seems that the Batman of Detroit had something to do with Bard’s lover fellow police officers, Jodie Hawkins.

We know Hush isn’t really the mastermind behind this, but yet the person who spoke at the beginning of the first issue knows Bruce is Batman so that could count him out but he can get the information out of Lucius or discover it himself. I don’t know how that’s that my guess as to the theories that are going to be discussed among fans. This adds some more depth and continue and strong story work that last issue gave us with James Tynion IV back on the writing reigns of this one and a nice debut of Fernando Blanco who is very good with the characters. Action is only reserved for one thing in this issue and its nicely done. The excitement that comes from it is really goddamn good.

Eternal gets more personal now and its starting to get a little deeper with a new plot point. Bard is unstable and will get very dirty. Could Bard be behind this all? We’ll have to read next week to find out. The introduction of this make me very interested to see where things go since its seems elements of Batman Incorporated are going to be coming into play, which just makes me happy as a big fan of that book.

Eternal’s final act is coming up and its go big or go him here.

RATING: 4.5/5

Tube Talk: Boardwalk Empire and How I Met Your Mother Finales

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This year saw two of my favorite TV shows end their runs on the small screen. HBO’s prohibition era gangster drama Boardwalk Empire and CBS’ romantic sitcom, How I Met Your Mother. Both tremendous shows full of great writing, wonderful acting, memorable characters, and tremendous storytelling. The only difference? The satisfaction in their endings.

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Suffice to say I’m going to be talking SPOILERS here so if you haven’t seen the finales, the final seasons, or the shows at all, then walk away now, but do stick around and read what else I have to offer on this site. Please and thank you!

Where to begin? Well the shows themselves.

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How I Met Your Mother came around back in 2005 and instantly hit with me and a lot of people. The premise was pretty nice with its set up and storytelling device of an older man telling his kids the, long, story of how he met their mother. The cast was instantly memorable thanks to the writing and how well the actors portrayed them. The show did have a lot of downs since it did run for nine years, which I think was far longer than it should have, but you wanted to know, who was the mother? It worked on me and millions of other people.

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Boardwalk Empire is a gangster drama set within the era of prohibition during the 1920s and 30s with a big focus on Enoch “Nucky” Thompson at the center of a huge, sprawling character piece. This show got me right away. Period crime drama? Check. Martin Scorsese directing the pilot and executive producing the show? Check. Terrence Winter from The Sopranos as showrunner? Check. Impeccable cast? Check. Everything just seemed to work and the show’s detail to historical accuracy with its real life based characters and moments was wonderful.

Now let’s go all the way to the end where we get to what did and didn’t for for either show in their final season. We can start with a common theme they both shared, time.

How I Met Your Mother set its final season within the entire weekend of Barney and Robin’s wedding with an occasional flashback episode set way back before the wedding and Boardwalk Empire being told their fifth season would be the last, went seven years ahead after season 4 to 1931 towards the end of Prohibition and during the Great Depression.

Boardwalk Empire used the time frame to its full advantage, then again they honestly do have a richer story to tell thanks to its historical roots and despite getting their usual episode order cut down by HBO, it was allowed to breath even though it had eight weeks to wrap things up. It paces itself out nicely with its characters and storylines with the limited time it has. How I Met Your Mother is the complete opposite of that with its final season, which itself would have benefited from a cut down episode order, tries to cram in way too much. I get it wanted more of its views and little concepts of love put it since it was focusing on a wedding and the first meeting for when Ted meets the mother, but it drags. Setting it on the wedding weekend and keeping it that for 95% of the season started off fine, but it went on to hurt it despite the episodes I loved that came from it. It puts in a couple plot elements that I think didn’t quite work as well. Like how Marshall misses the flight to the wedding. That didn’t need to be as long as it was, yet I liked what it led to when he finally saw Lily to talk about Rome.

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Boardwalk was able to get across wrapped up endings for its characters and show the enviable fall of Nucky from power. I’ve begun to notice how much I love shorter season shows. There are network shows I love such as Flash, Arrow, Good Wife, and of course as you see Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but that’s the problem, so much padding. For as much as I love those listed, I’m liking the 13 to about 16 episode model of TV seasons. BBC has the right idea. For as much as I love How I Met Your Mother yeah it could have been shorter. I think the series personally should have capped out at about seven, but each season has an absolute favorite story of mine in addition to great character moments.

Now I think its time to get right to the full endings themselves.

Boardwalk as mentioned ends with the fall of Nucky Thompson. All holdings in Atlantic City has been given over to Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky, who happen to take care of business with Dr. Valentin Narcisse, Al Capone goes to jail, and Nucky wraps up things with everyone he needs to. It wasn’t something big or showy, in fact the pacing of the flashbacks slowed it a bit but I enjoyed the flashbacks. It was down and dirty wrap up that stayed steeped in what the show truly is and I fully enjoyed it for that. Even the ending twist with one his men being Jimmy Darmody’s son and killing Nucky for revenge. That’s wonderful. More importantly, Boardwalk Empire stuck to what it was building up.

Unlike How I Met Your Mother. The ending of this show didn’t ruin it all together, it just ruined the past couple of seasons of the show. Season 8 and 9 had spent so much time and effort into them and us seeing Robin and Barney as truly being meant for each other. Yet they suddenly remembered they had part of the ending filmed back at season 2 with Ted’s wife having long passed, Barney and Robin divorced, and the kids encouraging Ted to go after Robin since its been enough time for him to grieve. They had hit the reset button and that’s the biggest problem. Now for me I think the true ending of HIMYM is Ted Mosby being happy. Life just dragged him through shit time and time again so when he finally got the big win at the end, that’s so satisfying. We got that, I just really don’t care for how he becomes happy. Again they put so much effort into selling the pairing of Barney and Robin and it feels so unproductive for that to just suddenly be unraveled since season 8 lead right into the overlong weekend that is the ninth season. It was like taking a nice lovely stroll in the neighborhood then turning the corner and falling right into a manhole. All that development for naught.

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That’s what ultimately made these finales so different, progression. Taking something back to where it belonged is an interesting way to tell a story but I think it works better if it is not the definite ending to a story. With a TV show you want the show to stay true to itself all the while advancing and progressing itself over the seasons after its debut. A TV show should feel different from where it started. Core things about it do need to be kept in check but I also believe it the changes and advancements of the characters still needs to be prevalent when that finale episode comes to air. That’s how I see things and that to me is how Boardwalk Empire ended. How I Met Your Mother looked like it was, but didn’t. It went back in a way I much didn’t care for. That’s what really stung.

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I don’t ever want to go on a long and exciting journey somewhere only to have it up being the same place I started at. That’s not how things work. It really upsets me what How I Met Your Mother did.

Here’s hoping Mad Men’s upcoming episodes, reviews resume when that happens, follows suit with Boardwalk.