The best new show on television, FX’s Terriers, received its official cancellation yesterday. The numbers were simply too terrible to justify a season renewal. The show averaged only 500,000 viewers. I won’t be surprised if the show garners an audience in its DVD life because Terriers is quality, rich storytelling. Don’t be surprised if this humble reviewer gets annoyed by new fans lamenting the one-season-and-done because the soon-to-be fans are entirely responsible for the poor viewership and cancellation. I enjoyed the first season of Terriers as much as I enjoyed LOST–that’s how good the show is/was. Now, the TV landscape looks barren. Check out What’s Alan Watching at hitfix.com for an interview with John Landgrad (president of FX) as well as with Ted Griffin (the show’s creator). Onto the regularly scheduled How I Met Your Mother review…
“The Mermaid Theory” didn’t exactly light the world on fire with its central theme: attraction to a married man or woman OR attraction to someone you’re not married to. Marshall constantly worries about the latter while Ted grows more attracted to Zoey each time the two spend time together. The show explored the dynamics of such a situation. For Ted, he felt guilty and imagined that the Captain took him out to international waters to murder him. For Marshall, he imagines any woman who isn’t his wife as a repulsive manatee.
In fact, the most interesting part of the episode belonged to the Marshall/Robin story. The two decided to have dinner alone to prove that a married man and a single woman can hang out alone. Marshall and Robin have hung out alone as I recall the episode when Marshall takes her to a Canadian or Robin takes Marshall to a Minnesota bar, and the show has shown how strong the friendship between the two characters are. The two felt awkward alone together. Robin didn’t know why. Marshall did. Both feared becoming physically attracted to one another even though Robin never said anything. But, of course, the episode quickly puts to bed any possibility once Robin vomits on Marshall’s shoes.
Meanwhile, the Zoey arc continues. Fans have expressed frustrations about the Zoey arc for some time now, annoyed by the knowledge that she isn’t the mother. The Zoey arc can travel in two directions. Ted can either learn something from whatever eventually happens (like how the Stella arc further developed Ted’s character and changed the course of the mother search for awhile) or the arc will be a waste of time. Thus far, the story has yet to earn any confidence. Currently, it feels like lazy storytelling. The Captain/Ted story felt lazy and the potential triangle feels even lazier. Even worse, the arc seems predictable. Vocal fans of the show have a point when they complain about the non-mother that Zoey is. After all, what are the stakes of the potential relationship besides the possibility that Ted destroys a marriage? What about Zoey will lead Ted to meeting his future wife in that church? Since good television storytelling comes from the character, rather than the guest stars (which is what the writers of ANGEL season 1 learned), the writers need to clarify why the audience should care about Ted and Zoey.
The C story foreshadowed future events in the show. Now that we know Lily will get pregnant, the show shouldn’t waste time with any anxiety-pregnancy stories. Also, Ted will find himself in a green dress at some point.
Overall, “The Mermaid Theory” was an average episode of How I Met Your Mother. I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it. I enjoyed how pretty Jennifer Morrison looked in her three scenes.
I’ll be back tonight with my thoughts on the latest episode of No Ordinary Family.
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK