08 July 2009

Your Mother Should Know

So here I am walking down the street hanging around in Naomi Penn's house in Jakarta. Sadly I'm approaching the end of my trip (everybody moan, everybody shake...), but I'm glad that I get to round things off in style, get to spend a good chunk of time with the much-missed Naomi annnnd we get to run away to Cambodia just before I set off home (via another short stint in Singapore with Nanzo Trillusion, whom I barely miss at all having seen her in Seoul in February and in Singapore a couple of weeks ago).

I'm sitting here in my incredibly stylish 'Same Same But Different' t-shirt (from the Luang Prabang market, no less) and heinously ripped to shreds leggings, and I've come to the conclusion that one of my favourite parts about travelling is that I have excuses for my wrecked and ridiculous clothes. Often my vestments (in the course of a somewhat more mundane lifestyle) spontaneously, well, if not combust do something markedly similar. Untouched buttons soar away from my clothes in frankly stunning displays, as if suddenly remembering a case of repulsion; threads decide that there's no way actually holding cloth together could possibly be part of their job description and that unravelling would be far more fun (maybe that's my fault for playing All My Love in front of an immature wardrobe); a lot of my sleeves are apparently made of material that's so sensitive it can be ripped by all those nitrogen molecules passively hanging about in the air...

Although the only pair of leggings I set out with (having shipped a good amount of my things home from Seoul) look like a disaster zone, at least I have the excuse of falling down Baegundae (a mountain in Seoul) in them. And several months of travelling, complete with abrasive hostel laundering, didn't really improve their condition. I bought a brand new pair in Can Tho, Vietnam- but sadly they got a little damaged in the bike accident. Even if events like these weren't handy cop outs for explaining why my outfits sometimes look worryingly akin to my knee-less grass-stained early-teen offerings, they also gave me a good excuse for HK and S'pore shopping sprees. So how about a mighty woo and a hoo?

Also I think maybe my favourite part about Cambodia (but not my only reason for agreeing to return; please we get to go to Sihanoukville this time which I skipped before) was that I ended up looking like I was about to lead the revolution of a small Central American nation. Only, like, my dream for ever, yo.

Seriously would you buy, well, anything from this woman? No you'd fear her shanking you and taking the product back. With good reason.

But anyway, let's get down to business. Naomi and I have been doing ver' important things, obviously, like plotting world domination and shiz. We've also been indulging our geek-chic-iness, and planning other forms of domination. We have a cunning plan to trash basically everyone else in the world, till there's noone left to turn to for humour but us. Even more importantly we've been using complicated algorithms and psychic ray beams (not beans, that would be stupid) to calculate who will be the How I Met Your Mother mother.

Naomi's listed her picks here, and handily included a summary of the show. So, hey, I guess her waking up before me and stealing my thoughts was actually useful. Who'dathunkit? Though, seriously, if you have no idea about the show you clearly a) have been hiding under a way bigger rock then even I'm capable of finding and b) shouldn't be reading this. Scat!

But I suppose all you really need to know is that it's a love story in reverse: in the year 2525 two women keep hope alive 2030 Ted Mosby is telling his kids the impossibly long-winded story of how he met their mother.

Ted's kind of a douche. He's desperate and whiny, with bad hair and an almost non-existent sense of humour. Even the red cowboy boots don't do a lot for him. Luckily he has a gang of friends who make the show wonderfully watchable. Obviously Barney is absolutely the best thing about the show (sometimes I even wonder why there are other characters), but Lily, Marshall and Robin (after the first few episodes at least) all manage to make up for Ted's existence. I suppose I'm being a tad harsh, he isn't as bad as Carrie or Susan at least, and his annoyance is definitely tempered by the rest of the group's dynamic. Still I think that whoever ends up playing his wife is going to have to have a double dose of awesomesauce to make up for all his terrible defects. And he already screwed up with Anne Dudek (hair pictured above) so there goes my fallback option for suggestions to improve a TV show.

So I've got ten suggestions (in no particular order) for the mother, there's a lot of crossover with Naomi's list as our posts were born out of a late night/early morning discussion while re-watching the beginning of season one of HIMYM, in between bouts of hysterics. But if one of our solo picks wins the place (or, rather, is conned by Ted into marrying him) the prize is dinner. Naomi suggested a slap bet instead, which is part of the reason I don't let her carry her own keys anymore.

1. Kristen Bell: Naomi and I are leaning towards blondes (since the show seems to prefer him being with one and it would be a good counterpoint to Lily and Robin), plus she's certainly short enough for Ted. More than that though she's a great actress with brilliant comic timing and the ability to play very different roles. Much as I loved the character of Veronica Mars I don't think that the elusive mother would be much like her, and hopefully not too much like Heroes' Elle if it comes to that. She also has, thankfully, come to the conclusion that she can be sexy, and I wouldn't mind if she wanted to hang around half-nekkid all the time, as long as I didn't have to see that furry gilet from Veronica Mars again. It still haunts my dreams.

2. Zooey Deschanel: I do love a good Deschanel, and clearly Zooey is no exception. I adored her in Weeds and Tin Man for a start. And she can sing! I feel that whoever Ted's going out with should be able to duet with Barney. It's clearly an important requirement. (And one that almost tempts me to include Eliza Dushku on this list, but I really can't see her with Ted. She should totally guest though!) Zooey's quirky, stylish and downright adorable. I can definitely see her fitting with the show- I almost can't believe that she hasn't guest starred before.

3. Carla Gallo: I think that Carla Gallo ought to be in just about every show ever almost as much as I think Anne Dudek ought to, which is to say a lot. She's fabulous in Carnivale, Bones, Californication... and I'd hazard a guess at everything else she's been in too. I really enjoy the way that she plays her characters, and think that she has a great range- it would definitely be fun seeing her in a mostly comedic role again. Plus it's actually kind of exiting to watch her in a role where she doesn't get her breasts out.

4. Alicia Silverstone: I have an unabashed love of the Clueless movie and of Miss Match. That's right, I'm not ashamed to admit it! Alicia Silverstone is seriously all kinds of awesome. Naomi tells me that Ms Silverstone was actually the first choice to play Stella (who was actually played by Scrubs' Sarah Chalke), the woman Ted almost married. Plus you just know that Ted and the boys are fans of that rubbish Batman film that she was in and there could be all kinds of rather lame meta jokes about Batgirl costumes and chick fights. Also apparently Josh Radnor (Ted) was once actually on an episode of Miss Match... which might just increase the chances of HIMYM setting them up together.

5. Rachel McAdams: While I think that Rachel McAdams probably looks better as a brunette, she definitely doesn't look bad as a blonde, which bodes well with our assumption that Ted's going to probably end up with a blonde. I'm not quite sure what it is about Rachel McAdams that I find so endearing, she hasn't really been in anything that made me squeal with joy (although I have a feeling that that could change with the upcoming film version of The Time Traveler's Wife- which I really hope they don't screw up by adapting). Nonetheless there is something incredibly likable about her, and I can easily picture her as part of the cast. As long as her career doesn't take off to fast and make it unlikely anyway!

6. Felicia Day: Well of course I love Felicia Day. Seriously, find me someone who doesn't. And then take them away swiftly because they sound hella disturbing. I feel that it's definitely plausible that HIMYM may cast someone who's been on a show with one of the leads- and since Josh Radnor hadn't been in much pre-HIMYM I figure that they might pursue some other connections. And they'd be hard pressed to find someone as connected as Felicia actually, she played Vi on Buffy which also starred Alyson Hannigan (Lily) as well as playing Penny, the female lead, in the truly awesome Dr Horrible which starred Neil Patrick Harris (Barney). The only thing that puts me off crowning her as Mother here and now is that I think I'd kind of prefer to see her playing a crazed Barney-obsessed stalker, with all kinds of tongue in cheek callbacks to Dr Horrible and duets aplenty.

7. Anna Friel: Before Pushing Daisies I don't think the name 'Anna Friel' meant all that much to me. Sure there was the lesbian kiss from (rubbish) British soap Brookside that was always getting mentioned on those Channel 4 countdowns for some reason, and I was forced to watch Me Without You by Oedepa in Tiptoe's basement once upon a time. After a couple of (prematurely cancelled) seasons of PD though, I've turned into quite the Friel fan. She's quirky and fun, can apparently be dressed up however you want, is just about as cute as any kind of fastening you'd happen to mention, produces a convincing American accent and certainly is more than capable in a comedic role. Plus she'd hopefully be available, apparently she's been turning down pilots all over the gaff in favour of focussing on movies. Guesting as the Mother shouldn't be too much of a problem then!

8. Christina Cole: Ok, I did try to get into Hex. On the surface it's something that should have been pushing all my buttons, especially with the way it was marketed as a British Buffy. And while I did quite like the two main characters (played by Cole and the strangely likable Jemima Rooper) I was just never able to get into the show at all. In part because it made no sense, I'm sure. Nevertheless, I do think that Christina Cole is a good actress, and I especially loved her as Caroline Bingley in Lost in Austen. She definitely has the right look for a Mrs Mosby (she's sort of the same phenotype as Sarah Chalke and Alicia Silverstone). Her career seems to be moving on up too, apparently she's got a Fox pilot on the way. I can't say that I've ever heard her doing an American accent, but why shouldn't Ted's wife be British if it comes to that?

9. Allison Mack: Consistently the best thing about Smallville (unless you count funding Mike Rosenbaum and his general insanity), and actually also great in the ill-fated series Opposite Sex (apparently I'm just about the only person who ever watched it). There's something about her that definitely reminds me of Kristen Bell, and not just facially, although she's definitely just as cutsie. She's said that she'll be leaving Smallville at the end of the ninth season (which begs the question: Smallville's still running? What the eff?), which should nicely free her, and her wonderful smile, up for HIMYM appearances. Sorted.

10. Alison Lohman: Yes I did watch Tucker, it was awesome and I'm in no way ashamed to admit it. It is a little disturbing perhaps that almost a decade later she barely seems to have aged, but I think we can all agree that vampires are cool so it's all good. Besides she's probably got a couple of years before Mother appears so she's got time to suddenly realise that she's an adult and shouldn't keep portraying teens, just as Kristen Bell finally did a couple of years ago. It also means she's got time to buck the trend of getting cast in crappy movies too. I suspect she might need to increase her presence in the public consciousness for casting her on HIMYM to be a brilliant idea, but I kind of want to see her little pixie face in the McLaren's booth with the others.

11. Gemma Arterton: Since Naomi got an eleventh, so do I! So maybe I'm picking Gemma Arterton more because I just really, really like her than because I can actually see her joining the HIMYM cast. But that certainly doesn't mean that she'd be a bad choice. Great actress, strangely attractive voice and stunning looks. She doesn't look bad with lighter hair either, though I think that even with black locks she doesn't look overly similar to Cobie Smulders (Robin). Her career's hopefully on the verge of taking off, and having seen her in Tess I definitely believe in her accent abilities.

The mother really ought to be turning up pretty soon. In the season four finale Ted announced that she was actually in the class he was teaching. That doesn't necessarily mean that he met her in that class I suppose, but really to have two teenage kids by 2030 he ought to be getting on with meeting their mother in the next couple of years. There's always the possibility of adoption or sperm donation fake outs, which I guess could be kind of amusing. But with the way that the show is structured, and Ted characterised, I really don't think that that would quite be satisfactory.

So we await the mother with bated breath! As long as she isn't someone annoying like Denise Richards (could happen because of the NPH Starship Troopers connection), Cobie Smulders as Robin's long lost twin (laaaame), Kirsten Dunst (perhaps trying to work a tenuous Buffy connection)... or basically anyone who isn't on our lists.


Naomi Penn said...

I love this! I like your selection of photos better too. Slightly less dating-agency. Well, slightly less and more 'trying to not try hard' Guardian Soulmates. (Do I know too much about dating websites? Probably.)

I think the most unlikely contenders on your list are Christina Cole and Gemma Arterton, especially if they kept the English accents. Remember how unpopular Helen Baxendale was on Friends? I think they would have kept her on, at least a bit longer, were if not for the fan response. Or maybe it was the preggers thing. (Or! She totally got pregnant to have a good reason for being fired.)

Alison Lohman, Allison Mack and Rachel McAdams are excellent suggestions, particularly McAdams. She somehow avoids typecasting, in her roles, and you can rely on her to be funny. (So apprehensive about TTW too!) I would love to see Lohman win the role too, I feel she's really underrated -- she was amazing in White Oleander and Matchstick Men.

And Denise Richards and Kirsten Dunst are going on my Not the Mother list too.

Hmmm, Amy Adams?!

Naomi Penn said...

Also, I do not agree with you about Ted. I luv him! Perhaps I could become an actress, attain fame within the next year, and thus also be a Mother candidate?

Miss Anne Throp'ist said...

Yes I don't think the Brits (except maybe Anna Friel) are the most likely, but it could happen! Especially as their careers appear to be taking off a bit at the moment. And Helen Baxendale is overly British and annoying and has a weird nose, and was taking Rachel's place, so maybe fans wouldn't hate on CC or GA like that.

Def agree about Rachel McAdams, I think she manages to actually LOOK very different in her roles too, which maybe helps with the not
being typecast thing? And Lohman is definitely underrated. *scowls at the world*

Oh, oh, oh: Amy Adams like whoa! I cannot believe we forgot her. Ok, if she's the mother we have to force someone else to buy as dinner as payment. A random person on the street will do.

I am actually a little bit scared that Robin's long lost twin could be the mother... tell me it won't happen please?

Ooh I kind of like your plan to become the mother, not least because you could get rich and keep me fed. Godspeed!

Naomi Penn said...

Damnit, you have now stoked the flames of MY Robin-long-lost-twin-fear (hereafter referred to RLLTF).

I heart Michael Rosenbaum. That video is hilarious. But, yea, seriously, why is Smallville still on? If I one day run out of series to watch, and no new episodes of shows I like are available... I may try watching Smallville from the beginning, in an attempt to answer that question.

On a sidebar, Smallville, like Buffy, also has that thing were all the actresses look very similar. I know I attributed that comment to my mum, but I agree!

Naomi Penn said...

And if its Amy Adam a random person has to buy us dinner? Or we have to force food on a stranger?

Miss Anne Throp'ist said...

I love Michael Rosenbaum! He should seriously be president of the world, yo. I really can't understand why Smallville is still on, I watched it in the beginning and it was vaguely entertaining but it got stupid fast. Even though it had various guest stars I love (James Masters, Jensen Ackles, Ian Somerhalder...). I can't remember what the girl playing Lois looks like, but definitely don't think Kristen Kreuk and Allison Mack look all that similar! And the Buffy girls don't look that similar either... maybe SMG and Michelle Trachtenberg a little...

Pssht obviously a randomite has to buy us dinner... Why would we buy stuff for people? Ain't gonna see no altruism round here!

Becka said...

I really LIKE that photo of you!

I don't watch TV so this post is a bit out of my knowledge zone. I need you people to keep me up-to-date with the ways of the world. If left alone I have a tendency to slip into a world of my own. Especially now Im in Kenya! it's even easier to be oblivious!

Miss Anne Throp'ist said...

Darling Pygmy, your lack of TV knowledge makes me sad. When you're back I'm going to do my best to force you to watch Dollhouse and Weeds! xxx

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