HIMYM season 9, episode 16 “How Your Mother Met Me” just aired and How I Met Your Mother celebrates its 200th episode with nods to some of the most classic episodes.

The importance of this episode is twofold: it was the aforementioned 200th episode of the series, a feat not to be diminished by the fact it was our first, and perhaps only, Mother-centric episode. The brief mentions of the Mother throughout the previous eight seasons were all called back tonight as we saw the stories from the Mother’s perspective.

Though we don’t know her name, we do know a lot about the Mother. Particularly that she has spent most of her 20s mourning the loss of her boyfriend and supposed true love, Max. After turning 21 in 2005, she spends the next nine years only tepidly testing the waters, and when Max gives his “permission” to move on, she declines her boyfriend’s proposal.

But then it’s St. Patrick’s Day 2008, and her friend Kelly, whom we consider her Barney, convinces her to go out to the bars with her. The Mother obliges, but grabs her yellow umbrella in case of rain. After running into an old friend who is in need of some instruments, she rushes out of the bar to give him her cello. This friend, Mitch, mistakes her act of generosity as an invitation to take a page out of Barney’s playbook and run the Naked Man on her. It doesn’t work and she’s grossed out.

Before he leaves though, they have a heart to heart and we see the Mother go through the kind of existential crisis we’ve seen Ted go through practically once a season. She declares she wants to end poverty and Mitch drops this advice on her: “Every decision you make from here on out should be in service of that.” Which brings us to…

Fall 2009: The Mother is going for her degree in economics and retelling her sordid tale to another classmate, Cindy. The Mother evidently also likes long-winded stories as much as Ted.

Ted and the Mother really were made for each other, which to the viewer could seem as a trite move by the show. We don’t want to see the two hate each other and then fall in love, of course; we want love at first sight, but the clues that Ted and the Mother are perfect-with-a-capital-P for each other feel too blatant.

The closest they ever got to each other was in January 2010, when Ted went back to Cindy’s apartment. After they break up, Cindy bemoans that Ted was in love with the Mother. But she doesn’t see how that could be possible – after all, she has a coin collection and calligraphy set – nerdy stuff!

When Cindy realizes she’s a lesbian, she moves in with her girlfriend and the Mother is on the hunt for a new roommate. Enter Darren. The last time we saw him, he was throwing a fit and nearly ruining Barney and Robin’s wedding.

There was a time, though, when Darren was merely egotistical and taking credit for the band the Mother originally helmed. While she’s luging the band’s instruments in April 2012, she meets Lewis – her Robin, so to speak, it would seem. During this scene, there’s a wall of posters explaining “Save the Arcadian.” This subtle nod to the season 6 arc of Ted designing his own building was almost better than learning everything else about the Mother.

Side note: While the Mother and Darren were talking, we realized that Cristin Milioti and Andrew Rannells are two Tony Award nominated Broadway performers and we would really love to hear a song or two from their band, Super Freakonomics. If Barney could find a way to jump on stage too, that’d be great – Neil Patrick Harris has hosted the Tonys four times.

Through a sequence of events, the Mother ends up in Farhamton to preform for the wedding when she walks in on Lewis, her then-ex, down on one knee proposing to her.

Now it’s important to realize How I Met Your Mother has been about fate just as much for her as it was for Ted. If she’d said yes to Lewis, if she hadn’t gone to school to help end poverty, she probably wouldn’t be where she is today.

After leaving Lewis and checking into the Farhmanton Inn – taking Robin’s mom’s room – she strums her ukulele on the patio, and brings us back to today, the wedding weekend as we see the various states the gang is in. And friends, it’s not good. Lily and Marshall are fighting, and Barney is drunk and sleeping on Ted’s floor.

Or, at least, he was. Ted comes in from the patio and begins to explain the Mother’s incredible voice and ukelele performance to Barney, only to learn the groom has run away!

‘HIMYM’ MVP of the week: the Mother

This isn’t too big of a shock, is it? Cristin Milioti has knocked this pivotal role out of the park as she mixes her sense of sarcasm and sincerity together to create the woman that Ted has been looking for. We hope to see her featured more in these last seven episodes, now that we’ve crossed this threshold that’s taken us eight and three-quarters of a season to get to.

Next week is a new ‘HIMYM,’ Robin and Ted reminisce about his past relationships.

What did you think of “How Your Mother Met Me”?

Newt’s brother was assigned to search for Grindelwald, new ‘Fantastic Beasts’ prop letter reveals

This likely has major implications for future Fantastic Beasts movies.

1:06 pm EST, December 9, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them included a mention of Newt Scamander’s “war hero” brother Theseus, and now it looks like the reference was something to think twice about.

Earlier this week Warner Brothers’ Los Angeles Studio Tour refreshed their Harry Potter exhibit with new props from Fantastic Beasts, and in one display is a letter from Theseus to Newt. Take a look at the photos thanks to Snitch Seeker:

fantastic-beasts-theseus-scamander

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them included a mention of Newt Scamander’s “war hero” brother Theseus, and now it looks like the reference was something to think twice about.

Earlier this week Warner Brothers’ Los Angeles Studio Tour refreshed their Harry Potter exhibit with new props from Fantastic Beasts, and in one display is a letter from Theseus to Newt. Take a look at the photos thanks to Snitch Seeker:

fantastic-beasts-theseus-scamander

fantastic-beasts-theseus-newt-grindelwald

The letter reveals that Theseus was tasked with searching for Grindelwald himself — a very interesting development for this film series. Though some words on the letter can’t be seen due to another prop covering them up, the note to Newt appears to suggest that Theseus was honored to be assigned the role. Here’s what it says, again courtesy Snitch Seeker:

Well, little brother,

I don’t know how much you have heard wherever you are about what’s going on in jolly old Europe but this chap Grindelwald has been making a lot of noise since you have been away.

Charismatic blighter, but the Ministry doesn’t like him and nor does the International Confederation.

He has upset a few of the big wheels and he’s gone underground. I have been chosen to go away and ferret him out. _______ at the chance to be picked, actually, because the whole _______ want to be on this case and it’s taken some _______ hard work to reach this status.

_______ wishing you well – wherever you are. _______ whatever beastly quests you are undertaking!

Best regards,

Theseus

The fact that this letter was made for the movie is very interesting. It suggests that Theseus at one point may’ve had a larger role in the movie — or at least, he could’ve been referenced more than once.

Further, this letter could mean that Theseus’ll have an on-screen role in future movies. In fact, Theseus’ role as Grindelwald Hunter could be J.K. Rowling’s ticket to getting Newt deeply involved with the search for Grindelwald.

johnny-depp-grindelwald

Theseus will surely be pleased to hear that his brother helped capture Grindelwald. Theory time: What if Theseus dies in a future Fantastic Beasts movie as the fight against Grindelwald (inevitably) continues? What if this leads Newt to avenge his brother’s death?

What else do we know about the character? Not much, but Snitch Seeker says that during an interview with Colin Farrell the actor revealed Theseus “was a British Auror with whom his character, Percival Graves, corresponded.”

How do you think Theseus will play into future ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movies?

Daily Show host Trevor Noah takes his experiences growing up in South Africa and puts them together in Born a Crime for our entertainment and enlightenment.

‘Born a Crime’ by Trevor Noah

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

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Daily Show host Trevor Noah takes his experiences growing up in South Africa and puts them together in Born a Crime for our entertainment and enlightenment.

‘Born a Crime’ by Trevor Noah

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother — his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

Born a Crime Trevor Noah

‘Born a Crime’ book review

Trevor Noah is best known for his current hosting gig on The Daily Show where he had huge shoes to fill following Jon Stewart’s departure — shoes that he has, by the way, filled with grace, humor, and a sharp wit.

Noah has been candid about growing up in South Africa under Apartheid and the troubling parallels he sees developing in the United States, especially since Donald Trump’s rise to power, but Born a Crime puts a spotlight on his childhood adventures in a way that his segments on The Daily Show cannot.

Born a Crime is an interesting mix of heartbreak and humor. There is no denying that Noah’s childhood was not easy. He talks extensively about trying to find a place for himself at school and in life. He was too White for the Black kids and too Black for the White kids. As a child, what do you do when you have nowhere to belong?

You adapt.

Unless it wasn’t abundantly clear already, Trevor Noah is an intelligent man. Born a Crime documents the way he viewed the world and used his situation to his advantage while living in South Africa. He learned dozens of languages, either in part or in full, in order to survive the endless dangers of his hometown. He found a way to make money and build himself a tiny empire using only a computer and his wits. He took what was given to him, which was, honestly, next to nothing, and found a way to make his life fulfilling.

Born a Crime Trevor Noah feature

Noah’s mother has a huge impact on the stories presented in this memoir because she had a huge impact on her son. Strong, independent, stubborn, reliable, hardworking, clever, pious, strict, and loving, Trevor makes it explicitly clear that his mother is the reason he turned out the way he did. We should all give thanks to her.

Her story is tragic, as is growing up under Apartheid, but despite their circumstances, both led vibrant lives in which they became partners in an us-against-the-world kind of way. Hearing Noah speak about his mother infuses you with a warmth and respect for a woman you have never met, and yet that feeling is as genuine as they come.

For his part, Noah was a handful as a child and a teenager, though it’s that spunk and comedy that we so look forward to seeing now. He got into trouble — he even broke the law — but he experienced life and all the ups and downs that comes with it. He is a wealth of knowledge because he has gone far and wide to gather that knowledge himself.

Born a Crime will certainly make you laugh far more than it’ll make you cry, but don’t be so bold as to put the tissues away before the final chapter of the book. This memoir is a lesson in humility, love, faith, and perseverance. Hopefully it will affect you as strongly as it has affected me, especially if you are so lucky as to be able to listen to Noah narrate the book himself on Audible.

Add ‘Born a Crime’ to your Goodreads list or purchase it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound

The first full Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight and we once again got a great look at Tom Holland as Peter Parker.

The first Spider-Man Homecoming trailer is here, and it doesn’t disappoint! In what totally feels like a coming-of-age/high school flick (but with a Marvel twist!), Peter Parker decides he wants to grow up and fight like the Avengers. But is he ready? Maybe with a little help (and no hug) from Tony Stark, he will be.

Watch the full-length trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming

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The first full Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight and we once again got a great look at Tom Holland as Peter Parker.

The first Spider-Man Homecoming trailer is here, and it doesn’t disappoint! In what totally feels like a coming-of-age/high school flick (but with a Marvel twist!), Peter Parker decides he wants to grow up and fight like the Avengers. But is he ready? Maybe with a little help (and no hug) from Tony Stark, he will be.

Watch the full-length trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming

The main theme of Homecoming certainly seems to be Peter’s desire to prove that he’s a capable member of the Avengers team. If you remember in Civil War, Tony wouldn’t let him get too deep into the fight, for fear that he wasn’t ready. But Peter doesn’t want to be treated liked a kid.

Except he definitely is a kid, and it’s a nice break from the other Spider-Man movies we’ve seen so far, which depicted an older Peter Parker that never quite fit the high school vibe.

Tom Holland’s Peter is undoubted an awkward teenager, and the younger character lends itself to a lighter, more humorous tone for the movie. Marvel has always been good at balancing action and comedy in their movies, and Homecoming is already promising to be a fun romp.

We get a lot of great looks at other characters in this trailer, too, including a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from Donald Glover and Zendaya. Michael Keaton will be playing Vulture, and of course we also get Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man.

How cool was it to see Spidey swinging along next to Iron Man like an equal?

As is often the case for Marvel movies, ABC and Jimmy Kimmel debuted the trailer for Homecoming following pretty high expectations from fans. Did it live up to your hype?

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ hits theaters on July 7, 2017