I have an unexpected day off today due to the presidential elections. I knew it was a national holiday tomorrow, but doubted we’d get it off, as its so newsworthy. We usually get the day before the national holiday off, as that day doesn’t need a newspaper. But topsy-turvy land in Indonesia, as usual!
Anyway, I am going to use this day to finish the profile I did on Patrick Neate (my first author interview!) and hopefully get some headway on “my” sections of Doc’s Southeast Asian women’s dictonary. But first, I want to actually DO the thing Miss Anne Throp’ist and I talked about last night, instead of it just being another of my things that never ever gets done!
We were watching How I Met Your Mother from the very beginning, which is probably my current favourite TV show. It has everything — a cute lead, plenty of irreverent comedy, mystery, mythology and NEIL PATRICK HARRIS. It’s essentially about a late 20something (by now 30something) architect, Ted, who is on a quest to meet the One, prompted by the engagement of his two best friends, Marshall and Lily. The story is told retrospectively by an older, middle-aged Ted (voiced by Bob Saget), who is explaining to his two teens how exactly he met their mother, with all the details included. But its also about friendship, personal development and the power of storytelling. The casual viewer can dip in and enjoy, the hardcore obsessives (like me and Anne) can watch and rewatch and squee at the call-backs and interlinkages. Like the first episode has a scene where Ted meets Barney (NPH!) for the first time, and they revisit that scene throughout the next four seasons.
Obviously, the main mystery is who the mother will be, and we still haven’t got the slightest idea. I’m a bit worried about how exactly they will execute it. Will we get to know the mother? Will it all be over once he meets her? I guess it probably has to be. Then again, they could change the rules once he does meet her, and become more straightforward, Friends-style. It might lose a lot of its charm though. But we’ll see! I’m thinking we have to Meet the Mother by Season 6. Ted’s getting on in age… and by 2030 he has two teens.
Anyway, Anne and I thought it would be fun to each make a list of what actress we thought would play the Mother, and later see if we managed to get anywhere close. The casting will certainly be very crucial, I feel that they’ll use a familiar face from television. They might even use a movie actress, depending on the commitment, plus movie/tv has a lot of blurring these days, in terms of star quality. If HIMYM maintains its popularity, I’m sure many actresses would be thrilled to land of the coup of being the Mother.
Who would be a great match for Ted?
The list of possibilities isn’t as endless as one might think. First there’s the age thing — someone from Friends would be cool, but they’re already a decade too old. No one from any teen shows like Gossip Girl, obviously too young. No one remotely ethnic, as its been made clear his kids are purely white. And it likely won’t be anyone who’s already guest-starred on the show, unless they can find some incredibly creative way to justify that — like Jayma Mays (Heroes, Ugly Betty) as the coat check girl in a S1 episode. And no one who looks too much like Robin — ie Carly Pope (Popular) or Caroline Dhavernas (Wonderfalls) because visually that wouldn’t work. I also think its really important the mother is funny. Ted himself isn’t that funny — he’s definitely the straight man to his kooky friends, and I think he would be nicely balanced out by someone that at least approached the hilarity of Marshall, Lily and Barney. (I’m still not sure if I always think Robin is funny, but I like her more and more as time goes by.)
So here we go, in no particular order, except the first:
1. Alicia Silverstone
I’m currently most convinced about Alicia Silverstone, particularly as I heard that she was the orginal choice for the role of Stella (Sarah Chalke), Ted’s most serious non-Robin love interest, but she dropped out, supposedly because she didn’t want to be overshadowed by Britney Spears, who would be sharing the episodes with her. I think it was a good call in hindsight, not because of being overshadowed by Spears, but because Stella proved damned annoying. I was glad to see the back of her.
2. Felicia Day
I think it would be cool if the Buffy connection kicked in again (as with Alyson Hannigon and Alexis Denisof — altho could be cuz those are married!), hence the inclusion of Felicia Day, Eliza Dushku and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Plus I think all these ladies work physically, complementing Ted and not looking too much like either Robin or Lily. Felicia Day’s career seems to be gathering steam, with Dr. Horrible (starring NPH!) and guesting on House and Dollhouse।
3. Sarah Michelle Gellar
Anne doubts that Sarah Michelle Gellar could be funny — she was also the straight man type in Buffy, but I think with the right sort of writing, she could work. She deserves some decent romantic comedy action (Simply Irresistible was simply a watered-down Like Water for Chocolate).
4. Eliza Dushku
I think the Mother would be a diversifying role for Eliza Dushku. I don’t actually like her that much, but Anne does, so I’m vaguely influenced by that (shhh, don’t tell her).
5. Alyssa Milano
I’m very fond of Alyssa Milano — I think she’s very pretty and she was far and away my favourite sister on Charmed, which, once upon a time, was my favourite show. I’ve seen her in quite a few things, and I am sure she would work as a funny, romantic lead.
6. Anna Friel
I never used to like Anna Friel, due to the Brookside connection (I despise all English soaps) and her overshadowing of Calista Flockhart in Midsummer Night’s Dream (who I also used to like). Now I find Calista more annoying than Anna, who I really really liked in Pushing Daisies. (Also, they look about 2 decades apart in age now!) She was amusing and adorable, great qualities for the Mother.
7. Kristen Bell
Kristin Bell would be another cool bit of meta-casting, having played Jason Segal’s (Marshall) titular ex-girlfriend in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. (Oh look it even has his HIYM’s characters name in the title! Maybe the Mother will be called Sarah.) Plus she seems to be guest-starring on every show every at the moment, ie Heroes, Gossip Girl and Party Down. Ok, that was quite an exaggeration, but it seems to be a big deal when she lends her name to a show these days, so I imagine there would also be fanboy squeeing from several directions should she turn out to be the Mother.
8. Zooey Deschanel
I LOVE Zooey Deschanel! She’s definitely more of a movie star these days, but she has a smattering of primetime sitcom/drama under her belt (Weeds, Frasier, Veronica’s Closet) and her quirkiness and doll-like beauty would complement the HIMYM cast veeeeery nicely. She’s due to star in (500) Days of Summer, alongside Joseph Gordon Levitt (who gets sexier every year, weirdly), as an elusive romantic heroine, and altho I haven’t seen it yet, that’s getting a LOT of kudos, which bodes well for Mother-suitability.
9. Becki Newton
Becki Newton, along with Michael Urie, as bitchy best friends Amanda and Marc, are the best things on Ugly Betty. Becki is increasingly hilarious, but also manages to provoke pathos. She was a little dull in August Rush, but that was probably the writing. I think the HIMYM writers could do great things with her.
10. Julie Gonzalo
Finally, Julie Gonzalo. Like Bell, she is a Veronica Mars alumnus, and like Day, I feel her career’s gathering steam. It was seeing her once in now-cancelled Eli Stone that led me to consider her as a possible Mother. She was very endearing in that show, I liked her much better than I had in Christmas with the Kranks and Must Love Dogs.
Agh, I just thought of an 11th…. Keri Russell, former Felicity.
Am I allowed an 11th? Anne says no, including a no to Keri Russell in particular. She’s guested on Scrubs (Sarah Chalke’s show!) and is traversing into movie territory, albeit via a few clunkers like Bedtime Stories and the aforementioned August Rush. She tended towards the drippy in Felicity (which I was unavoidably addicted to at the time), but I liked her in Scrubs and think she definitely has romantic heroine chops. I don’t want to swap her with anyone on my current list tho, either out of laziness or whatever, I’ll let you decide.
Anne and I, in true HIMYM fashion, have a bet (not a slap one tho, Anne veto’ed that immediately)… there’s definitely going to be crossover (she’s tapping away right now), but whoever has the person the other person didn’t have be the Mother (eh?), wins. The prize is a dinner. I suggested 50 pounds, but Anne claimed poverty, despite probably have two years to save up.
Here’s her contenders.
(Btw, in the middle of this blog, I was suddenly forced to complete the Neate profile I’d been dawdling on, as the Features Editor needed it for tomo! So at least that’s done. And so is this…)