Curtain Call: How I Met Your Mother finale is more half-baked coda than conclusion

Curtain Call is a new series of articles on Backlog Adventures taking a look at the finales of the most popular shows of the last twenty years. In addition to asking if a finale works as a conclusion to the series, we’ll be looking at the mystique and emotional manipulation that comes along with the concept of a series finale, and if the finale in question ultimately serves the greater good of its show’s legacy.  Continue reading

The super secret hidden quest in ‘World of Warcraft’ is an exercise in insanity, patience

kosumoth

There’s a classic cognitive psychological study involving a patient, a button, and a reward. The point of the trial is to leave the patient alone in the room with the button, to test how long they’ll go without hitting the switch. The test is a window into the  ability — and in some cases, inability — to handle delayed gratification.

Similar trials with monkeys and dogs exist, showing that even the animal kingdom only has so much patience. Continue reading

‘Disney Infinity’ was my happy place

10669126_670203067234_5357196450054269497_o

I never had the typical family vacation growing up. Where most families went to theme parks, historical sites, or tourist attractions, mine went to remote locations like the North Carolina hills and towns deep in the heart of Mississippi.

I don’t fault my parents. Having two kids that are five years apart in age must be hard. That said, every trip and tour I took as a kid centered around what mom and dad wanted to do.

I spent a lot of time at NASCAR tracks, ski resorts, and beach towns. I never told them, but the only thing I ever wanted was to go to Disney World. Continue reading

Daniel Bryan’s retirement and the recent NFL concussion stories intersect in a way that leaves me feeling like a hypocrite

After months of speculation and a stream of glib, defensive sarcasm on part of WWE fans, we all have to finally admit that Daniel Bryan has retired from professional wrestling.

There’s a finality to that reality that wrestling fans simply aren’t used to. Such closure is uncomfortable, a squirming feeling that comes from an inability to tune in next week and see what happens next.

As fans wrestling fans we’re trained from the beginning to expect a payoff to come later. There’s always next week. A new episode of RAW. A new cycle to begin; a never-ending parade of emotion, fisticuffs, and twenty minute promos.

Perhaps that is why so many people were insistent that Bryan’s retirement had to be a story line. After all, everything else has been up for grabs as story material, even the “death” of Vince McMahon.

Alas, the show is over and the American Dragon has left the spotlight for the last time. Continue reading