Sunday, October 9, 2011

How I Met Your Mother: The Complete Season Six DVD Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
The highly acclaimed series and Emmy Award winner, How I Met Your Mother, is a comedy about Ted's (Josh Radnor) hilarious journey to meeting his future wife.  It all started when Ted's best friend, Marshall (Jason Segel), dropped the bombshell that he was going to propose to his long-time girlfriend, and now wife, Lily (Alyson Hannigan), a kindergarten teacher. At that moment, Ted realized that he had better get a move on if he too hopes to find true love.  Helping him in his quest is Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), a friend with endless, sometimes outrageous opinions, a penchant for suits and a foolproof way to meet women.  When Ted met Robin (Cobie Smulders), it was love at first sight, but when things didn't work out, Ted realized destiny must have something else in store. I stumbled onto How I Met Your Mother when Netflix suggested that I would like it based on some other random television show that I rated at least three stars.  I immediately loved the show and quickly raced through disc after disc in order to catch up.

Film (4 out of 5 stars)

How I Met Your Mother is broad comedy show where architect/teacher Ted Mowsby (Josh Radnor) is retelling old stories to his teenage son and daughter about how he met their mother.  Many of his stories are fairly inappropriate for teenage children and as season six begins, the viewers have yet to meet "their mother".   There have been many possible "mothers", including "Aunt Robin" (Cobie Smulders) who Ted once declared his love for on the first date and is now one of his best friends.  

Other best friends include Ted's best friend since college Marshall (Jason Segel) and his wife Lilly (Alyson Hannigan).  The group is rounded out by Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), who in my opinion steals almost every show.  Barney tries to help Ted meet the future wife, playing a game called "Have You Met Ted?" and "suits up" for his evenings of womanizing described as legen.....wait for it....dary.  

For a half an hour comedy show, it is definitely a running story line.  You could easily pick up at any episode of any season, but you would really be missing out on a lot of background information.  If you have the time, I highly suggest starting with season one.  Seasons one through five had some impressive and amusing guest starts including Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Amanda Peet, Tim Gunn and Wayne Brady. 

Season Six begins with Ted seeing Cindy, a girl he dated briefly in season five, and narration revealed to be the roommate of the woman Ted will one day marry.  Up to this point, we have one seen the woman's ankle and we know she has a yellow umbrella and was in Ted's first class.  Cindy is with a girl Ted believes to be her roommate, who he previously was drawn to based on items in her apartment and a description alone.  They wouldn't make you wait six seasons and then hand over the "mother" in the first episode and that woman turns out to be Cindy's future wife, not Ted's.
Season Six contains the following episodes:

Disc One
Big Days - Marshall and Lily embark on the baby making adventure, which comes with a lot of pressure.  Robin is wallowing in self pity and cheetos after her break up.  Ted sees Cindy with a girl he thinks is her roommate (the mother we've been waiting to meet) but she turns out to be Cindy's girl, not his.
  • Cleaning House - Barney's mother is selling his childhood home.  Wayne Brady returns as Barney's brother James and the gang helps out with packing up the memories.  James happily discovers the identity of his father and Barney decides he doesn't need to know his.
  • Unfinished - Barney puts the moves on Ted, in order to get Ted to say yes to working on the new Goliath National Bank building.  Robin's depression leads to some threatening drunk dialing.
  • Subway Wars - Robin needs to prove she is a real New Yorker by completing a short list of tasks every New Yorker has done, like run into Woody Allen.  The entire gang gets involved in a race to get to the location Woody Allen is supposed to be found that day.
  • Architect of Destruction - Jennifer Morrison guest stars as Zoey, a beautiful activist who is upset about the NYC landmark the bank plans to tear down to make room for Ted's new building.
  • Baby Talk - Robin is frustrated with her co-worker's cutesy baby talk that is making men melt.  Barney accepts a self imposed challenge to pick up a woman while talking like a child.
  • Canning Randy - Marshall doesn't want to fire a GNB employee that should have been fired years ago.  Zoey sit in on Ted's class, convincing his students to join in her protest of the new GNB building.
  • Natural History - We meet Zoey's husband, the Captain at a black tie event at the Natural History Museum.  Robin and Barney have a touch everything contest, and Barney discovers that his uncle, who took him there as a child and let him destroy property, may really be his father.
 Disc Two
  • Glitter - Robin Sparkles is back, as Barney found a copy of the TV show she starred in with her old bff.  While Lily is all about baby, her friendship with Robin is tested.
  • Blitzgiving - Jorge Garcia guest stars as an old college friend who "blitzes" - or leaves just before interesting things happen.  The blitz is passed amongst the group and no one wants to be left out.  Ted and Zoey finally become friends as the group spends thanksgiving together at her apartment after having no other alternative.
  • The Mermaid Theory - Can single people and married people be friends?  Marshall and Robin try to have dinner alone and Ted spends time with the Captain so that his relationship with Zoey is not uncomfortable.  The theory of women starting as manatees but turning into mermaids is discussed in detail.
  • False Positive - The group reflects after hearing Lily is pregnant.  Ted prepares to be Punchy's best man.
  • Bad News - Marshall and Lily head to a reproductive therapist and Marshall parents pay a surprise visit.
  • Last Words - Barney is inspired to find his father in response to Marshall's troubles.
  • Oh Honey - Katy Perry guest stars as Zoey's cousin, Honey.  Barney opens up to Honey about himself and his issues with his father.  Ted confesses he does have feelings for Zoey.
  • Desperation Day - The group counts down to Valentine's Day and Lily faces the idea of spending the day without Marshall.
Disc Three
  • Garbage Island - Marshall is once again obsessed with saving the environment.
  • A Change of Heart - While Robin dates a guy who acts like a dog, Barney is confused by a real connection to a woman.
  • Legendaddy - Barney and his father (john Lithgow) meet for the first time since Barney discovered their true relationship.
  • The Exploding Meatball Sub - Goliath National Bank is causing problems.  Zoey and Ted have issues do to the new building and Marshall finally quits causing friction with Lily and Barney.
  • Hopeless - Barney asks the gang to embellish the details of their history when recounting the tales to his father.
  • The Perfect Cocktail - Robin and Lily use cocktails to mend the rifts between Marshall and Barney (over the GNB destruction of the Arcadian hotel).
  • Landmarks - The group tells Ted how they really feel about Zoey.
  • Challenge Accepted - Marshall fears food poisoning.  Barney and Ted argue about who will push the button to demolish the Arcadian.  We revisit the wedding briefly seen in the first episode of the season, and the groom is revealed.
Season six has some pretty cool guest stars, but doesn't hand the viewer the mother (Ted's future wife).  We get a look at the rundown house that will one day become their beautiful home.  In my opinion Barney has the most dramatic transformation being willing to admit he is not actually the son of Bob Barker.  Personally, I can't wait for season seven on DVD.

Video (4 out of 5 stars)

This is a television show on DVD but the detail is pretty good.  While there's no high definition goodies to brag about, but no major complaints either.  The colors are bright and black levels appropriate.  How I Met Your Mother Season Six is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen.

Audio (3 out of 5 stars)
How I Met Your Mother Season Six is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.  The dialogue is clear and intelligible and the musical portions show some nice range.  English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles are available.

Special Features (4 out of 5 stars)
If you like the show, you'll like the features.  I like the fact that the commentaries feature both actors and the people behind the show.  As always, I love the gag reels and love to see the candid moments with the cast.  The following special features are found over the three discs.  Make sure to check each disc, not just the last.
  • Audio Commentary for Legendaddy - featuring Neil Patrick Harris and John Lithgow.
  • Audio Commentary for "Big Days" featuring Carter Bays and Craig Thomas
  • Audio Commentary for "Natural History" featuring Carter Bays and Josh Radnor
  • Making "Subway Wars"
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Audio Commentary for "Bad News" featuring Jason Segel Alyson Hannigan
  • Behind the Scenes of "Glitter"
  • Gag Reel
  • What We Know About Your Mother
  • "Stand by Me" Extended Performance

Final Thoughts  (4 out of 5 stars)

Inside the DVD case is an advertisement for Barney Stinson related material.  I can't imagine that any man on the planet could pull off the crap he pulls, but I would love to read the Bro Code and find out how to Suit Up, Score Chicks and Be Awesome.  I assume that the bro code would burst into flames in the hands of a female (to not reveal its secrets to the enemy), but I bet it would make a good read. The only negative comment I have for the show is that the Thanksgiving episode did not involve new favorite holiday.

Order your copy today!

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