Thursday, October 11, 2012

How I Met Your Mother: The Complete Season 7 DVD Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
With both a baby and a wedding on the way, change is in the air and awesomeness abounds in the hilariously unpredictable Season Seven of How I Met Your Mother. As Marshall and Lily move away to start their family, Ted continues the search for the woman of his dreams. Meanwhile, Robin reveals a shocking secret and special guest star Katie Holmes joins the fun in the long-awaited return of the Slutty Pumpkin! And, wedding bells are ringing at last for confirmed bachelor Barney, but why is he wearing that ridiculous ducky tie, and just who is the “lucky” lady?

Film (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

How I Met Your Mother always starts with the voice of Ted Mowsby (Bob Saget as the voice – Josh Radnor is the guy) telling his future children stories about his past – specifically his early thirties.  Ted’s best friends are Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), Marshall Erikson (Jason Segel) and his wife Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders).  The big news of season seven is that Marshall and Lily become parents.  Also among beg revelations is the fact that Barney Stinson is going to get married, and Ted will finally meet the mother of his children at that wedding.  Barney’s bride remains a mystery until the very end of the season.  Ted’s future wife, however, is not revealed.

Season seven has some very funny episodes.  My favorites include “The Rebound Girl” where Barney and Ted come up with the idea to adopt a baby.  In this episode we are introduced to the first of two awesome baby names this season.  When Ted and Barney begin fighting about the idea of raising a child together, Barney claims to have adopted a baby alone, which he names Hurricane.  In reality the baby belongs to his brother – but the name is still awesome.  There are some pretty touching moments in this season – it’s not all laughs.  Robin gets some very bad news about her health (which she chooses to keep from her friends), and Marshall tailgates at his father’s gravesite – in remembrance.

The Broath is a Barney episode and those are some of my favorites.  In this episode the gang doesn’t like Barney’s stripper girlfriend Quinn, and they have a Quintervention.  Barney then requests a bro-oath or broath during a made up ceremony complete with robes and monks chanting.  Wayne Brady returns Barney’s brother and Chris Elliott has a recurring role as Lily’s father.  Guest stars include Katie Holmes as the slutty pumpkin Ted had been searching for, Ernie Hudson, and even Weird Al Yankovic.  Martin Short and Kal Penn have recurring roles this season.  If I’m not mistaken, I saw Conan O’Brien just randomly standing in the background at the bar.

"How I Met Your Mother" over the last six seasons has raised a lot of questions.   In season seven, the show finally starts providing some answers.  Right from the beginning it’s announced that Barney is getting married, and I’m glad to see that we learn who the bride is.  I would have been disappointed if they’d left that hanging or only showed us a bride hidden behind her flowers or something like that.  Even though Barney is settling down, he’s just as amusing as he was in previous seasons.  Learning that Ted meets his future wife at Barney’s wedding is a pretty big deal.  We will no longer have to watch Ted go on first dates wondering if she’s the one.

Season seven is just as funny as the previous seasons.  At least for me, the relationship between the group of friends and their individual quirks has not gotten old.  Season seven should be enjoyable for fans of seasons one through six.  While you could likely figure out what’s going on, I think you should start at the beginning.  This show revisits a lot of details from previous seasons and it’s important to know the character’s histories.   "How I Met Your Mother" is one of those shows that you’ll either love or hate.  If you don’t love Neil Patrick Harris’ character Barney, hearing him say things are “legendary” or telling people to “wait for it” is probably rather annoying.  The fact that it’s season seven and we still haven’t been introduced to the “mother” could probably be a little irritating as well.  I happen to enjoy the show.  Season 7 is just like seasons one through six.  In my book, more of the same is a good thing in this case.  If you’re not a fan, nothing about season seven will change your mind.

Video (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

"How I Met Your Mother" Season Seven is presented on DVD in widescreen 1.78:1 ratio.  For a comedy on DVD, I didn't expect a whole lot from the video, and I wasn't disappointed either. The ducky tie is a vibrant yellow but the show in general appears intentionally muted. Skin tones are accurate and consistent.  Inside the bar, at a casino, in the sunlight – it always looked “ok” – and that’s pretty good for DVD.

Audio (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

"How I Met Your Mother" Season Seven is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Sound with subtitles in English SDH, Spanish and French. The dialogue is clear and intelligible throughout the season and is adequate for a TV sit-com.  Nothing about the audio was overly impressive but again, I have no major complaints.

Special Features (4 out of 5 stars) 

The number and length of the special features is just right in How I Met Your Mother Season Seven.  There are a few commentaries including one with Neil Patrick Harris, and they are all worth listening to.
  • Audio Commentary – “The Best Man”, “The Drunk Train and “Karma”
  • Neil Patrick Harris Gets His Star –  Jason Segel and Joss Whedon are there as Neil Patrick Harris receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • Deleted Scenes – Numerous deleted scenes are on all three discs –a few are pretty funny.
  • Guest Star Powers – The guest stars talk about special abilities like being double jointed or trying to teleport themselves.  Aside from some animal noises, most of the guest stars don’t have anything to offer when it comes to special powers.
  • How We Wrote Your Mother: The true stories behind some of himym’s bits – Story editors and others discuss the writing room environment and how many of the stories are inspired by real life experiences of the writers and their friends.  Neil Patrick Harris explains that the season finale – taking a magic trick through airport security – happened to him in real life.
  • How We Make Your Mother: Behind the Scenes of two scenes of the Magician’s Code Part 2 - A fun behind the scenes look at how they went about making two scenes.
  • Gag Reel – The cast cracks up filming a variety of scenes.  Watching the season, I accurately predicted which scenes would end up on the gag reel.

Final Thoughts (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

"How I Met Your Mother" is a funny and unique show.  Season seven is a lot like seasons one through six and that’s not a bad thing.   Having a few quirky friends in a tight knit group, I can relate to a lot of the dynamics of Ted Mowsby and his friends.  Ted being hung up on girls he can’t have was getting a little old so I’m glad to see that the show appears to be moving on and getting closer to answering the question of who “the mother” is.  I highly recommend this season to fans of the show but caution newcomers to start with season one.  This is an easy show to watch and catch up on.

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