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Featured TV on DVD Review: How I Met Your Mother: Season Five

September 25th, 2011

How I Met Your Mother: Season Six - Buy from Amazon

How I Met Your Mother started in 2005 and was instantly a hit thanks in part to its rather unique premise, as well as the charm of the cast. Now that the show's sixth season is out on DVD, is the premise still an asset? Or is the show starting to run out of steam?

The Show

For those who don't remember the premise, the show starts in 2030 with a father telling his two kids how he met their mother. We then flash back to today where the father, Ted, lives his day-to-day life with his friends, Lily and Marshall, the married couple; Barney, the ladies man; and Robin, the Canadian. At the beginning of the season, Lily and Marshall are trying to have a baby, Robin is dealing with a bad break-up, Barney is Barney, and Ted still hasn't met his future wife. The first episode does hint at something major on the "meeting your mother" part of the show, as the season starts with the future dad telling his kids about the two biggest days in a love story are the day you meet the woman you love and the day you get married. We then flashback to a wedding where Ted is very nervous. We then flashback to present day, before we find out anything about the wedding.

Unfortunately, that's about all we hear about the premise for a while. This show is becoming a plot tease.

There are some good episodes early on, like Cleaning House, where we get to know a bit more about Barney's childhood, which is all based on lies, which begins one of the better story arcs of the season. (It continues in Natural History and Legendaddy.) Subway Wars has Robin trying to prove she's a real New Yorker to the gang, who still treat her as a bit of an outsider. Glitter and Blitzgiving are mostly standalone episodes, but they are funny. Bad News and Last Words are two highlight episodes that deal with the sudden death of Marshall's dad and give the series a lot more heart than usual. Unfortunately, outside of A Change Of Heart and Legendaddy, which focuses on Barney relationship with Nora (Nazanin Boniadi) and his dad respectively, the season ends rather poorly. The last five episodes are all below average for the season, sometimes by large degrees. (Four of the five final episodes are among the bottom quarter for the season. The other two happen early in the season.)

Season six also suffers from some of the same problems as season five. Firstly, Ted is often the least compelling character in the show and his relationship with Zoey falls flat. Secondly, there's too much stunt casting. Granted, some of the guest shots are fun, like Alexis Denisof, Jorge Garcia, or Danny Strong. But in the end its does get to be too much.

The Extras

There are audio commentary tracks on two episodes on disc one for Big Days and Natural History. There is also a 9-minute making of featurette for Subway Wars and four minutes of deleted scenes. Disc two starts with an audio commentary track on Bad News, an eight-minute behind-the-scenes featurette for Glitter, and more deleted scenes. The final disc has an audio commentary track for Legendaddy. There are also more deleted scenes, eight minutes of outtakes, a five-minute featurette on What We Know About Your Mother, and an extended performance of "Stand By Me". Overall four audio commentary tracks, plenty of deleted scenes, outtakes, and a trio of featurettes what you would expect from a concurrent TV on DVD release.

The Verdict

How I Met Your Mother: Season Six has a bit of a slow start, his its stride after that, and then falls apart in the end. Too much stunt casting and a central relationship that does not work hurt the season, but there's enough here that does work that it is still worth picking up for fans of the show.

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