Created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas
Featuring Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan
No matter how good the show is, I’m sure Ted’s kids are tired of waiting five years for him to get to the point.
For those new to the series, HIMYM is about Ted in the future narrating (in the voice of Bob Saget) to his children about his young adult hood that leads to meeting the eventual Mrs. Mosby. The titular premise of how Ted meets his future bride serves as the ongoing subplot while the show really follows the everyday adventures and antics Ted and his four best friends get wrapped up in.
Season five opens with perpetual ladies man Barney (Harris) and cynical morning news personality Robin (Smulders) starting off a relationship and Ted (Radnor) starting a career as a college professor. In true sitcom fashion, major changes are negated or easily integrated to maintain the basic structure to the show.
It’s a fun sitcom with some good writing. The series plays some inventive tricks with the concept that the entire show is a story older Ted tells his kids. Particularly, the censoring that older Ted will admit to and certain bad habits conveniently left out until plot relevant. Even outside of that, the series does exaggerate into the fantasy, randomly breaking into song or having characters speak to imaginary characters (which I assume are to spice up the story for the kids).
The characters themselves feel mostly grounded in a believable group dynamic. Five seasons seems to have gotten the cast into a comfortable groove together. Although Neil Patrick Harris steals the spotlight more often than not, given his toon-like exaggerated machismo as the self-confident Barney.
While the show is creative with a solid cast, the series is hampered with some pacing issues. Quick scenes and transitions give the impression that a lot of activity is going on in each episode, consequently making many feel particularly long for a half-hour sitcom. While that in itself is not so much of a problem, unfortunately thanks to the nature of television, the added side effect of breaks where commercials once were make the episodes especially choppy.
The show is shown in 1.78:1 widescreen. The visuals are bright and clean but nothing unexpected for what it is. It’s a sitcom, so you get what you get.
English comes in 5.1 Dolby Digital. Other languages are available only as subtitles. Barney would have been interesting to hear in Spanish, French or Mandarin though.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The three-disc set comes in a single case with the jacket cover in a cloudy sky theme. It’s kind of surprisingly thin for all 24 episodes.
The first two discs each contain commentary from select cast and crew for a select few episodes. Would have liked some more tracks with better staff coverage, but what is there is full of extra trivia and laughs.
The final disc contains a series of extras, such as bloopers, a recap, a couple of behind-the-scenes and the 100th episode’s big suit musical number. The “series recap” isn’t so much a recap of everything that has happened thus far as it is a musical montage as sung by Ted’s children, which is neat but doesn’t serve as a good series refresher for those wanting to brush up (or those like me wanting Cliff’s Notes).
HIMYM is a fun show, and it has to be doing something right to have already gone through five seasons (sixth season currently airing on CBD Mondays). The characters grow on you and encourage you to continue, and that connection would be the most compelling reason to buy this set. Otherwise, the set has just enough features to be acceptable without being remarkable.
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10
The Series 7/10
The Video 6/10
The Audio 5/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 6.5/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10