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How I Met Your Mother - Season One


TITLE: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER - SEASON ONE


Info:

DVD Release Date: November 21, 2006 (20th Century Fox)
Color/2005-2006
MSRP: $39.98
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 22
Running time: Approx. 482 Minutes
Video: Full frame Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Audio Tracks: English 5.1 Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Closed Captioned
Special Features:

  • 6 Audio Commentaries by the cast and crew
  • "Final Round" Clip Montage
  • "Video Yearbook" Featurette
  • "Happy Hour" Blooper Reel
  • "Last Call" Clip Montage


    Introduction:

    A love story in reverse: How I Met Your Mother is a fresh new comedy about Ted (Josh Radnor) and how he fell in love. When Ted's best friends Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) decide to tie the knot, it sparks the search for his own Miss Right. Helping him in his quest is his bar-hopping "wing-man" Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), a confirmed bachelor with plenty of wild schemes for picking up women. Ted's sights are set on the charming and independent Robin (Cobie Smulders), but destiny may have something different in mind. Told through a series of flashbacks, Ted recalls his single days, the highs and lows of dating and the search for true love.


    Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

    How Met I Your Mother premiered on CBS on September 19, 2005. It became of of last fall's biggest comedic hits and was a nominee for "Best New Comedy" at the 2005 People's Choice Awards. The show was created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. The all-star cast includes Josh Radnor ("Not Another Teen Movie"), Jason Segel "Freaks & Geeks," "Undeclared"), Cobie Smulders ("The L Word"), Neil Patrick Harris ("Doogie Howser, M.D.," "Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle) and Alyson Hannigan ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Date Movie"). An older and unseen Ted, played by Bob Saget ("Full House"), narrates the story for his children in the year 2030, telling them of his past successes and failures in love and how he ultimately "met their mother."

    Memorable episodes included "Okay Awesome," in which Robin, Ted and Barney go to a hot new club, leaving the engaged Marshall and Lily to a more adult, albeit boring, evening of wine tasting. Halloween hijinx are afoot as Ted makes his annual trek to the same lame party in search of a girl he met there years ago, while Robin joins Marshall and Lily for a double date in "Slutty Pumpkin." After an alcohol-induced blackout, Ted awakens to find a strange woman--and a pineapple--in his bed in "The Pineapple Incident." Robin is emotionally torn when Ted meets an exciting new woman, Victoria, at the wedding in "Drumroll, Please." Marshall's game night leads to some startling and very embarrassing revelations in "Game Night." With Victoria on his mind, Ted has conflicted feelings when Robin invites him over for a late-night rendezvous in "Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.." Ted needs a date to take to Robin's awards banquet, so Barney hooks him up with Mary, who may be a call girl in "Mary the Paralegal." Hoping to get closer to Robin, Ted tries to prevent her from going away for the weekend with her co-anchor in "Come On."

    Notable guest stars included Jason Segel's "Freaks & Geeks" co-star, Samm Levine, as Phil in "Okay Awesome." Camryn Manheim appeared as Ellen Pierce in "Matchmaker." Another "Freaks & Geeks" star, Martin Starr, guest starred as Kevin in "The Duel." Bill Fagerbakke (Dauber on "Coach") played Marvin Eriksen Sr. in "Belly Full of Turkey." Danica McKellar (Winnie on "The Wonder Years") appeared as Trudy in "The Pineapple Incident." Ashley Williams had a recurring role as Victoria in "The Wedding," "Drumroll, Please," "Zip, Zip, Zip," "Game Night," "Cupcake," and "Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.." Alexis Denisof (Alyson Hannigan's real life husband) plays Sandy Rivers in "Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.," "Mary the Paralegal" and "Come On." Erinn Bartlett guest starred as Mary in "Mary the Paralegal." Amy Acker appeared as Penelope in "Come On."


    Packaging:

    This three-disc DVD collection includes all 22 season one (2005-06) episodes. The cover art features a photo of Josh Radnor sitting on a lips chair, with Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders and Neil Patrick Harris standing behind him. On the back of the box, there is a synopsis of the show, listing of the special features and the DVD specs. There is a photo of the cast members giving a toast to the camera. All 5 cast members are featured on the spine of the box. The thin cardboard box holds two slim cases. The slim cases slide out from the right of the box and feature photos of Ted, Robin, Lily/Marshall and Barney. They have a wood-type background that differs in shades of brown on each slim case, although the photos are the same. Episode titles, airdates, good episode summaries and a listing of the special features are found on the back of the slim cases. There are 6 small photos in bottlcaps on slim case #1 and 4 on slim case #2. The bar theme is continued inside the cases where we see a photo of the cast in each and various bar items like pretzels, matches, coffee, a spoon, etc. The discs are cleverly designed to look like coasters. Disc 1 has a drawing of a blue horn and holds episodes 1-8. Disc 2 has a pineapple and contains episodes 9-16. Disc 3 has a map of the U.S. with a storm on the east coast and rounds out the set with episodes 17-22. There are a few sheets included that promote some other 20th Century Fox TV shows and movies.


    Menu Design and Navigation:

    The menus are simply designed, attractive and easy to navigate. The main menus feature a montage of photos (like you see in the opening credits) and an instrumental version of the catchy theme song. There is a different set of photos on each disc. On the bottom of the screen, there are options for Episode Selection, Language Selection and Special Features. A green, curved line is under the option you highlight and that turns yellow upon your selection. The episode selection menus feature a different photo of a cast member on each, and the episode titles are listed vertically in yellow text. Ted and Barney are on disc 1, Barney and Robin playing laser tag are on disc 2, and Ted is featured on disc 3. The language selection menus allows you to select from English, Spanish and French subtitles. Marshall is featured on disc 1, Ted/Lily/Barney/Marshall on disc 2 and Robin and Lily on disc 3. The special features menu lets you play the commentaries which are on all 3 discs and the other extras are on disc 3. Lily is featured on disc 1, Ted on disc 2 and Barney on disc 3. Chapter stops are available within the episodes, but there are no separate menus for scene selections. There seemed to be an abormally high amount of chapter stops, but I guess that is normal these days due to the amount of commercial breaks.


    Video and Audio Quality:

    The episodes are presented in full frame 1.33:1 video. I'm told by fellow reviewer Seth that How I Met Your Mother broadcasts in HDTV/1.78:1. With the show just airing last year, the episodes look just like you've seen them broadcast on CBS. They are really designed to look like mini-movies. One of the things I've noticed with this show is they always have excellent lighting to set the mood for the scene. All the episodes appear to be unedited, running around 21 1/2 to 22 minutes in length. Quite a few songs were used in the episodes, and there is nothing on the packaging to indicate that any of them had to be replaced for the DVD.

    The audio is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track. The volume is at a good level, and the dialogue is easy to understand. Interestingly, the show is filmed without a studio audience. They probably play it before a studio audience for their reactions. How I Met Your Mother is one of the few sitcoms, like My Name Is Earl, that uses quite a bit of score and songs in the episodes. These all sound great in Dolby Surround. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes. Subtitles are offered in English, Spanish and French.

    Here is the breakdown by disc, including the original airdates and running times:

    Disc 1
    ---------
    1. Pilot (09/19/05) (22:02)
    2. Purple Giraffe (09/26/05) (21:59)
    3. Sweet Taste of Liberty (10/03/05) (21:19)
    4. Return of the Shirt (10/10/05) (22:00)
    5. Okay Awesome (10/17/05) (21:59)
    6. Slutty Pumpkin (10/24/05) (22:04)
    7. Matchmaker (11/07/05) (21:54)
    8. The Duel (11/14/05) (22:00)

    Disc 2
    ---------
    9. Belly Full of Turkey (11/21/05) (22:02)
    10. The Pineapple Incident (11/28/05) (22:04)
    11. The Limo (12/19/05) (22:04)
    12. The Wedding (01/09/06) (21:45)
    13. Drumroll, Please (01/23/06) (22:02)
    14. Zip, Zip, Zip (02/06/06) (22:00)
    15. Game Night (02/27/06) (21:54)
    16. Cupcake (03/06/06) (21:55)

    Disc 3
    ---------
    17. Life Among the Gorillas (03/13/06) (22:02)
    18. Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M. (04/10/06) (21:40)
    19. Mary the Paralegal (04/24/06) (22:02)
    20. Best Prom Ever (05/01/06) (21:27)
    21. Milk (05/08/06) (21:48)
    22. Come On (05/15/06) (21:57)


    Special Features:

    The special features are pretty good for a rookie show. Six audio commentaries are available from the creators, directors and cast members. The four additional special features are found on disc 3. I enjoyed listening to the commentaries a lot. The creators just seem very nice and are proud of their show and cast. They do not hesitate to plug their band, The Solids, at every opportunity they can get. Check out their site for the full version of the theme song, "Hey Beautiful." The cast member commentaries are a lot of fun and lively and can serve as laugh tracks for the episodes. I can tell the cast has a lot of chemistry and have become friends in real life. Most of the commentaries focus on their general observations of the episodes, but they also toss in a few interesting trivia facts.

    Here is the special features breakdown by disc:

    Audio Commentary on "Pilot" by Show Creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, Director Pam Fryman, and Cast Members Alyson Hannigan, Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel and Cobie Smulders

    Audo Commentary on "Okay Awesome" by Cast Members Alyson Hannigan, Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel and Cobie Smulders

    Audio Commentary on "The Pineapple Incident" by Show Creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas

    Audio Commentary on "Drumroll, Please" by Show Creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, and Director Pam Fryman

    Audio Commentary on "Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M." by Show Creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas

    Audio Commentary on "Come On" by Cast Members Alyson Hanningan, Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel and Cobie Smulders

    "First Round" Clip Montage (1:14) - Various clips are played from the episodes are played. The 88's "Hide Another Mistake" is the song featured. It was also used in one of the episodes.

    "Video Yearbook" Featurette (20:29) - A nice summary of the first season. Interviews include Show Creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, Director Fryman, and Cast Members Alyson Hanigan, Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel and Cobie Smulders. It's divided into 9 short sections and numerous clips from the episodes are shown:

    1. Getting Started - Carter Bays and Craig Thomas discuss how they came up with the idea for the show.
    2. The Cast - They talk about the cast and how they were picked.
    3. Ted & Robin - Will they end up together? If you've watched the show, you know the answer.
    4. The Director - Pamela Fryman has been the director for all of the episodes so far.
    5. Barneyisms - "Legendary," "Suit Up" and Barney's high fives.
    6. Dance-off - The Robot vs. The Raindance
    7. Theme Song - "Hey Beautiful" is performed by The Solids
    8. Favorite Moments - The cast and crew discuss their favorite moments and episodes from season one.
    9. Looking Forward - A wrap of season one and a look forward to season two.

    "Happy Hour" Blooper Reel (9:01) - Many funny bloopers and outtakes. These are in excellent broadcast quality. A profanity by one of the cast members even makes it.

    "Last Call" Clip Montage - More clips from season one. They use the same song by The 88 here. I'm not sure why they just didn't combine this into one longer segment.

    The only thing really lacking from this set are deleted scenes. They mention a lot of things in the commentaries that had to be cut for time. I would have loved to see some of these scenes.


    Final Comments:

    How I Met Your Mother was one of my top two new sitcoms from last season. The show had consistently funny writing and a great ensemble cast. They were not afraid to drop in some dramatic moments either, and they had some great song selections for the episodes that really fit the moments.

    This is a very nice set (just like My Name Is Earl - also by 20th Century Fox) for the rookie season of the show. The cast and crew commentaries are fun and lively. A good summary of the first season is given in the "Video Yearbook" featurette. The only thing missing in this set are deleted scenes, which are mentioned in the commentaries. Unfortunately, they only have 21-22 minutes to work with, so a lot of good stuff has to be cut. Hopefully we'll see some on season two.

    Suit up and buy this set today! The show is legendary. Don't forget to watch all-new episodes Mondays at 8:00PM ET/PT on CBS.


    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

    Video Quality: 5/5
    Audio Quality: 5/5
    Special Features: 4/5
    Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
    Overall: 4/5

    Note: The overall score has been reduced due to the amount of songs replaced and the incorrect aspect ratio.

    -- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 11/19/06

    To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000HT3P7E/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

    Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

    http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=187948


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