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How I Met Your Mother - Season Three



DVD Release Date: October 7, 2008 (20th Century Fox)
MSRP: $39.98
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 20
Running time: Approx. 429 Minutes
Video: Anamporphic Widescreen 1.78:1
Audio Tracks: English 5.1 Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Closed Captioned
Special Features:

  • 7 Audio Commentaries by the cast and crew
  • Series Retrospective Featurette
  • Lily and Marshall's Honeymoon Videos
  • Cast Favorites Featurette
  • Behind the Scenes of "We're Not From Here" Featurette
  • Additional Scenes: How It Really Happened
  • "You Just Glot Slapped" Music Video
  • Unrated Gag Reel
  • Ted Mosby is a Jerk Audio Track
  • Robin Sparkles "Sandcastles in the Sand" Music Video


    It's Season Three and the search for a soul mate has never been so wildly inappropriate! Thirty-year-old Ted is still looking for Miss Right, but his road to domestic bliss is improbably paved with punk rock girls, tattoos, adult video expos and an epic St. Patrick's Day bender. Meanwhile, as Marshall and Lily adjust to the quirks of married life, the outrageously incorrigble Barney commits a major violation of "The Bro Code." Plus, Season Three features a host of hilarious guest stars, including Britney Spears, Sarah Chalke (TV's "Scrubs"), Enrique Iglesias, Mandy Moore and supermodel Heidi Klum.

    Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

    How I Met Your Mother's third season premiered on CBS on September 24, 2007. The show began the season airing on Mondays at 8:00PM ET/PT, but switched timeslots with "The Big Bang Theory" on March 17, 2008 for the last 9 episodes and aired at 8:30PM ET/PT. The show finished 60th place in the Neiseln ratings, with 8.2 million viewers (down a bit from the 8.5 million in season 2). Stephan Olson and Susan Eschelbach won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera series for the second time. Neil Patrick Harris received his second consecutive Emmy Nomination for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series."

    This season was shortened by a couple of episodes because of the writers's strike. Memorable episodes included "Wait For It...," in which after his breakup with Robin, Ted wants to wait awhile before dating again, but when Robin returns from vacation with a hot new boy toy, Ted overcompensates with a legendary night on the town. Ted's new girlfriend sends the gang on a trip down memory lane, where Ted reverals a shocking secret from his past in "How I Met Everyone Else." Ted's new girlfriend has just one major flaw, but it soon becomes evident that nobody is perfect in "Spoiler Alert." In "Slapsgiving," Ted and Robin question their relationship after a fight leads them to sleep together. And, while Marshall and Lily prepare for their first Thanksgiving as a married couple, Barney dreads an inevitable slap. As Ted prepares for a date with the doctor who is going to remove his tattoo, everyone tries to convince him that dating someone that he already sees on a regular basis is a serious mistake in "The Platinum Blonde." As Ted amourously pursues his reluctant dermatologist, he has a hard time getting past the office receptionist, who has her own interest in him in "Ten Sessions." A mysterious woman is warning other women to stay away from Barney, and in order to stop her, he must face up to his past misdeeds, tournament style in "The Bracket." An old flame from Robin's teenybopper days has her reliving the past... until Barney steps in "Sandcastles in the Sand."

    After a large amount of guest stars in season two, that trend was continued in season three. Mandy Moore appeared as Amy and Enrique Iglesias was Gael in "Wait For It..." Busy Phillips guest starred as Rachel and Danica McKellar was Trudy in "The Third Wheel." John Cho played Jeff Coatsworth in "I'm Not That Guy." Orson Bean appeared as Bob in "Slapsgiving." Supermodels Alessandra Ambrosio, Selita Ebanks, Adriana Lima, Miranda Kerr, Marissa Miller and Heidi Klum appeared as themselves in "The Yips." Mark Derwin guest starred as Greg and Wayne Brady returned as Barney's brother, James Stinson, in "The Yips." Sarah Chalke played Stella in "Ten Sessions," "The Chain of Screaming," "Rebound Bro," and "Miracles." Britney Spears appeared as Abby in "Ten Sessions" and "Everything Must Go." James Van Der Beek guest starred as Simon in "Sandcastles in the Sand." Will Forte played Randy in "Rebound Bro."


    The packaging is in a similar format as season two. It comes in cardboard box that holds two slimcases. On the cover art of the outer cardboard box, there are five photos of the cast in circles. Why is Barney in the largest circle? The photos should all be the same size. There are dots that connect the characters that maybe identify their relationships. There is mysterious red dot that goes from Ted's photo. The How I Met Your Mother logo is at the top, and there is a mention that is the legendary season 3. There are also a few other season 3 references like the butterfly/tramp stamp and a sandcastle. On the back of the box, there are 3 small photos from the episodes that have guest stars Britney Spears, Heidi Klum and Sarah Chalke. A synopsis of the set, a listing of the special features and the DVD specs are noted. Two slimcases slide out from the right of the thin, outer cardboard box. They have the same circular photos of the cast with a black background. There are some nice, detailed summaries on the back of the caes. Episode titles and original aridates are listed. There are 2-3 small photos on each case. Special features are noted on each disc. Inside the slimcases, there is just blank black space. It would have been nicer if they had more photos here like season two. The discs have have a black background and have the show logo in dark gray. There is a different item related to this season on each disc. Disc 1 has a tricycle. Disc 2 has a butterfly/tramp stamp. Disc 3 has a sandcastle. A sheet is included that promotes some other 20th Century Fox DVD releases. On the other side of the sheet, there is an ad for "The Bro Code." Yes, it's a real book. Barney is on the cover.

    The Bro Code

    As described by

    Everyone's life is governed by an internal code of conduct. Some call it morality. Others call it religion. But Bros in the know call this holy grail the Bro Code.

    Historically a spoken tradition passed from one generation to the next, the official code of conduct for Bros appears here in its published form for the first time ever. By upholding the tenets of this sacred and legendary document, any dude can learn to achieve Bro-dom.

    Menu Design and Navigation:

    The menus are very colorful with orange/yellow backgrounds and are easy to navigate. Instead of the regular "Hey Beautiful" theme song on each disc like they've had in the past, they have different instrumental versions on each disc. Disc 1 has a Jamaican version. Discs 2 and 3 have an instrumental/midi version. These run from 48 seconds to 1 minute, 3 seconds. The main menus feature various photos of the cast that move across the screen with black bars in the background. The show title is shown in light blue. At the bottom of the screen, there are options for "Episode Selection," "Language Selection," and "Special Features." They are in white text and underlined in blue that turns red upon your selection. The Episode Selection menus have various photos of the cast: Disc 1 - Ted and Robin, Disc 2 - Lily and Robin, Disc 3 - Lily and Barney with a puppy. These menus have an orangish background. There is a "Play All" button if you wish to watch the episodes without any interruptions. The Language Selections menus have photos of Lily, Marshall and Barney, and Robin as Robin Sparkles. On the Special Features menus, there are photos of Barney, Ted, and Ted & Marshall. You can turn on the English, French or Spanish subtitles here. Chapter stops are available within the episodes, but there are no separate menus for scene selections.

    Video and Audio Quality:

    Many fans complained that the episodes on the season one DVD set were in 1.33:1 full frame instead of the original widescreen 1.78:1 format. They had been cropped on the DVD to full screen. Thankfully, they've corrected that for the last two seasons and presented them in their proper aspect ratio. With the show just airing over the last year, the episodes look as good as when they were broadcast... probably a little better on the DVDs. How I Met Your Mother is shot with four cameras and no studio audience. This allows them to use many different sets and to edit together many different scenes. The episodes are designed to look like mini-movies. With minimal outdoor scenes, the lighting is important on the sets. The episodes always look well lit to set the mood and have excellent camera work. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there is the Carter * Bays - Muttnik stamp logo, followed by one for 20th Century Fox.

    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. They don't use a "canned" laugh track. The scenes are shot without a studio audience. Then they are edited together and shown to an audience for their responses. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes. Subtitles are offered in English, French and Spanish. Special Features are not rated or closed captioned.

    All of the episodes have running times of around 21 to a little under 22 minutes in length. Although they haven't mentioned it on the packaging, seasons 1-2 have had some of the original music replaced. I've not checked season three yet, but there are likely some songs replaced on this DVD as well. Fortunately, it doesn't appear that any scenes were actually edited out.

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

    Disc 1
    45. Wait For It... (09/24/07) (20:51)
    46. We're Not From Here (10/01/07) (21:08)
    47. The Third Wheel (10/08/07) (21:42)
    48. Little Boys (10/15/07) (21:35)
    49. How I Met Everyone Else (10/22/07) (21:45)
    50. I'm Not That Guy (10/29/07) (21:43)

    Disc 2
    51. Dowiestrepia (11/05/07) (21:03)
    52. Spoiler Alert (11/12/07) (21:03)
    53. Slapsgiving (11/19/07) (21:36)
    54. The Yips (11/26/07) (21:44)
    55. The Platinum Rule (12/10/07) (21:14)
    56. No Tomorrow (03/17/08) (21:17)
    57. Ten Sessions (03/24/08) (21:46)

    Disc 3
    58. The Bracket (03/31/08) (20:37)
    59. The Chain of Screaming (04/14/08) (21:37)
    60. Sandcastles in the Sand (04/21/08) (21:42)
    61. The Goat (04/28/08) (21:44)
    62. Rebound Bro (05/05/08) (21:29)
    63. Everything Must Go (05/12/08) (20:57)
    64. Miracles (05/19/08) (21:44)

    Special Features:

    I've been very impressed with the amount and variety of special features on these releases. They've improved them on each season. I thought maybe we would see less on season three because it was shortened by the writers' strike, but fortunately that's not the case. Once again, we have 7 audio commentaries available by the creators, director, editor, writers and cast members. I've only had the opportunity to listen to two of them, but they should provide a lot of interesting trivia and behind the scenes details. All of the cast members can be heard on at least one commentary.

    Here is the breakdown of special features by disc:

    Disc 1:

    Series Retrospective Featurete (2:44) - This basically tells the main highlights of the first two seasons. Bob Saget narrates it. There are a lot clips and fast-paced editing. There is some drum background music. Pretty nicely put together, but I wonder why they didn't do it for all 3 seasons?

    Lily and Marshall's Honeymoon Videos (10:39) - Four different videos shot home movie style. These were ok, but I thought they would be a little funnier. Awesome Honeymoon (2:25); Love on the Loch (2:53), Nessie vs. Lily (2:48); Honeymoon Suite It Is (2:33)

    Cast Favorites (5:00) - This opens with the theme song. Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel and Neil Patrick Harris discuss their favorite episode of the series. Most of them seem to be from the second season.

    Behind the Scenes of "We're Not Here" (5:43) - A behind the scenes look at the 2nd episode from season three. They show various clips of the read-through, rehearsal, run-through and roll camera. A few shots of cast members in front of a green screen are shown. They talk about the make-up and how they cast a double for Robin in the episode.

    Additional Scenes: How It Really Happened (8:33) - These are some additional/deleted scenes that were likely just cut because of time. "Wait For It..." (2:49) - Some scenes of Barney and Ted in the hot tub with the girls. You'll notice that video quality is much poorer than the rest of the additional scenes, which look like the actual episodes. "We're Not From Here" (2:10) - A scene with Marshall and Lily in the future. "The Third Wheel" (:55) - A funny scene with Ted, Barney, Marshall and Lily. Barney and Marshall do something that may shock you. Little Boys (:44) - A scene with all 5 cast members where they talk about their biggest flaw. "How I Met Everyone Else" (:59) - A scene with Barney and Ted and how they first met Marshall and Lily. "I'm Not That Guy" (:56) - A scene with all the cast members where they watch a DVD. Commentary on "The Platinum Blonde" by show co-creator Carter Bays, director Pam Fryman and editor Sue Federman - They talk about the creative process, how they were affected by the writers' strike, the wardrobes/hair-dos, editing process, and Wendy the waitress.

    Commentary on "Ten Sessions" by show co-creator Carter Bays and actors Josh Radnor and Sarah Chalke - They talk about the idea for the episode, how Britney Spears got the part, and shooting the two-minute date scene.

    "You Just Got Slapped" Music Video (1:52) - Jason Segel performs at the piano. A pretty funny video but not as elaborate as the ones by Robin Sparkles.

    Unrated Gag Reel (11:12) - Various bloopers/outtakes from the third season. There is some profanity with a few f-bombs. There are also two music montages with clips from the regular episodes. Many funny moments.

    Disc 3:

    Commentary on "The Bracket" by show co-creator Craig Thomas, cast member Neil Patrick Harris and writer Joe Kelly

    Commentary on "The Chain of Screaming" by writer Chris Harris, cast member Jason Segel and his driver Danny Bress

    Commentary on "Sandcastles in the Sand" by show co-creator Craig Thomas, cast member Cobie Smulders, director Pam Fryman and writer Kourtney Kang

    Commentary on "Everything Must Go" by cast member Alyson Hannigan and consulting producer Jonathan Graff

    Commentary on "Miracles" by show co-creator Carter Bays and director Pam Fryman

    "Ted Mosby is a Jerk" Audio Track (20:44) - This is a song track with some background music that is heard instead of the regular audio from "The Bracket" episode. I think this would have been much funnier if it was shortened a bit and just focused on clips with Ted. Definitely not recommended for fans of Ted, as ome pretty mean things are said about him. You may also wish to visit the Ted Mosby is a Jerk tie-in website.

    Robin Sparkles "Sandcastles in the Sand" Music Video (3:42) - Robin Sparkles returns in her second video. I don't think this one was quite as funny as "Let's Go to the Mall" from last season. The use of Alan Thicke, another Canadian actor, was an inspired choice as her father.

    Final Comments:

    It was another another legen...wait for it...dary season of How I Met Your Mother! The show continues to evolve, and the characters are maturing. The writers continue to keep it fresh, funny and contemporary. They aren't afraid to use many guest stars. Britney Spears' apperances gave the show a much-needed boost. I wasn't surprised when they put a sticker on the DVD packaging mentioning that this set "includes the awesome Britney Spears episodes!." The show seemed to be in a little bit of danger of not being picked up for a fourth season at the time, but her first appearance brought in a lot of viewers. I think this is the type of show you can watch once and become hooked. There seems to be a lot of buzz about the show now. Lifetime paid a huge amount ($725,000 per episode) to begin airing episodes in syndication in the fall of 2010. The fourth season premiere was up 21% over last season. There shouldn't be any more cancellation talk.

    I was very impressed with the amount and variety of special features on this set. They seem to add a few more each season. The audio commentaries are always fun to listen to for trivia and behind the scenes details. The only issues I've had with these DVD releases are the music substitutions. Some of the songs they've used as replacements aren't bad, but I would like to see every episode as it was originally broadcast by CBS. Watch season four Mondays at 8:30-9:00PM 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: 4.5/5
    Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
    Overall: 4.5/5

    Note: The overall score may be reduced if a lot of the original songs have been replaced.

    -- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 10/17/08

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