'How I Met Your Mother - Season Two'
(Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan, Neil Patrick Harris, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / (2005) 2007 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Egged on by his best friend's upcoming nuptials, Ted (Radnor) believes he finds the woman of his dreams in Robin (Smulders) -- though destiny might have something different in mind.
DVD Verdict: This show takes the audience on a bit of a backwards journey down memory lane. The premise has the narrator (Ted) telling his two children the story of how he met their mother. Along the way we meet Lilly and Marshall (known to each other by the sickeningly sweet nicknames Marshmellow and Lillypad) who are a funny, picture perfect cute couple (well...they are now, anyway, after their relationship trouble in season 1). We also meet Robin (Ted's on again, off again girlfriend who turns out *not* to be his future wife) and that rascally womanizing egomaniac, Barney.
I think the casting in this show was outstanding. Neil Patrick Harris shines as Barney, and Alyson Hannigan puts forth a brilliant performance each episode as Lilly. The character of Ted is a good fit for Josh Radnor (who we have thus far only seen in small bit parts in various films, such as Not Another Teen Movie (Unrated Director's Cut). Jason Segal and Cobie Smulders round out the cast nicely as Marshall and Robin. (and if you think you might recognize the voice of the "older Ted Mosbey" during the narrating portion of the show...it's probably because you do. The narrator is actually Bob Saget).
Season 2 pretty much picks up where season 1 left off. In a bizarre case of cold feet, Lilly breaks off her engagement with Marshall and moves to California for an art internship. Marshall is left in New York, alone and heartbroken, while Robin and Ted strike out in their new relationship (despite the fact that they both know they want very different things out of life). Barney, as always, provides much of the comic relief throughout the show, and remains his usual womanizing self. Season 2, from start to finish, is hilarious. I particularly enjoyed the episodes "Ted Mosbey, Architect" and (my all time favorite episode so far) "Robin Sparkles". When you watch them, you'll see why (I seriously couldn't erase the episode Robin Sparkes from my TiVo for like a month, because I just kept re-watching it!).
The dialogue is sharp and witty, and the interpersonal relationships within the group are really fun to watch. I can't ever get through an episode without laughing out loud at least once, and I think thats a good sign for a comedy sitcom. This is situational comedy at it's finest, and while the storylines and situations aren't believable in an apply-it-to-real-life sort of way, it's nonetheless entertaining and humorous, which is sort of the point.
Bottom line, this is a great show. I'm going out on a limb here (a very high, terrifying limb) but I think this show has the potential to at least partially fill the shoes of shows like "Friends" and "Everybody Loves Raymond", as far as filling the half-hour comedy sitcom void is concerned. Give it a try, and I promise you won't be disappointed. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
'Where Were We?' - Featuring audio commentary by show creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and director Pam Fryman
'Swarley' - Featuring audio commentary by writer/producer Greg Mailins and cast member Alyson Hannigan
'Slap Bet' - Featuring audio commentary by show creator Craig Thomas, writer Kourtney Kang and cast member Cobie Smulders
'Single Stamina' - Featuring audio commentary by writer Kristin Newman and cast member Neil Patrick Harris
'Arrivederci Fiero' - Featuring audio commentary by writer Chris Harris and cast member Jason Segel
'Moving Day' - "How It Really Happened" Featurette
'Bachelor Party' - Featuring audio commentary by show creator Carter Bays, director Pam Fryman and cast members Bob Saget and Josh Radnor
'Showdown' - Featuring audio commentary by show creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and director Pam Fryman
"How We Make Your Mother" Featurette
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