I am always painfully late when it comes to television shows. I very rarely ever watch shows, week by week, premier by premier. I'm always at least a few years late to the party, but once I discover one that I enjoy, I latch on to it obsessively. How I Met Your Mother is a wonderful example of that. The show began in 2005, but I didn't actually start watching it until 2010, I believe. I've now seen every episode, own every season on DVD, and call it my favorite TV show of all-time.
If this is your first "Random Review" and you're wondering what the fuck I'm doing, I just randomized my DVD collection and decided for shits and giggles, I would watch each one and review it.
How I Met Your Mother is one of the more creative sitcoms I have ever come across. As the cover of the DVD states, it's a love story in reverse. The show starts off with the main character, Ted (voiced by Bob Saget) sitting down in front of his children and the year is 2030. Ted informs his daughter and son that he is going to tell them how he met their mother. You "go back in time" to the year 2005 and are introduced for the first time to this brilliant cast. With Josh Radnor as Ted, Alyson Hanigan as Lily, Jason Segel as Marshall, Neil Patrick Harris as Barney, and Cobie Smulders as Robin, you don't get a much better main cast as that. I adore Segel and Harris especially.
As is the case with many television shows, the first season of How I Met Your Mother is one of the better ones, looking back on them all. There just seems to be a better vibe to each episode, as opposed to now, so I very much enjoy going back and watching them. The cast is less silly and over-the-top. They seem to be more real. Ted is desperate to find the love of his life, which becomes the reoccurring theme of not only this season, but the entire show, while he lives with his best friend Marshall and his fiancee Lilly. Ted is also very close to Barney, who is a womanizing, hilarious, suit-wearing, legendary character, quite possibly my favorite TV character ever. He meets Robin in the pilot episode and instantly falls for her, but unfortunately "Ted's" it all up and makes things weird when he professes his love for her on their first date. The pilot episode ends with Ted telling his children that that is the story as to how he met their "aunt" Robin. The exasperated kids stare in disbelief wondering what happened to how he met their mother. The episode ends with the quote "Would you relax? I'm getting there. Like I said, it's a long story." Truer words have never been spoken because it's 2012 now and we still don't know who the mother is.
There's so many, ahem, legendary scenes in the first season, it's hard to mention them all. From the slutty pumpkin, to the epic sword fight between Marshall and Ted, to the infamous pineapple incident, it's easy to see why this show has taken off and become one of the most beloved shows of the past decade. What I enjoy most about this season is actually a character that wasn't introduced until past the midway point of the season. The first half of season 1 is filled with Ted pining over Robin, who has already established that she does not want a committed relationship, that is until he meets Victoria at his friend's wedding. They have a very intense night where Victoria refuses to divulge any personal information, looking to make a perfect night that never gets tarnished. Ted, so obsessed with the idea of meeting this mystery girl again, does everything he can to locate her. He eventually finds Victoria (played by Ashley Williams) at the bakery she works at and the two begin dating. She eventually has to leave for Germany for work and her and Ted attempt a long-distance relationship. It goes down in flames when Ted cheats on her with Robin and she isn't seen from again, at least, not in this season. Victoria was always my favorite of Ted's suitors, she always stood out to me more so than any of the others, so it's very easy for me to watch season one and appreciate her.
The season ends on a very turbulent note. Ted is FINALLY able to win Robin over and she and him begin officially dating for the first time. On the other hand, the most sturdy and steadfast aspect of the show, Marshall and Lilly's relationship, comes to an end. Lilly gets accepted to an art school in San Francisco and doesn't tell Marshall. She begins getting cold feet with the impending wedding and decides to leave him so she can live her dream and explore the world. Ted is riding home in a taxi looking ecstatic, just to see Marshall sitting in the rain alone with the engagement ring in his hand. You go from feeling exuberant for Ted, to feeling heartbroken for Marshall.
The DVD itself has a few bonus features that are worth checking out. Six episodes include commentary tracks, ranging from the cast to the crew discussing the show. The pilot episode has Carter Bays (writer and producer), Pam Fryman (director), and the main cast providing their "insight" on the show. It's basically akin to a big Skype orgy, but it works alright and is entertaining to listen to. The episode "Okay Awesome" has just the cast talking which is my favorite because it's just them firing jokes out back and forth. Any time Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel open their mouth, I laugh. "The Pineapple Incident" and "Drumroll, Please" has Carter Bays and Craig Thomas (one of the co-creators of the show) providing commentary and they're okay. They tend to get obsessed with promotting their band throughout the episode, though they try to do it in a joking manner. There's a video yearbook of the cast and crew filmed during the first season that is very entertaining to watch and also a hilarious blooper reel as well. I enjoy when they add more fun stuff, besides the episodes themselves, to a television show's season on DVD. It makes the cash seem very much worth it. Watching through this DVD has solidifed my stance that season one is one of, if not the best seasons of How I Met Your Mother.
My Rating - 8/10