$SRP 49.99 1.78:1 DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 FOX
 
FOX has released "HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: SEASON 4" on blu-ray.  Having never viewed an episode of previous seasons, it's surprising to find how immediately accessible and entertaining it is for a viewer to jump into the series after so many previous episodes, without feeling something immeasurable has been missed. The series presents a narrative built around the idea of one of the major characters, Ted, in middle age, but never actually seen, detailing for his children "HOW HE MET THEIR MOTHER."  Successive episodes jump either into the future, the 80s or 90s, or mid 2000s, as stories with often side-splitting dialogue and situations are built around a "younger" Ted, a inconsistent relationship with Robyn(Cobie Smulders), his friend Marshall(the great talent behind the script for "FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL), Marshall's girlfriend, Lily(played without the annoying qualities found in the "American Pie" films), and, of course, the popular "heterosexual" Barney,(Neil Patrick Harris).   
 
After a surpise engagement to Stella, opening up the first episode of "SEASON 4," this relationship comes to an end, with Stella leaving him before the vows, only few episodes later. While Ted's freedom to explore relationships, provides some great material for many episodes in SEASON 4, the relationship between Robyn and Barney makes for the biggest attraction to this season and one can't possibly get enough of these two and the situations built around them. Their relationship makes for one of the most exciting and compelling of any series in recent memory. Again, and that's without having ever viewed a previous season!
 
The characters are well developed, making it easy to care about them, and the writing is consistently top-notch. While some episodes stand out as great, there isn't a mediocre one among them.  The series has a really inviting environment and production design, similar in its effect to what "FRIENDS" achieved. The only annoyance lies in the laugh-track, which wouldn't be missed if completely excised or at least if viewers had the option to view without it. How bad would a great series like "CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM" be with a tacky laughtrack? That's kind of what's happening here.
 
FOX has provided the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray. It's actually better looking than the already impressive 1080i image of the network HD presentation.  Colors are even richer and contrast is deeper. Fleshtones are perfectly natural, and virtually every scene offers terrific depth. A great looking transfer!

FOX has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. Much more immersive than typical comedy mixes, discrete effects are used in creating a great environment for the audience. The surrounds are so effective and complimentary to select scenes, it's easy to miss them when they're gone! Well balanced, and immersive, it's a fun and surprisingly assertive comedy mix.

FOX has provided some extras for this release, including audio commentaries for five episodes, a gag reel, "season 3" recap, music video, and panel discussion with the cast and crew.