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
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
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.