Written by Caballero Oscuro
Can you believe it’s been five years and we still haven’t met the mother? Yes, the team behind this popular CBS sitcom managed to string us along for yet another year in Season Five, but the formula is finally starting to show some signs of age. It could be the demands of other Hollywood projects, new babies at home, or just going through the motions in familiar routines, but I couldn’t help picking up the feeling that the core actors just weren’t as energized or committed to the show this season. It’s also possible that there might have been some changes in the writing staff that negatively impacted the show, as the scripts seemed to deliver fewer laughs and memorable situations this time around. Whatever the reason, the show continued to be a reliable performer but not quite as winning as past years.
Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) spend the first half of the season playing out the remainder of their ill-conceived and doomed romantic relationship, putting a damper on Barney’s typically outrageous womanizing exploits that unfortunately carries over into the back half of the season as well. Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) continue their happy marriage with barely any hiccups, leaving Ted (Josh Radnor) the odd man out with a surprisingly inactive love life. He starts a new career as an architecture professor, meets the odd girl here and there, but goes the entire season without a significant romance. The only notable event is his date with a girl who happens to be the roommate of his future wife, according to his ongoing dialogue with his future kids. Ted and the viewers don’t see the roommate or learn her name, leaving us no closer to solving the show’s central mystery.
As for highlights, the show hit its milestone 100th episode this season and the team put some extra effort into it, designing an elaborate musical number around the considerable talents of Neil Patrick Harris with supporting roles from the rest of the cast and dozens of extras. There’s also another brief musical number in a different episode featuring Ted and Barney and it’s worth seeking out. Also, for those keeping track, Barney receives the fourth of five slaps awarded to Marshall early in the show’s run. Aside from those special moments, there’s little new to see in the rest of the season.
The DVD box set crams all 24 episodes onto just 3 DVDs, allowing the series to be contained in a space-saving standard DVD case. That leaves little room for special features, which include bloopers and behind the scenes footage on the making of the two musical numbers.
How I Met Your Mother: The Complete Season 5 is now available on DVD.