Despite the fact that How I Met Your Mother has been popping up on televisions near and far for the better part of a decade now, I was never one who really tuned into the program — with the frequent exception of seeing it displayed in front of me sans sound on one a TV located at a local bar. As such, I had absolutely no idea what the hell the show was about, and determined that it consisted of nothing more than five people sitting in a café or bar talking about stuff. Well, that, essentially, actually is what the series is about, though I have to confess it’s a whole different ball game when you can hear it.
Naturally, that might prompt the following query from a fellow uninitiated viewer: “Is that a good thing?” Yes, indeed it is, kids. Like all sitcoms, How I Met Your Mother follows a very simplistic plot. In this instance, the series is nothing more than an extended series of extremely long flashbacks as told by middle-aged patriarch figure Ted to his offspring many years in the future. Providing the voice of said dad is none other than Bob Saget, who is no stranger to the formula of simplicity, but who is never seen just the same. In the past, however, Ted is portrayed by series lead Josh Radnor, who usually stands by to let his co-stars steal the show.
Of course, when your co-stars include Neil Patrick Harris as a sycophantic womanizer named Barney and Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Alyson Hannigan as the goofy wife of an equally foolish Jason Segal, you pretty much have to leave these folks some room to do their thing. Bringing up the rear in the cast is the oddly-named Cobie Smulders as Robin, who provides a former (and sometimes) present romantic interest for the two single men in the ensemble.
For this season, the characters of Lily (Hannigan) and Marshall (Segal) face one of the most frequently-encountered situations in both real life and fiction alike: pregnancy. Naturally, the arrival of a kid in any show can only mean the death of it for sure, but since this particular sitcom is entitled How I Met Your Mother, it stands to reason that someone somewhere along the line is going to become inseminated at some point in time, right?
However, this is not the inception of the two phlegmatic children we see sitting in the future listening to their father’s idle ramblings we’re talking about — so our ever-diligent writers are still able to toss out one crazy idea after another as they enjoy the ride this series has given them and the performers who do such a great job bringing their near-insane antics to life onscreen. And the cast does so admirably (again), delivering some genuinely funny quips whilst dodging and learning to live with the many trials life throws their way on a daily basis. Neil Patrick Harris is probably the standout performer here, whether he’s impressing men and women of all sexual orientations with his superb dancing skills, or reluctantly wearing a hideous rubber ducky tie.
Speaking of which, the complete name of this release is How I Met Your Mother: The Complete Season 7 – The Ducky Tie Edition, and my review copy was blessed with a replica of the hideous décolletage ornamentation in question. Needless to say, this was perhaps even better than finally figuring out what was so fun about the show — as I am a compulsive tie collector (how dare you judge me!) who proudly wears a different piece of his gathering each day.
Anyway, guest starring in this season (which has a rather major revelation towards the finale) are Kal Penn (he and Doogie Howser are practically inseparable in each other’s works, you know), Chris Elliott (yes, he’s still around), Martin Short, Wayne Brady, Katie Holmes, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and Ernie Hudson (remember him?).
This three-disc DVD set from Fox Home Entertainment includes audio commentaries for three episodes, several featurettes, a number of deleted scenes, and another gag reel this show’s home video releases are quite well known for. Oh, and the tie, too, where and when applicable: if you didn’t get one, it’s probably because you’re more into the show than I am, and this is obviously Fate’s way of luring me into convincing my bartender to turn the volume up next time it’s on TV at the bar.