How I Met Your Mother: Season 4
DVD | Box Set
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Loaded with irresistible laughter and filled with outrageous fun, there's just one word for the hit comedy How I Met Your Mother: Awesomeness!
From dating dilemmas to career conundrums, the recently engaged Ted and his feisty friends find themselves at the crossroads of young adult life. While newlyweds Marshall and Lily contemplate parenthood, single gal Robin explores the advantages of having "friends with benefits." Meanwhile, the irrepressible, opinionated Barney continues his hilariously dogged pursuit of the fairer sex. As for Ted, his Miss Right is out there, but amid bar brawls, blizzards, and buck-naked strangers, how will he ever find her?
The fourth season of the charming sitcom How I Met Your Mother (or HIMYM to fans) remains as inventive yet as heartfelt as ever. The writers pull off all kinds of narrative tricks, and though events are sometimes absurd, they never feel gimmicky--the show has a solid grip on its characters and keeps everything grounded in their ongoing lives. Devoted womanizer Barney (Neil Patrick Harris, riding a wave of popularity in the wake of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog) can't understand why he's having actual feelings for Robin (Cobie Smulders), whose career as a TV anchorwoman is floundering. Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) struggle with holding on to their youthful passion under the pressures of getting older. And Ted (Josh Radnor) struggles to follow through on his engagement to Stella (Sarah Chalke)--a relationship that (spoiler alert!) capsizes midway through the episodes. While the season-long story lines are carefully teased out, each episode is flush with clever or daffy ideas, among them a list of Canadian sex acts, Barney trying to pick up hot chicks while disguised as an 80-year-old man, multiple interventions (culminating in an intervention intervention), Marshall's charts and graphs, Barney's fake family, wooo! girls, the cheerleader effect, the front porch test, and the Naked Man, among many others.
Attentive fans will be rewarded with a wealth of small references to past episodes. Though there are moments when the fundamental premise--that this is all part of an unbearably long story that a future Ted is telling to his children--feels obnoxiously stretched (toward the end of the season, one episode in particular builds up to a false revelation), for the most part HIMYM is a sterling example of a well-sustained sitcom; the characters have successfully grown over the four seasons without losing everything that made them funny in the first place. The number of extras is surprisingly small--only a few show commentaries, an enjoyable group interview, and an extended version of Barney's video resume. --Bret Fetzer
Stills from How I Met Your Mother: Season Four (Click for larger image)
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Season 4 kicked off in the fall of 2008 with main characters: Josh Radnor as Ted Mosby, Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson, Cobie Smulders as Robin Scherbatsky, Alyson Hannigan as Lily Aldrin, and Jason Segel as Marshall Eriksen. As the series progresses it is also picking up more and more celebrity cameos [ehem, did you know that the voice of "future Ted" in the precaps is actually Bob Saget?]; season 4 features: Sarah Chalke as Stella Zinman, Regis Philbin as himself, Erin Cahill as Heather Mosby, Bill Fagerbakke as Marvin Eriksen, Alex Trebek as himself, and Jason Jones (from The Daily Show) as Tony Grafanello.
I generally prefer the DVD versions to Blu-Ray because it can be a pain to wait on a slow Blu-Ray Player. That being said, the picture and sound qualities are fantastic in this format.
SEASON 4: Following three seasons of Ted and his single friends'(pardoning Marshall and Lily) shenanigans, Season Four gives us a look into the deep desire of each member of the gang to be happily settled--but don't worry, nothing is set in stone just yet. This season seems to mark some changes in the group, revealing some character "flaws" that ultimately bring viewers closer to the emotional needs of the main cast and elicits reinvestment in their futures--namely Ted's and his hunt for the woman he calls his kids' mother.
Episode 1: "Do I Know You?"--Stella and Ted are getting married as feelings develop between Barney and Robin.
Episode 2: "The Best Burger In New York"--The gang (and Regis Philbin) seek out the diner that served Marshall's first burger in New York.
Episode 3: "I Heart NJ"--The gang ventures to New Jersey to see Stella's home, and the home Stella hopes Ted will call his own.
Episode 4: "Intervention"--Ted calls a re-intervention over his engagement.
Episode 5: "Shelter Island"--Ted and Stella rush to the altar, but feelings get altered by old flames.
Episode 6: "Happily Ever After"--The gang reminisces about old enemies.
Episode 7: "Not a Father's Day"--Lily and Marshall have baby talk, but seek advice in Robin and Ted. Barney celebrates NOT being a father... or a husband... or a boyfriend, for that matter.
Episode 8: "Woooo!"--Ted offers his design plans for the company's new building; Robin has a little crisis and seeks affirmation from a group of "Woooo! Girls."
Episode 9: "The Naked Man"--After getting an eyeful of Robin's boyfriend, Ted finds a way to revitalize the gang's love lives.
Episode 10: "The Fight"--Ted, feeling a little emasculated from the Stella debacle, lets the rage fly as he and Barney compete for Robin's attention.
Episode 11: "Little Minnesota"--While Ted's sister visits, Marshall and Robin do some bonding at a bar featuring their favorite pastime, hockey.
Episode 12: "Benefits"--A frustrated Robin and Ted decide to alleviate some stress, but not if Barney can help it.
Episode 13: "Three Days of Snow"--Carl (foolishly) gives command of the bar to Barney and Ted as Marshall and Lily try to reunite despite a blizzard.
Episode 14: "The Possimpible"--Facing deportation, Robin resorts to the help of Barney in order to find a job.
Episode 15: "The Stinsons"--The gang uncovers Barney's secret wife and son.
Episode 16: "Sorry, Bro"--For fear that Ted may try to rekindle an old flame with a girlfriend they hated, Lily and Marshall devise a plan to keep Ted from ex-girlfriend Karen.
Episode 17: "The Front Porch"--Battles emerge between Lily and Ted when Ted discovers she has been sabotaging his relationships.
Episode 18: "Old King Clancy"--Marshall and Barney cook up a cover story to protect Ted from learning a devastating truth about his job.
Episode 19: "Murtaugh"--Barney discovers Ted's "Impossible Bucket List" and takes it as a challenge.
Episode 20: "Mosbius Designs"--Marshall looks a little foolish trying to impress people at work; Ted forms his own architectural company and hires an interim intern.
Episode 21: "The Three Days Rule"--Barney and Marshall punish Ted for a dating-rule taboo.
Episode 22: "Right Place, Right Time"--Barney hits a ladies-milestone as Ted appreciates all the variables that put him in the right place at the right time.
Episode 23: "As Fast as She Can"--Barney makes his own challenge for dodging a traffic ticket; a guilty Tony tries to atone by helping Ted find a job.
Episode 24: "The Leap"--Ted feels the weight of his business while Marshall tries to bring him up to a party. Things close with Barney admitting his feelings to Robin.
In addition, the acting, unlike on many shows today, is always strong. This is truly an ensemble cast; there are no "weak links". All of the actors have talent, they have chemistry as a group, and they make you root for the characters they're portarying. You want Marshall and Lily to continue on their road to happily ever after, you cheer for Robin's career successes (and laugh at her mishaps), you root for Barney to get the girls although you may occasionally gag at the same time, and you hope Ted eventually meet the love of his life. Above all, it's always a fun and relaxing half-hour to sit down and find out what's going on in their lives today.
Sure, the show may not be the most original, but it sure is fun. And frankly, not every show has to be the Wire to be great. I highly recommend this show, and can't wait for season 5!
As for the show itself, I definitely recommend watching it. As for this specific season, if you do not have any others I suggest getting an earlier season, my personal favorite is season 2.
My reasoning for this is that by season 4, there seems to not be a story anymore, the plot of How I Met Your Mother is based around the goal of the main character, Ted, trying to find the love of his life. By season 4, there's many random episodes, with no part of them having anything to do with Ted searching for love. The same thing goes for season 5.
Other than that, have fun watching this show!