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How I Met Your Mother: Season 6
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The more things change, the more things get interesting in this all-new hilarious season of How I Met Your Mother. Ted’s (Josh Radnor) search for “the one” continues while Marshall and Lily (Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan) hope to become parents, Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) makes an uproariously awkward attempt to find his real father, and Robin (Cobie Smulders) finally feels like a true New Yorker. Featuring epic guest stars like Katy Perry and Jorge Garcia as “The Blitz,” Season Six is filled with just plain awesomeness.
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Season 6 kicked off in the fall of 2010 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 6 features guest appearances from Marshall Manesh as Ranjit, Jennifer Morrison and Zoey, Chris Romano as Punchy, Nazanin Boniadi as Nora, Wayne Brady as James Stinson, John Lithgow as Jerry Whittaker, Robbie Amell as Scooby, Rachel Bilson as Cindy, Frances Conroy as Loretta Stinson, Michael Gross as Alfred Mosby, Alexis Denisof as Sandy Rivers, Jorge Garcia as Steve "The Blitz" Henry, Will Forte as Randy Wharmpess, Nicole Scherzinger as Jessica Glitter, Michael Trucco as Nick Podarutti, Ray Wise as Robin Scherbatsky, Sr., Danny Strong as Trey, Maury Povich as himself, Alan Thicke as himself, and Alex Trebek as himself.
SEASON 6: In Season 5, we actually got a little glimpse of Ted's future wife; the Season ended with Robin and Don breaking up, Marshal and Lily deciding to try for a baby, and Barney up to his usual antics. Season 6 continues with these story arcs and a new girlfriend for Ted.
Episode 1: "Big Days"--Following her breakup with Don, Robin is in a slump. Marshall and Lily start to feel the pressure of trying to have a baby; Ted lets us know where he meets his future wife.
Episode 2: "Cleaning House"--We learn more about Barney's past (and his father who apparently ISN'T Bob Barker) when the group helps his mom move out of her long-time home.
Episode 3: "Unfinished"--Ted's design for GNB's new building gets green-lighted; Robin makes drunk dials to Don.
Episode 4: "Subway Wars"--While trying to turn Robin into a `real New Yorker,' the gang gets savvy to a few of their biggest personal insecurities.
Episode 5: "Architect of Destruction"--Robin starts a rebound relationship with Marshall's friend, Max, which leads Marshall to paranoia about what secrets the girls share behind their men's backs. In order for GNB's new bank to be built, a vintage hotel must be demolished; Zoey tries to save the building, and despite his feelings for her, Ted proceeds with the destruction.
Episode 6: "Baby Talk"--Robin is annoyed by her new co-anchor, Becky, but becomes even further irritated by how many men find Becky's neediness attractive. Marshall and Lily argue over the gender of their not-yet-existent baby.
Episode 7: "Canning Randy"--Ted's battle with Zoey invades his classroom; Marshall `cans' Randy for being a useless employee, then has to suffer the guilt.
Episode 8: "Natural History"--When the gang attends a function at the Natural History Museum, Zoey blackmails Ted; Barney learns more about his own history.
Episode 9: "Glitter"--Barney unveils more about Robin Sparkles and her co-star, Jessica Glitter; Lily worries that having a baby might end her friendship with Robin. Ted agrees to be the best man at Punchy's wedding.
Episode 10: "Blitzgiving"--Ted feels betrayed when his friends party with Zoey, his mortal enemy, which ultimately leads to the destruction of Ted's oven. The gang is then forced to spend Thanksgiving at Zoey's; Ted begins to understand Zoey.
Episode 11: "The Mermaid Theory"--Now that he's developed a friendship with Zoey, Ted feels uneasy about spending time with a married woman. To rectify his guilt, Ted befriends her husband, Captain.
Episode 12: "False Positive"--Lily and Marshall realize how unprepared they are for parenthood when Lily gets a false positive on a pregnancy test; Robin takes a new job.
Episode 13: "Bad News"--A fertility specialist finds nothing wrong with Lily's ability to conceive which causes Marshall to fear that he is the culprit; Robin learns that her new job puts her back in the news room with Sandy Rivers.
Episode 14: "Last Words"--Everyone travels to Minnesota to attend Marvin Eriksen's funeral; when Marshall discovers an un-played voicemail from his dad, he hesitates to listen for fear that his dad's last words aren't ones he wants to remember.
Episode 15: "Oh Honey"--Since Marshall stayed behind in Minnesota, he's the perfect person to call to complain about Ted and Zoey. Ted, feeling guilty because Zoey is married, tries to pull away; Zoey, not wanting to face rejection, sets Ted up with her cousin yet prays for failure. Only Marshall's `outside-looking-in' perspective can set his friends straight.
Episode 16: "Desperation Day"--Marshall regresses back to childhood in Minnesota. When Ted stresses over matters with Zoey, he, too, is seduced by the care-free life of a Minnesota child. Because women don't want to be alone on Valentine's Day, Barney theorizes that February 13th is Desperation Day; even though he has a cache of desperate women, Barney picks just one as his valentine.
Episode 17: "Garbage Island"--Even though Ted is dating Zoey, he awkwardly ends up being Captain's confidant in the divorce. A documentary reignites Marshall's passion for environmentalism, leading him to feel guilty about his current job; Barney confesses his feelings for Nora.
Episode 18: "A Change of Heart"--Barney's feelings for Nora, as well as the group's expectations for Barney, are conflicted; everyone gets a cardiac evaluation.
Episode 19: "Legendaddy"--Barney's hopes for his long-lost dad are crushed by reality; jealous of his half-brother, Barney realizes he isn't ready to reconnect with Jerry.
Episode 20: "The Exploding Meatball Sub"--Zoey, Ted's arch-nemesis and girlfriend, finally gets a hearing that stands to prevent the construction of Ted's design for GNB. Marshall takes the leap into a new line of work, one that doesn't pay so well.
Episode 21: "Hopeless"--In an attempt to connect with Barney, Jerry tries to embody Barney's version of `dream dad,' but ultimately teaches Barney a lesson about life and family.
Episode 22: "The Perfect Cocktail"--Ted begins to understand why Zoey wants to save the Arcadian. When GNB ruins Marshall's chances at a new job, Marshall joins forces with Zoey to prevent the new office from being built; Barney feels Marshall has betrayed GNB.
Episode 23: "Landmarks"--The conflict between Barney and Zoey forces Ted to choose sides and sever ties.
Episode 24: "Challenge Accepted"--Lily gets sick from food poisoning, causing Marshall to race through a job interview before the plague gets him too; Barney gets a second chance with Nora, but is she the one he ends up marrying? As the Arcadian starts to crumble, Ted needs his friends to help him hold it all together.
The main story pits Ted against new nemesis/love interest Zoey Pierson, played by an adorably feisty Jennifer Morrison (House, Once Upon a Time). Zoey is trying to block construction of the GNB headquarters Ted's been rehired to design, so of course it's just a matter of time before the two fall for each other. The pairing originally irked some fans, who felt they were being strung along by a doomed relationship, but the arc works much better on repeated viewing: the two have great chemistry together, and their story mirrors the season's overall theme: "sometimes things have to fall apart to make way for better things."
Elsewhere, Marshall and Lily struggle to get pregnant, and Marshall suffers a brutal and unexpected loss which reverberates throughout the group. Robin finally leaves her 4AM morning show in pursuit of something better, while Barney finally makes contact with his long-absent father (played by John Lithgow). While it's typical for sitcom characters to evolve over time, this season of HIMYM makes it feel natural and not gimmicky.
Thankfully, the show hasn't run short of ambition after six seasons. "Subway Wars" is an outdoor epic that pays homage to both 24 and Annie Hall. "Bad News" features a subtle countdown via background props leading to a major event. "The Mermaid Theory" pokes fun at the show's narrative conceit, with Future Ted struggling to get characters straight. And unlike previous years, where guest spots often felt like awkward ratings grabs, turns by everyone from Kyle MacLachlan and Katy Perry to Ben Vereen feel spot on.
In terms of extras, there's the usual gag reel, deleted scenes, a featurette on "Subway Wars" and a "What We Know About Your Mother" clip reel. Sadly, only four of the 24 episodes have commentary tracks, which is a huge disappointment; it's usually a pleasure listening to the cast and show execs offer their views on various episodes, but they're in scarce supply here.
The DVD set for Season Six of HIMYM is subtitled "The New Is Always Better Edition," which is appropriate. More than previous years, this season feels like one coherent volume from a larger story, with a consistent theme of all the characters rebooting parts of their lives in some way. If you already own the first two seasons and have been away for a while, you'll probably find Season 6 to be a pleasant surprise.
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