Posted: 10/02/2011

 

How I Met Your Mother: Season 6

(2010-2011)

by Jef Burnham



Now available on DVD and Blu-ray from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.


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New is always better in this season of How I Met Your Mother, or at least that’s what Barney Stinson tells us. For as much as things have changed for Ted Mosby and the gang, they sure seem to have stayed the same. Rejoining the gang for another 24 episodes in Ted’s tale of his quest to meet the woman he would some day marry is like reuniting with old friends. The characters have settled into their prescribed roles over the years, and they’re all primed for some significant emotional exploration.

Each character has their own personal throughline that adds immense warmth and emotionality to this season, even (and especially) Barney, who is usually relegated solely to comic story arcs. Ted continues to search for “the one” as GNB resumes their plans to build a new headquarters designed by him, Barney learns that Bob Barker is not his real father, Robin’s career shifts gears as she finds her footing as a New Yorker, and Marshall and Lily are trying to conceive their first child. Season 6 is far less episodic than the last season and perhaps even less so than the heavily structured fourth season. The storylines are simple and realistic, and the events of every episode take root in these storylines.

In this way, the writing here is better than ever. And the narrative structures of many of the episodes in Season 6 impressively amplify both the series’ comic and dramatic elements in some truly surprising ways. A short list of these cleverly structured episodes would include “The Mermaid Theory,” “False Positive,” and “Bad News,” which are in fact sequential episodes. Moreover, there are few of those episodes that so thoroughly populate previous seasons wherein we would suddenly learn at the outset of an episode a whole bunch of new information about characters that had never before been mentioned, seemingly for the sole sake of a few jokes. It’s refreshing to see the characters really take precedence at all points here. The season thus is extremely rewarding with a conclusion that wraps up just enough the characters’ storylines to perfectly satisfy, while leaving enough open-ended to propel us into the next season.

Appearing this season as Ted’s potential love interest-turned-enemy is Jennifer Morrison of House. John Lithgow, Kyle MacLachlan, Katy Perry, and Jorge Garcia (Lost). Special features include commentary on four episodes; the making of “Subway Wars” and behind the scenes of “Glitter;” deleted scenes; the obligatory gag reel; “What We Know About Your Mother,” which, like it sounds, relates all the information we’ve gleaned about Ted’s future wife throughout the course of the series; and an extended musical performance.

Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.



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