New on DVD
DVD Review: 'How I Met Your Mother: Season One'
Cast at ease with itself in one of TV's better comedies
That is undoubtedly a good thing when it comes to making a sitcom. It's not always the greatest asset, though, when it comes to doing DVD commentaries.
There are times on the commentaries featuring the full cast (three of the six episodes with alternate tracks) where the group trades inside jokes or simply laughs along with the jokes on screen. Really, though, that's a small complaint.
They're hardly the first group to fall into that trap, after all, and there's some insight mixed in as well (in the season finale's commentary, for instance, Neil Patrick Harris talks about how uncomfortable he was making out on-camera with guest star Amy Acker; the two are good friends offscreen). The other three commentaries, featuring creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and executive producer-director Pamela Fryman, offer some interesting tidbits about the show.
In "The Pineapple Incident," for example, Bays and Thomas recall an extensive debate over whether the fruit in question should first be glimpsed in bed with Ted (Josh Radnor) and the mystery girl next to him -- implying then that the pineapple had been used inappropriately -- or on the nightstand, where it ultimately ended up. And even if you don't listen to the commentary track on "Drumroll, Please," take Fryman's word to watch Jason Segel eat cake in the background at the beginning of the episode. It pays off later.
The best feature of the DVD set is, of course, the show itself: "How I Met Your Mother" is one of the funnier comedies on TV at the moment, and it plays with the traditional multi-camera format by frequently jumping back and forth through time within an episode. Watching the episodes back-to-back, it's also clear that Bays and Thomas had a pretty good handle on the show from the start, allowing them to avoid some of the romantic-comedy pitfalls that have tripped so many other shows.
The lone featurette, "Video Yearbook," is pretty good for its kind. Bays and Thomas discuss their idea for the show and how it came together, and the cast is effusive with their praise for one another. A gag reel is worth it too for a series of shots of Segel making eyes and nodding at the camera -- and the camera nodding back.
EXTRAS:Commentary on six episodes; "Video Yearbook" featurette; "Happy Hour" blooper reel; "First Round" and "Last Call" clip packages.