After two seasons of hinting at future greatness, How I Met Your Mother finally comes into its own in this third season set. Sure it’s been labeled as the new Friends, but other than the premise of following a bunch of good-looking New Yorkers as they shag their way through their 30s, the only other real similarity is that it’ll inevitably be held in a similarly high regard over the years to come. The truth is that How I Met Your Mother could potentially be, dare I say it, a better, funnier breed of US sitcom altogether – just as long as they roll with the times and not let certain elements of the show get stale.
Anyway, with regards to this set, we’re still following Ted as he relays the insanely long story of how, as the title suggests, he met his kids’ mum. Following on from the last season, he and Robin have split and he’s right back on the horse looking for Miss Right. Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily take the next step in their marriage and finally get their own place, while Barney comes up with new and inventive ways to bang his way through the female populace of Manhattan. Of course, that’s until the unthinkable happens and his antics see him fall out with Ted and fall in love with one of his conquests.
Featuring some truly brilliant episodes including Slapsgiving and Ten Sessions – the latter of which sees Ted trying to charm the pants of Sarah Elliot from Scrubs Chalke – Season 3 is hands down the most easily entertaining year for the programme yet. With Neil Patrick Harris cranking up a new dimension to Barney, it also proves to be the funniest. Nevertheless there are still a few minor quibbles. Ted is still an annoyingly smug and irritating lead character and the usually hilarious Jason Segel has yet to really flex his comic muscle as, gag-wise, he’s pushed to one side while Harris runs riot and swipes the show from everyone else. Still, it leaves room for improvement for future seasons.
As for the extras, all three discs are teeming with great stuff. Most episodes have got audio commentaries stuck to them, there’s music videos to “You Just Got Slapped” and “Sandcastles in the Sand”, a gag reel, deleted scenes, featurettes and a load of other top loot that make this one of the most well-fleshed out sitcom boxsets that have ever been released on DVD. All in all, it’s a superb set that’s good enough to make you start collecting the entire series.
Overall Verdict: A brilliantly funny and pivotal season for one of the best US sitcoms of recent years. Bolstered by some amazing extras, the box set is legen…wait for it…
Series Retrospective Featurette
Behind the Scenes of “We’re Not from Here” Featurette
Reviewer: Jordan Brown