Reviews

Musical Numbers and Neal Patrick Harris Help Save 'How I Met Your Mother: The Complete Season 5'

This season had great highs and unimpressive lows, with the formerly central Ted drifting into being usually a background character while Barney takes center stage.


How I Met Your Mother: The Complete Fifth Season

Distributor: Fox
Cast: Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segal, Neal Patrick Harris.
Release Date: 2010-09-21
Amazon

When a show has a character as dynamic and ridiculous as Barney Stinson, with an actor as strong as Neal Patrick Harris, it's hard not to give him more and more to do. Season five of How I Met Your Mother gives Harris the opportunity to show a great deal of range, including a full musical number in "Girls vs. Suits".

At the beginning of the season, Barney has hooked up with Robin in the coupling that had been in the cards for several seasons. The pair has great chemistry, leading each other to impressive degrees of craziness, as seen in "Duel Citizenship", where Robin goes on a Super-Canadian bender before deciding to become an US citizen (while keeping her Canadian citizenship, dontcha know.)

Season five also includes a great deal of self-referentiality, with sequel episodes like "Slapsgiving 2: Return of the Slap" and onesthat draw on a great deal of previous continuity, like "The Wedding Bride", which takes a tweaked telling of Ted's relationship with Stella and turns it into the most beloved romantic comedy movie, ever.

Sadly, the show's momentum and purpose (finding the mother of Ted's children) strays throughout most of this season, only occasionally showing Ted moving forward on his quest to find true love. Episodes like "The Window" and "Girls Vs. Suits" do add to Ted's story, but this season really shows the cast and crew taking their sweet time getting to the ending, which has seemed close for years now.

The real highlight of the season is Girls vs. Suits, which included a full-cast musical number starring Neal Patrick Harris as he sings the praises of his eternal friends and wearable wingmen -- his suits. Harris is in his finest form, and the season might be worth it for that episode alone.

This DVD set includes a strong helping of extras, from cast/creator commentaries which focus on the individual episodes as well as how they fit into the overall mythology of the show. The real gems are the videos, from "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit" to Ted's "Super Date" and Marshall's "Best Night Ever", and the making-of-featurettes. There is a series review for newcomers and casual viewers as well as the customary blooper reel.

6

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image