Finally after 8 years of How I Met Your Mother, we are in the penultimate season, and the final stretch is upon us.
There are two main themes throughout Season 8, the 1st is Ted's seemingly destined loneliness. The second is the growing relationship between Barney and Robin. People not on board with the Barney/Robin relationship will more than likely dislike this season, as it takes front and center, focusing on these characters more than ever, while shortchanging characters like Marshall and Lily.
Where Season 7 left off, Victoria has run away from her wedding to be with Ted (clearly mirroring the Ted/Stella situation.) Barney proposed and is now engaged to his stripper girlfriend, Quinn. Marshall and Lily have finally become proud parents, and Robin is in a relationship with a guy named Nick. Well Season 8 continues with that...and then ditches almost all of it after 5 episodes.
Since season 9 was not announced at the time due to Jason Segel's reluctance to take part, It's apparent that the creators thought early on that 8 could be the final season, as the left overs from 7 (Victoria, Quinn and Nick) are all discarded early on. The way the writers handled Victoria in particular really bothered me, even though I knew it wasn't long for the world, I've always been a fan of her relationship with Ted, she seemed practically perfect for him. Of course they weren't gonna end up together, so to come up with a reason for him to break up with her, they do a complete 360, and butcher her character. I would have preferred her to stay gone and be the "one who got away."
Season 8 for me is a mixed bag. It delivers some of the best episodes in the entire series, among them being "Farhampton" where we learn another crucial tidbit about the Mother. The 2 part "The Final Page" is the best example, the episode details Barney's final "play" from his playbook called "The Robin." It's quite heartwarming, and extremely well executed.
An example of S8 at it's lows, is "P.S. I Love You." I'm not saying that it's a bad episode, but it sees the return of the Robin Sparkles gimmick which I know a lot of people love, but it's something the writers have came back to on 5 or 6 different occasions now, it just feels tired at this point, something that started out hilarious is now just plain tedious to me. The Robin Sparkles gimmick in a nutshell, is what's wrong with Season 8. The writers rely on old gags and rehash plot lines from the past that should stay buried, like the completely stale Ted/Robin relationship, which for some reason, the writers just can't stay away from.
The Season ends with one of the series best episodes, "Something New", setting up the endgame and leaving us with a long awaited cliff hanger that fans have been wanting for 8 years to happen. It will no doubt make you anticipate the final season that much more!
The best thing about How I Met Your Mother, in my opinion, has always been the chemistry between the core 5. It's no different here. It's just amazing how well this cast plays off each other...I truly think the cast is the shining star of How I Met Your Mother and is what sets it apart from other sitcoms out there.
- The chemistry between the cast remains top notch.
- Barney + Robin.
- Great cliffhanger for season 9.
- Some of the best episodes in the entire series.
- Treatment of characters like Quinn and Victoria.
- Marshall and Lily are relegated to irrelevant a lot of the time.
- The Ted/Robin relationship rehash is killing me.
- Robin Sparkles...again.
Video and Audio
The 1.78:1 remains the same quality that we have come to expect from past releases. It looks very sharp and is quite crisp.
The English 5.1 is suitable and gets the job done here. The dialogue is audible and clean, and there are no distortions to mention.
Also comes with English, French and Spanish subtitles.
How I Met Your Mother has always been solid in terms of extra's. Season 8 is no different.
- Deleted Scenes.
- Gag reel.
- Commentary on episodes "Farhampton" and "The Final Page"
- The making of "P.S. I Love You"
- Robin Sparkles "P.S. I Love You" music video
- Set Tour with Josh Radnor.
Season 8 delivers yet another solid outing for How I Met Your Mother that will no doubt make you excited for season 9. Thankfully, even this long into the shows run, it is able to have a consistent quality that keeps me watching, even at it's lows, it's entertaining as hell. Faults and all, I enjoyed this season from beginning to end. Recommended.