SPOILERS alert...especially IF you haven't seen the first season.
So this is Season 2 of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, and, thank the almighty chewtoy, they haven't let up on the funny. For me, the first season snuck up, although it didn't take too long before it became my current top sitcom. What sold me was the combination of great character dynamics, the off-beat, sometimes snarky humor, and that whiff of romance (that dude Ted can carry a hell of a torch). This gang were folks I could relate to - yes, even Barney, the unapologetically self-absorbed misogynist who still somehow wormed into my good graces. And, actually, even Barney came thru for his buds when the chips were down.
The premise of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER states that Ted, sometime in the future, will meet the woman of his dreams. In Season 2 Bob Saget returns to reprise his voice-over role of future Ted as he persists in regaling his kids with the convoluted story of how he met their mother. What the show tantalizingly fails to reveal is the mom's identity, and the how and the when. And Season 2 keeps us in suspense. Starting with last season's finale and leading into the Season 2 opener, things have changed some. Lily and likable goof Marshall are no longer engaged, and Marshall is extremely resentful. But Ted and Robin are now an item. Barney, though, is still a raging womanizer. This status quo would remain for several episodes. The show makes no bones about Robin not being the mother of future Ted's kids, so, it was a fun yet bittersweet time watching Robin and Ted go thru the ups and downs of their romance.
In a very good sophomore season, most of the episodes are solid and several sparkle. "Slap Bet" (my favorite, and, it seems, everyone else's) dredges up something embarassing from Robin's past, as well as introduces a wagering system paid up in vicious slaps. "Ted Mosby, Architect" focuses on Robin's disdain for Ted's vocational small talk and on Barney handing Ted a great pick-up line, which he then runs away with. In "Swarley" Barney, to his dismay, is saddled with a nickname (for [[ASIN:B0000AQS0F Firefly - The Complete Series]] fans, Morena Baccarin guest stars as Marshall's crazy-eyed date). Finally, "Showdown" has Barney competing in The Price Is Right and meeting his dad, Bob Barker.
Pretty good special features here: The gag reel is definitely worth checking out; there's the 17-minute-long "How We Make Your Mother" segment in which key scenes are shown in read thrus, in rehearsal, and, finally, in the actual shooting (this one showcases a truly awesome moment for two of the extras); commentaries on 7 episodes ("Where Were We," "Swarley," "Slap Bet," "Single Stamina," "Arrivederci Fiero," "Bachelor Party," and "Showdown"); additional scenes for "Moving Day" (more of Barney's Top Ten list, hilarious!), "Showdown" (Barney's Best Man speech), and "Bachelor Party" (extra footage of the adult entertainer, but it's not all that); the wonderfully cheesy Robin Sparkles video in its entirety; and the weird "Hey Beautiful" video, which contains the show's hummable theme tune (I say "weird" because the video borrows clips from the show and then superimposes lips singing the song lyrics over the mouths of the show's characters).
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER is a well-constructed show and effortlessly navigates a spectrum of tones, from madcap to poignant, from romantic to subversive. The likable cast maintains its comfy chemistry, although the go-to guy for laughs remains the pitch perfect Neil Patrick Harris and his outrageously weasely character Barney. If nothing else, Barney's certainly introduced into the sitcom lexicon phrases such as "Suit up" and "Awesome!" Oh, and one more. With some help from Wayne Brady and a cameo by former Dallas Cowboy running back Emmett Smith, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER Season 2 is funny and warm and unpredictable, not to mention, simply legen - wait for it! - dary.