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The gang is back (and they're always great), but it's just not the same without a high-def presentation....
Fox / 523 Minutes / 2011-2012 / Unrated / Street Date: October 2, 2012
Watching How I Met Your Mother - even late in the game on this Complete Season 7 TV-on-DVD set - makes it feel like the sitcom isn't dead after all. Of course it is (HIMYM is one of the very few survivors), but there's such a verve, a cheeky thrill to the way these episodes unfold that makes it seem like laugh-track-fueled narratives still contain the hilarious, zooming fun they once did.
And this set doesn't even showcase the series at its most finessed. Our five major protagonists - Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan, and Jason Segel - still sit around and discuss the minutiae of each other's lives to a fault, and HIMYM spins off on tangents five or ten times an episode, but that where will it go next? feel is what affords the show its off-the-cuff delirium. Some of these episodes aren't sturdy, but even unconvincing installments of How I Met Your Mother strike gold at least a couple times.
The question with a set like this one, though, is value. If you enjoyed this season while watching these episodes on an HDTV DVR, these standard-def presentations will be a distinct step down. It's not enough to completely ruin the effect of the show, but it proves that high-def is just a better way of life. And the fact that earlier seasons were in fact released on Blu-ray, but this new edition isn't feels like salt in the wound.