Season Review: I have been a fan of How I Met Your Mother (from now on abbreviated HIMYM because I am a lazy typist) since it first debuted. Without giving too much away for those who haven’t seen it, HIMYM follows tells the story of Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) as an older man (Bob Saget) telling his children the tale of how he met their mother.
Thankfully for Ted, he is surrounded by some great friends. Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) is a womanizer, Robin (Cobie Smulders) is a career-driven newscaster, and Lily and Marshall (Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel) are the married couple that everyone wants to be. Ted might not always be the most interesting character, but luckily the people around him are almost always hilarious. Whether it is Barney’s “legendary” schemes to pick up chicks or the cute things about Lily and Marshall’s relationship that make people sick because of their cuteness but we all secretly want.
Season 7 is my favorite season of the last 3. There are some really great moments for fans of the show in this season and some hilarious new characters to get to know. I will admit now that the show has reached a point where it would be almost impossible for people who’ve never seen it to get in to it. There is so much shared history between these characters and fans of the show that I can see how certain episodes would lack emotional resonance for newcomers, but they will still find a fair-share of laughs along the way.
Sure the show has strayed a little from the original premise in the last few seasons, but I think this season is a great one to get the story a little back on track. We’re getting really close to knowing who the mother is, and that will be a great moment for the show, but I’m just glad we get to spend a little more time with these characters.
Commentary: There are 3 commentaries on the set, each one with different players. The first commentary involves the creators, the next a few writers, and the last Neil Patrick Harris and Becki Newton (his on-show girlfriend). My favorite of the 3 is the writer-narrated episode. Their narration is funny and insightful, I wish there was more of them.
Deleted Scenes: There are deleted scenes on each disc. It seems like there were about 15 minutes total. All of them were good even though you see why they got cut.
Gag Reel: There were a handful of scenes where the actors lose it. Not really much out of the ordinary here, but they always make me laugh.
How We Wrote/Make Your Mother: These are a few behind-the-scenes features talking about how they make the show and the origins of many of the story points.
Overall: This is a great season of a really great show. I’ll be sad when it’s gone, but I’m glad that it seems to be winding down a little bit before it runs out of steam. For any fan of the show this is a great season to own as there are many memorable episodes. If you haven’t seen this show I would recommend buying this, along with all the other seasons and stop talking to your friends for a few weeks until you catch up on this show.
Loosely based on a Michael J. Fox film, “Teen Wolf” is about a high schooler that gets turned into a werewolf and has to deal with the struggles of keeping up with a normal high school life while dealing with his beastly changes. His comical best friend, Stiles, is in on his secret and helps him deal. From here the MTV series departs from the cult classic comedy film and takes a darker, more dramatic turn. There’s frequent deaths and attacks in this town, which our werewolf hero, Scott, is worried he might be involved in during his blackouts. To make matters worse, Scott is in love with a girl whose family is from a long line of werewolf hunters. There’s also an alpha werewolf that is trying to recruit Scott to kill or kill Scott if he refuses. And a jealous jock is blackmailing him so that he can get a superpowered boost as well. This show is an MTV summer series and usually summer is where lesser shows are banished to, but that’s not the case with “Teen Wolf.” In “Teen Wolf” there’s plenty of mystery and dark romance, making it a brisk and engaging series to watch. With what they set up in the finale, Season 2 looks to be even more wild.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
As far as summer television programs go, “Teen Wolf,” is a high quality program and the quality from the original airings easily translates to DVD. Images are crisp, but with the abundance of night shots and dark settings, this is one better watched in a dark room to help make it easy to see all the features of the scenes — plus it helps add to the spooky ambiance of the story. Another note about video production is that the style of the show has a tendency to overly use a stark contrast effect to bring out fog and other atmospheric effects. It definitely works for the style of the show, but at times while some of the overly stylized video effects might look cool, it takes the viewers out of the realism that’s otherwise presented. There is a marked improvement as the season goes on in the video quality. Production got braver with camera angles and shots have more variety in the later portion of the season.
4 out of 5 Stars
Audio is a big part of “Teen Wolf” and some of the coolest features are the portions of the episode commentaries that talk about episode audio and music choice. As a MTV series, “Teen Wolf” has lots of music selections and you’ll easily find yourself downloading half the artists used. Many of the bands were up-and-coming indie acts, so this show did a great job discovering new music and finding the perfect scenes. Sound effects are also a big part of this show as they help build suspense…or even passion. From little branch snaps in the woods to a chilling scream, and of course, the werewolf howl, the highlighted sounds are all wisely picked. But what really earns “Teen Wolf” a perfect score on the audio quality is the use of silence. Some of the more poignant scenes are made all that more intense by the use of silence – no music, sound or dialogue. For example, on the season finale when everything’s a whirlwind, this is an effect that is used for the opening sequence. Paired with the slowed down motion of the characters, it makes for a cool sequence. And the scenes where the sound cuts off only to be shattered by a scream or a howl: chilling. Audio is one of the strongest suits of this series.
5 out of 5 Stars
Extended Finale Code Breaker: Extended finales are always tough – there’s a reason certain scenes and bits were cut. If you’re a diehard fan, this extension is just additional minutes with the show you love. The additions don’t really add anything, but they don’t really detract either.
Deleted, Alternate & Extended Scenes: There’s about 15-20 minutes of extra footage in this feature and it’s all a blast to watch. I like that text is often included with these to explain why they were cut or what was used instead. For example, this scene of Kate showing Allison a werewolf was recut to be more dramatic. In regards to the deleted scenes, most of these were cut for time’s sake and because they didn’t move the plot along. But I loved getting to watch them here because they were often little charming moments – an awkward car moment on an early Allison & Scott date, conversations with Stiles – these are great moments, so I’m glad they found a home. My only problem with this feature is that the DVD lumps all these clips into one video to play. I would have liked a menu item breaking them down to be played separately.
Gag Reel: This isn’t the most hilarious gag reel and is pretty forgettable. It’s nice to see the cast interacting and also to see that Dylan isn’t just playing the most comical character; he’s really that funny in life. But otherwise, the goofs are fairly bland and there’s a lot of laughing at farts.
Shirtless Montage: Forget a gag reel, this was one of the most hilarious features that I’ve ever seen included on a DVD. It’s a several minute feature of clips from the series with the various shirtless scenes (and there were a lot). It’s a bit ridiculous of a montage (ridiculous meaning ridiculously great), and they embrace the humor of this feature by pairing the first half with one of those cutesy old 50′s style movie songs. The ones always used for frolicking in the park type sequences with lots of little xylophone melodies.
Following the Pack: Meet the Cast of Teen Wolf: This a short feature and is nice to watch at least once. It reveals a bit about the casting and why these actors were picked for their parts. It also lets the actors say a bit about where they’d like to see their characters go in the next season. But the real reason I liked this feature is there were some behind-the-scenes clips thrown in that showed how some of the special effects were done. For example, Scott’s werewolf run was done by putting him in a hanging harness on a treadmill in front of a green screen. Who knew going wolfy was so complicated? I would have loved to have seen more behind-the-scenes and making the effects type of features included on this DVD.
Love Bites!: This is a feature all about the romance. Much like on the show, Dylan O’Brien’s a scene-stealer when he gets his interview on this feature and talks about the romances (or lack thereof) for his character in the first season.
Teen Wolf: Working the Red Carpet: This is worth watching once just to see the cast interacting, but it’s not the most relevant to the show. This is just a series of red carpet interviews talking to the cast about how they got ready for the carpet and what they’re wearing.
Behind-the-Scenes and Cast Commentaries on Select Episodes: These are probably the best features on the DVD (the shirtless montage is a close second). The cast commentaries are hilarious. The cast jokes around, tweets and chuckles about little goofs – “how’d he get his shirt on so fast? movie magic.” It’s also informative – Holland Roden does a good job keeping the boys on track with the commentary and she’ll give more of the ‘making of’ type of insight. She’s the info gal. They also do a great job answering frequently asked fan questions like where was Derek’s allegiance in this scene or what was so-and-so thinking here. Watching with the cast commentary is a lot like watching with your friends. The Behind-the-Scenes commentaries are with the producers are more technical. If you’re curious about why there was sound or silence in this scene or what’s going on with camera angles here, this is a great feature to listen to. The producers are also a bit more loose about dropping hints regarding Season 2 than anywhere else on the DVD.
4 out of 5 Stars
While MTV gets a bad rap for less-than-quality programs such as “Jersey Shore,” this is one of their redeeming moments. “Teen Wolf” is a story that’s easy to get lost in and it has plenty of twists that keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s worth watching just for the quips of Stiles, but it is also one of those few shows that pulls off the whole package of being dramatic, funny, romantic and scary. Some of the special features were a bit dull and forgettable, but commentaries were fun and informative and make the DVD purchase a good deal.
4 out of 5 Stars
Teen Wolf, Season 1 Trailer:
The new season airs June 3 on MTV, right after the MTV Movie Awards. Watch the Teen Wolf, Season 2 Trailer: