I am genuinely disappointed to report that I am not enjoying How I Met Your Father. After watching the first two episodes, I was excited for more. I knew it wouldn’t hold a candle to HIMYM, but it still had the potential to be a good show.
Then came Episodes 3 and 4 and that hope quickly went downhill. The jokes didn’t land, the characters felt hollow and you’re left wondering where the story is going.
For all the criticisms that HIMYF is going to suffer, I have few of my own. Regardless of whether or not the show will be renewed, here’s why it is futile to compare the spin-off with HIMYM.
It Has to Live up to HIMYM’s Legacy
As with every spinoff, HIMYF has a massive legacy to live up to, and boy is it always very difficult to. Especially when the internet is ripe with all sorts of opinions about how this spinoff should be.
HIMYM’s writing translated to guaranteed laughs on screen, which is what made it a success. We can also thank HIMYM for dozen-odd catchphrases that were used religiously for a decade.
But it wasn’t just comedy, it was also its relatability that took the show to another level.
Watching Ted, Robin, Lily, Marshall, and Barney in their winding 20s, still trying hard to navigate life, love, career, and everything in between, felt like sipping a warm cup of cocoa on a snowy day.
Forgive me for continuing the analogy, but in contrast, HIMYF seems like you’re settling for instant coffee. I wish the characters had any depth to offer, and right now, the only two who remotely made me twitch with emotion are Charles and Jesse (in that order).
It makes me wonder, had there been no HIMYM to compare it to, would I still think this poorly of HIMYF? The answer, sadly, is yes.
What “new” is HIMYF doing?
The other reason HIMYF may not be well-received is that viewers are tired of spinoffs, especially ones that seem to redo the same concept with just a minor tweak. It comes across as a lazy project as the mold has already been set.
The first two new things that you instantly spot in HIMYF are gender reversal and online dating. Yet we delve very little into any of those aspects. (Except for Sophie and her 87, urm, I mean 88 off-screen dates.)
The next thing I noticed is that people were quick to compare the characters as well: Is Jesse the new Robin, is Ian the new Tracy? (Valentina is definitely Barney and I’m not taking any other answers). So, it feels like these characters don’t have an identity of their own, which makes it even harder to connect with them.
It Is Not Yet Seasoned
Perhaps I am being too harsh, but I come from a place where I’m sincerely rooting for the show to be good.
So I will allow it to marinate in the excuse that we’ve only seen four episodes of HIMYF—iconic is not made in haste.
We’re yet to connect with the characters, get invested in their individual storylines, and in turn, take back nuggets of life lessons. After all, if there’s one thing that HIMYM has taught us, it’s the importance of the journey, not the destination.
Will How I Met Your Father ever be legendary? I’m still wait(ing) for it.
About How I Met Your Father
How I Met Your Father (HIMYF) is a spinoff series of the incredibly successful CBS show, How I Met Your Mother. The original show ran for nine seasons, from 2005 to 2014, quickly making its mark with a dedicated cult-like fanbase.
HIMYF was announced to start production in April 2021 with the Lizzy McGuire star Hilary Duff playing the lead called Sophie, narrating her journey to her children in the future.
The show’s flashbacks will start from Sophie and her close friends navigating love, life and struggles in the modern era of dating, paying bills and more, in 2021.
Created by writers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger of This Is Us fame and directed by the original show’s director, Pamela Fryman, the first season of HIMYF is revealed to have 10 episodes. No further details have yet been released.