HIMYF as a show caters to the nostalgic fans of HIMYM. This is pretty obvious with how the characters are written and how their arcs seem to be unfolding in the series. People are already seeing Ted in Sophie, Robin in Jesse, and Barney in Charlie.
While the depiction of Sophie and Jesse’s relationship is so similar to that of Ted and Robin, I think it’s a conversation for another day. For now, let’s focus on Charlie, who might be a slightly different version of Barney Stinson.
Charlie is a much less toxic, chauvinistic, and questionable version of Barney. While Barney was funny, charming, and charismatic, his character was pretty problematic. While Charlie is more woke, he lacks the spark Barney brought to HIMYM.
Despite being one of the most popular sitcoms of all time, HIMYM has some aspects and characters that haven’t aged well. One such character is Barney Stinson.
When I watch Barney Stinson today, in different HIMYM episodes, I see a character that is sexist, possesses toxic masculinity, and has unresolved parental issues, which manifest in the way he lives his life.
While the character did make us laugh our hearts out, he came with more than a few questionable traits.
HIMYF tries to rectify this. The writers seem to be on a quest to recreate a ‘legendary’ character that has all the good qualities of Barney but none of his bad qualities. To accomplish this, they brought in Charlie.
Charlie resembles Barney Stinson in numerous ways and not in a subtle manner. A few simple instances that confirm this are his devil-may-care attitude, the playboy personality, the never-ending innuendos, and the list goes on.
In fact, in Episode 4, the show also tried to make ‘Trademark’ a catchphrase in the classic Barney Stinson style.
Charlie is much more relevant to the current times and culture. He is more mindful, less sexist, and has much lesser issues to sort in his head.
In a way, he’s more woke. While this might seem like an accomplishment, there is one fatal flaw with the character.
Charlie cannot make us laugh and doesn’t seem to have any memorable quality. Across four episodes, he just seems like any other ladies’ man.
While Barney had his issues, he did have a great sense of humor. Even today, a few of his punchlines crack me up. The non-problematic ones, of course.
Charlie seems to lack this quality, and I think the writers can’t find the right balance between making a character misogynistic and actually funny.
The only consolation is that we are still in Episode 4. So hopefully, we can see a better, funnier version of Charlie, who is indeed legendary and can make us laugh till our stomach hurts, just like Barney did.
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.