How I Met Your Father is a charming sequel to the generation-defining How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) that is very HIMYM without being too HIMYM. Figure out what I mean in this spoiler-free review below.
How I Met Your Father takes place in 2050 and is the story of Sophie (Kim Cattrall) telling her son the story of how she met his father. Sophie’s story takes place in modern-day 2022, with present Sophie (Hilary Duff), her best friend Valentina (Francia Raisa), Valentina’s paramour Charlie (Tom Ainsley), and new friends Sid (Suraj Sharma), Jesse (Chris Lowell), and Ellen (Tien Tran). The series navigates the numerous different relationships among the core cast, adulting, and culturally relatable situations.
How How I Met Your Father Compares to How I Met Your Mother
In many ways, How I Met Your Father is very much like How I Met Your Mother. It is impossible to avoid the comparisons and deny the similarities unless you haven’t seen or heard of HIMYM. This, however, is to the show’s benefit. How I Met Your Father is HIMYM without being too HIMYM. It is a charming and hilarious sequel series that is apt to modern culture. It is well on its way to blazing its own path and becoming more than a worthy sequel and becoming the next HIMYM akin to how HIMYM was the next Friends.
Comparing stories, How I Met Your Father is an expert at copying homework without making it obvious. Yes, there are undeniable exactnesses, like a proposal in the Pilot, but it is also definitely not the same proposal. To put it mathematically, if HIMYM is 2×3=6, How I Met Your Father is 6/3=2. It definitely looks the same, but it’s different and sort of opposite… what matters most is the math checks out and it all adds up to a funny and heartfelt series about the foibles of finding love.
The unavoidable comparisons, aside from the title and storied history of the sequel series coming to life, are undoubtedly due to Carter Bays and Craig Thomas serving as Executive Producers to the Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger created series. Two other versions of the series, titled How I Met Your Dad, fell through, with this third iteration finally coming to air next week on Tuesday, January 18, 2022. What I believe is defining ingredient that gives How I Met Your Father not only the ability to go to air, but the potential to be a hit series is Pamela Fryman, who is also an Executive Producer on the series.
It is near impossible to pinpoint who does what among the creators and executive producers. But the presence of Bays, Thomas, and Fryman is felt throughout the four episodes I was fortunate enough to experience. The earnest belief in love is resounding and a defining aspect of the series. It is hit pretty hard and fairly early in How I Met Your Father, but if the series is set to only have 10-episode seasons, the concepts hitting harder and sooner are to be expected. Long story short, How I Met Your Father is a good sequel that is the same but different in a good way.
How I Met Your Father Review: Challenge Accepted
Now that the comparisons are out of the way, time to try to cover the show as if there is no knowledge of the first series. How I Met Your Father aims to capture the modern dating and relationship scene, and does it well. The near futility of dating apps, yet the dire need for a good profile picture is an all too familiar topic that the series covers well while still remaining family-friendly. I believe what is key to the show pulling off the jokes, even some of the cornier ones, is its inherent dedication to the concept of true love.
Each of the characters, in their own situation, and own way, embody people looking for true love. Not necessarily shying away from “less fulfilling” opportunities, but all are on the path they believe will lead them to happily ever after. They are simultaneously looking for love as the economically proven worse adult generation. It is a hilariously futile situation that the show brings to life in an upbeat, but still accurate, fashion that allows the audience, and themselves, to laugh at their pain.
The cast, while still finding their footing, has great chemistry. The chemistry highlights the series strengths and helps overcome the weaker parts of the series. Individually, most of the cast hasn’t done much to stand out yet. They are good and work well together, but as of the first four episodes, there is no obvious star or standout character. Hilary Duff and Francia Raisa are the strongest of the cast, but the momentum is building and I believe the other characters will have their chances to shine by the end of the season.
Kim Cattrall is a bit of an enigma. She is simultaneously the best and worst part of How I Met Your Father. Cattrall delivers supreme confidence and elegance with master sass as 2050 Sophie, but she doesn’t quite align with Duff’s portrayal of 2022 Sophie. When she’s talking about sex and alcohol, it is perfect. But when she covers modern/millennial topics, her experiences of the situations do not feel genuine. For example, she makes a point about being so captivated by her date she didn’t look at her phone and it just doesn’t feel like an issue she has lived. When it’s something she knows, it is flawless and impactful, but when it’s not it is jarring.
How I Met Your Father, on top of being inexplicably chained to HIMYM, is also dealing with being a streaming show rather than a network one. This allows them more freedom and a bit less censorship. The series definitely plays with the weaker censorship, however it doesn’t embrace it. I believe this is one of the show’s biggest opportunities and will help the series define itself outside of HIMYM. At the moment, the show still feels like it’s trying to slip one past the network rather than going for something they could not even think of on a network.
How I Met Your Father is Legen-Wait For It…
How I Met Your Father is a new sitcom with the unenviable burden of a widely beloved predecessor whose shadow they have to step out of. As a huge fan of HIMYM, I am a bought-in fan of How I Met Your Father. The show is still figuring itself out, like the varying cadences of Cattral and Duff, Charlie/Sid/Ellen/Jesse not being as prominent and defined as Lily/Marshall/Robin, and the whole adjusting to streaming’s freedom thing. Not to mention not having NPH or a similarly iconic and outrageous character. But despite that, the series does a magnificent job continuing the heart of How I Met Your Mother and finding its own path to add to the legacy.
I guarantee by the end of the Pilot, most users will be hooked to watch more.
How I Met Your Father is a charming sitcom that hilariously, and light-heartedly, reflects the journey to find love in modern times. It wonderfully captures a widely varied cross-section of people of different cultures and backgrounds learning to live, laugh, and love. It toes the line of corny and comedy, more often than not landing on the comedy side. The series definitely wins when it matters and luckily only loses when it doesn’t. It is undoubtedly hampered by its predecessor, but just as assuredly on its way to reaching the same heights. Just going to have to… “Wait for it.”
My review of the first part of How I Met Your Father Season 1 gets a 3.5/5.
About How I Met Your Father
How I Met Your Father releases on Hulu on Tuesday, January 18, 2020. The series was created by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger as well as executive produced by them and Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, Pamela Fryman. The series stars Hilary Duff, Chris Lowell, Francia Raisa, Tom Ainsley, Tien Tran, Suraj Sharma, and Kim Cattrall. The series is produced by 20th Television and distributed by Disney Platform Distribution.
Are you excited for How I Met Your Father? Will you watch it at midnight or wait until you have time? Do you think slap bets will return? Let us know what you think in the comments below and be sure to share who you think the father is and all your other theories with us on Twitter.