How I Met Your Father is Different from the Original, and that’s OK

How I Met Your Father 1

After two other failed attempts to release spinoffs of How I Met Your Father, Hulu has finally done it by releasing How I Met Your Father. The original ran from 2005 through 2014 and despite a disappointing final season, was a solid show with an intriguing storyline of telling how he met his kids’ mother.

This original storyline and the new one have the older version of the main character narrating the story. Watching the previous show in its entirety was enough to make me curious about this new offering.

Just two episodes of How I Met Your Father have been released so far and the feedback is not stellar. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes have rated the new show, starring Hillary Duff in the main role, at just 33 percent. The average audience score is quite a bit higher at 63 percent, so it seems that fans of the original show are a little warmer on it. We still have eight more episodes to go in this season, so there will be plenty more to judge as Hulu will be releasing one new episode per week.

There are some throwbacks to the original show and some new things that are worthwhile even this far into the experiment.

The familiar apartment

They have already connected the original to this new series through Marshall and Lily’s apartment. It even still has the famous swords from one of the most iconic original episodes where Marshall accidentally stabs Lily during a sword fight with Ted. Seeing the same apartment is a neat way to connect these groups of characters. They make it simple instead of having characters from the old show come in.

The gender flip, but same ideals

In the original, Ted was the hopeless romantic who was always seeking out love. Here we have Sophie, who is doing the exact same thing. She has similar personality traits, putting love up on a pedestal while also being super sentimental, just like Ted.

I also like that we get to see the older version of her in Kim Cattrall as she is narrating the story. Bob Saget is great as older Ted, and it makes sense to keep him off-camera. It’s interesting to see the new show go in a different direction with this. The addition of Hilary Duff adds a celebrity that many millennials know from their childhoods, which makes this all the more interesting to see her now as a grownup.

How I Met Your Father Duff

Is it actually funny though?

Here’s the big problem with the show: it isn’t all that funny — at least so far. I’m okay with this though because really, the original wasn’t all that funny either. In the first two episodes, attempts at humor have been mostly putting the guys into embarrassing situations like strutting around an apartment naked without realizing his girl’s roommate came back, a publicly rejected proposal, and not realizing that a group invitation out wasn’t a setup/date.

While some of these were mildly amusing, they weren’t hugely funny. The show seems to be heading into a similar direction as the original by putting the characters into uncomfortable situations and seeing how they get themselves out. While this could be funny, the reactions and acting don’t quite get there yet.

How I Met Your Father 2

Given the combination of the younger characters, although the majority of the actors are in their 30’s, along with the connection to the original show, the new offering attempts to appeal to a larger demographic: people in their 20’s, like the characters, and people who watched the original show, who are in their 30’s and early 40’s. Time will tell if the jokes will land better with all of the intended audience.

We already know the father is someone we already saw

For me, this is the biggest plot point surpasses the original. In the original series, we had no idea who the mother was going to end up being and worse of all, she wasn’t introduced until the end. This series let us know that the father is already someone who showed up, which helps narrow things down.

In the original, we are only introduced to the mother at the very end before she is just killed off. I like that we already have some idea of who the father could be. This idea helps add some additional interest to the mystery, and I’m all-in on seeing how the final answer is revealed. This premise also gives me hope that the ending won’t make people nearly as mad as the original did.

Despite some mixed reviews, How I Met Your Father does give all of us How I Met Your Mother fans something new(ish) to watch. Only time will tell if it remains enjoyable. It is encouraging that the concept of a spinoff finally got off the ground.

If you are looking for more new shows coming out in 2022, check out this article.

Kristen Winiarski

Kristen N. Winiarski is a freelance writer with a passion for classic movies, fantasy, and history. She sneaks in writing whenever her kids are distracted. She excels in writing about movies, motherhood, the paranormal, and history.