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An Honest Review of “How I Met your Father” from a “How I Met Your Mother” Fan

How I Met Your Father is a stand-alone spin-off of one of the best sitcoms of all time, How I Met Your Mother. 

How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM), aired in 2005 and lasted nine iconic seasons, follows the main character Ted Mosby and his group of friends, Marshal, Lily and Barney in New York City’s Manhattan. The show starts in the year 2030 where an older Ted Mosby is telling his two children the story of how he met their mother. Seeing the events that take place from September 2005 to May 2013, Ted navigates the ups and downs of life, the comradery of pals, the joys of adulthood, love life, life changes and personal growth. 

This epic and hilarious comedy set a high bar in the sitcom world and has many famous one-liners like, “Suit up!” and “Haaaave you met Ted?” The cast includes much talent, starring Josh Radnor, Jason Segal, Alyson Hannigan, Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders. 

Creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays drew on their life experience to craft the characters and storyline for this series. The bar where you can find Ted and his friends always hanging out in, MacLaren’s, is based on a bar in NYC called McGee’s. This uses quick transitions, incorporates flashbacks and runs a laugh track, despite only being filmed in front of a live audience in the later seasons.

This show gained a cult following for its endearing and brilliant story-writing and character development, so when Hulu announced a new sitcom inspired by HIMYM set to air mid-January, it was no surprise the amount of skepticism it got. It’s impossible to recreate a classic!

Isaac Aptaker (who is also an executive producer on This is Us) and Elizabeth Berger with help of fellow executive producers Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, and Pamela Fryman, wrote How I Met Your Father, featuring prominent and beloved childhood actor for many millennials, Hilary Duff. The creators wanted to take a fresh and new approach.

Similar to the show that inspired it, How I Met Your Father is centered around a young group of friends navigating life, and most obviously, navigating dating in 2022. This show also has various call backs to the original HIMYM with the opening scene showing an older woman in the near future telling her son the eventual tale of how she met his father. 

Now, here’s my review. After binging How I Met Your Mother about a year ago, I was really excited to see one of my favorite childhood actresses Hilary Duff (who starred most memorably in Lizzie Maguire and A Cinderella Story) take the place of one of my favorite TV characters of all time, Ted Mosby. While I enjoyed the callbacks of the original’s theme song and seeing Marshal and Ted’s apartment, it lacked the same cohesive vibe between characters that How I Met Your Mother executed so perfectly. I enjoyed watching the first episode, while the second was okay. I continued watching because though not anything like HIMYM, HIMYF still captures the fun and quirky qualities of any modern sitcom. 

So, watch How I Met Your Father, but don’t expect it to be like the original. If anything, watch How I Met Your Mother again.

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