“How I Med Your Father” (on Hulu) is made by the same people who made “How I Med Your Mother,” and it shows, but not in a good way. It is true that the show is only in its first season, and it will need to be given a bit more time to find its footing, but the entire first season relied far too much on its parent series for me to give the forthcoming second season a chance.
Let’s take a look at some of the beats that were pretty much lifted directly from “How I Met Your Mother,” and the things that you would have to have watched “How I Met Your Mother” to even understand:
- The entire show is framed as a story that a parent tells their kid(s). The only difference in this one is that the camera is focused on the parent who is telling story, instead of the kids.
- The show starts off with a marriage proposal, and the entire first episode revolves around this event.
- There are two characters who the writers are pushing together the entire season (only to break them up pretty much as soon as they get together), and the audience is supposed to want the two of them to be together.
- A big event happens at the end of the season, one person finds out about the breakup, but it is supposed to be hidden from the rest of the group.
- One character is adamant about not wanting kids, and this fact breaks up another couple.
- The gang all hangs out at a bar (to the point where you wonder if they go anywhere else).
- Two of the characters live in the apartment that Marshall, Lilly, and Ted lived in for the majority of “How I Met Your Mother,” and their swords are still on the wall (there is even a referance to how the swords ate the exact ones that belonged to Marshall and Ted).
- Becky and the Captain keep popping up during the season. Both “boats, boats, boats” and “The Pineapple Incident” are referenced.
- MacLeren’s Pub makes an appearance in the season finale and a long, significant shot is given to the booth that the gang from “How I Met Your Mother” would always sit.
- Robin and Carl the Bartender both make appearances in the season finale. Without having seen the original, you would not know who either of these characters are, or understand the references that are made to and by Robin (like talking about how Ted told her he loved her on their first date).
If the writers had attempted to do something a bit different with this show, instead of making it feel as though they were covering the same old ground, “How I Met Your Father” would have felt much more entertaining. As it is, it comes across as just being the same old story in a slightly different wrapping. The shows are far too similar to each other at this point for me not to think that “How I Met Your Father” is not going to end in the same way that “How I Met Your Mother” did: in disaster.
One could hope that the writers and showrunners learned from how poorly received the series finale of “How I Met Your Mother” for “How I Met Your Father” to end the same way, but if they have already started off the show leaning too heavily into the things that happened on the previous show, there might not be much hope.