The first season of How I Met Your Father has officially concluded on March 16, 2022. Fortunately, for the fans of the series, a second season for the How I Met Your Mother spin-off has been confirmed. Sophie and friends will continue their story with a supersized second season of 20 episodes, compared to the 10 that season one had.
Now that the freshman season of the comedy is done and dusted, I wanted to share my insights on the first season as a whole. I am issuing a MAJOR SPOILER WARNING right now. If you haven’t watched the last episode yet, you might want to turn away now and return later to read on. With all that out of the way, let’s get into it.
Before anything else, I want to set a precedent; How I Met Your Father is funny and is worth the watch. While multi-camera sitcoms are starting to die out in favor of single-camera comedies with higher production value, HIMYF still has its fair share of the mid to late 2000s, early 2010s charm.
The cast is exceptionally funny and likable, going as far as outshining lead actress Hilary Duff in some instances. The jokes are genuinely funny and sometimes crass. This could be attributed to not being on a leash of a TV network executive as the series is streaming on a platform like Hulu.
While the series is not game-changing or mind-blowing, by any means, the intrigue is enough to keep you going. The various callbacks to the show are truly a good reason for fans of the original series to watch. On the last episode of the season, we saw McLaren’s Pub once again. As well as the man behind the counter for over nine seasons Carl the Bartender.
While cameos are nothing new, since the ninth episode of the first season saw The Captain and Becky make appearances, fans were not ready for what’s to come. Cobie Smulders, Robin Scherbatsky herself, made a surprise appearance in the series!
Personally, this cemented the place of HIMYF in the lore of HIMYM. It felt like the creators of the show were behind this project. It’s just not a cash grab to profit off of the original series’ popularity. However, this blessing can also be a curse.
With some of the original cast members showing up on the series, it creates a lot of buzz for HIMYF. However, this could also be the thing that dooms them. As I established in my review of the first two episodes of the series, they need to do something different. Create their own identity to differentiate themselves from HIMYM.
While the cameos are phenomenal, this can’t be the event that sustains them. I loved that the new characters like Charlie and Valentina aren’t just a copy-paste job of Lily and Marshall. But, I noticed that the problems that plagued the original HIMYM cast were sprinkled across different characters in HIMYF.
Sophie gets freaked out by Jesse saying “I love you” on their first night together. This is reminiscent of when Ted did the same thing for Robin. Hannah and Sid shot-gunning a wedding because they couldn’t do long distance. A callback to how Lily and Marshall wanted to get married in Atlantic City. And, when Lily had an art fellowship in San Francisco that entail she’ll be apart from Marshall for months.
These are just some of the examples I noticed, but there are plenty more. The callbacks and similarities are a fun little “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” for long-time fans. However, when the novelty wears off, they won’t have anything to fall back on if the second season doesn’t do something drastically different to set these new characters apart.
How I Met Your Father is a good time, for fans and newcomers alike. With the second season confirmed, this is an opportunity for the creators to come up with something fresh. To ensure the series sees further seasons down the line. The first season laid down the foundation, and all the showrunner needs to do is run with it and make it great.
Spin-offs rarely ever succeed, but HIMYF has the potential to be great with the right ideas, as the showrunners are already blessed with such a talented cast.