Thursday, January 20, 2022

How I Met Your Father - Pilot

Spin-offs and sequels are tricky. One episode in, the How I Met Your Mother redux feels more like That 80s Show than Frasier, but I would guess Hulu will be willing to give the show as much time as possible to try and find a groove. The set-up of How I Met Your Father follows the same pattern with an older version of the main character (Kim Cattrall) relating stories about their past. In the case here, our lovelorn lead is New York photographer Sophie (Hilary Duff) who misses out on love yet again in the first episode while making some new friends. Like the original, the show teases an obvious answer to the unanswered question of the series, but still leaves the door open for plenty of movement on who Sophie may eventually end up with.

Unlike How I Met Your Mother, where all the characters knew each other and Robin was introduced to a pre-existing group, here Sophie's group and those of her Uber driver (thanks to some romcom meet-cute theatrics involving swapped phones) overlap creating a merged group of friends as the show's regulars. I another almost-too-cute tie-in, one of the characters just happens to live in the previous show's main apartment.

One of the unpleasant facts about sitcoms is the characters are usually not people you'd want to spend time with in real life. Think how awful a night with Friends would be? How I Met Your Mother was an exception to the rule. While I don't think you'd want to spend every day with them, a night out with Lily, Marshall, Ted, Robin, and yes even Barney, would likely be a good time. I didn't feel that same chemistry here in Christopher Lowell's pessimistic Uber driver, the bar owner (Suraj Sharma) trying to make a long-distance relationship work with his fiancé (Ashley Reyes), Francia Raisa and Tom Ainsley as Sophie's roommates, or the awkward Ellen (Tien Tran).

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