‘How I Met Your Father’ Reimagines its predecessors narrative


Canva Image by Michael Pepper

Sophie and her group of friends walk across the Brooklyn bridge.

Hulu’s new spinoff “How I Met Your Father” gender swaps the main character to reimagine the premise of the successful CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” that originally aired from 2005-2014.
The gender swapping of the main character is the most obvious change between the two shows replacing the character of Ted Mosby played by Josh Radnor (“Hunters”) and the late Bob Saget (“Full House”) with Sophie played by Hillary Duff (“Lizzie McGuire”) and Kim Cattrall (“Sex and the City.”)
While there are plenty of shared plot points, the new show is developing its own voice and not just recreating the archetypes of the original characters or directly repeating plots.
For example, the pilots of both shows feature proposals between characters in the protagonist’s friend group with the original being between Ted’s established best friend and roommate Marshall played by Jason Segel (“Sex Tape”)and his longtime girlfriend Lily played by Alyson Hannigan (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”). The show then explores how this changes the dynamics of the friendship of the three.
In contrast, the proposal in “How I Met Your Father” features Sophie’s bartender and Uber driver Sid played by Suraj Sharma (“God Friended Me”)and his long-distance doctor girlfriend Hannah played by Ashley Reyes (“American Gods.”) This change in having the proposal happen in a new friend further from Sophie’s core relationships allows for it to be reintroduced to the plot when chosen rather than being a constant plot point whether wanted or not.
Further, the casts of the two shows couldn’t contrast more in terms of diversity with HIMYM having a cast that primarily consisted of white people, with people of color relegated to the background or as disposable love interests for Barney’s played by Neil Patrick Harris (“Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”) philandering adventures.
In the first episode of “How I Met Your Father,” Sophie experiences heartbreak as she matches with a man on tinder and hits it off with him thinking he may be “the one,” a concept that both Sophie and Ted’s characters express as part of their dating goals.
Sophie’s supporting cast is also full of people of color with some exceptions being Sophie’s version of Robin played by Cobie Smulders (“Avengers”), Jesse played by Christopher Lowell (“Glow”) and her early love interest Drew played by Josh Peck (“Drake & Josh”) being played by white actors.
This representation of people of color even extends to Sophie’s children, which viewers have yet to meet, leaving open the possibility that they could be mixed race and contrasting with Ted’s two white children seen in the pilot of “How I Met Your Mother.”
“How I Met Your Father” is a good sitcom that, if given the time to develop, has the acting and writing talent that leads me to believe this show could become as good or better than its originator. Thankfully, Hulu has already announced a second season.
New episodes are being released weekly to Hulu on Tuesdays.