POP CULTURETVThe Bingeables: “How I Met Your Father”

I was once told that Tinder is, “nothing more than the new bar for today’s dating scene.”   More specifically, this was in a tipsy, 2019 rant from my girlfriend’s college roommate on modern love – still very much in a pre-pandemic world at the time. If dating in an Instagram-driven culture wasn’t messy enough, COVID-19 perhaps made it even messier. Most would agree that it’s easier than ever to find love online, yet it’s become...
Seth Woolcock2 years ago5399 min
http://www.jeawok.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/image_6483441-17.jpg

I was once told that Tinder is, “nothing more than the new bar for today’s dating scene.”  

More specifically, this was in a tipsy, 2019 rant from my girlfriend’s college roommate on modern love – still very much in a pre-pandemic world at the time. If dating in an Instagram-driven culture wasn’t messy enough, COVID-19 perhaps made it even messier.

Most would agree that it’s easier than ever to find love online, yet it’s become increasingly more difficult to trust the true character of who you’re talking to. It’s this reality that may turn off some potential viewers of Hulu’s original series, “How I Met Your Father”(“HIMYF”) before they even give it a fair shot.

Look, a lot has changed in the world since Ted Mosby, a New York City architect, and his charismatic group of friends captivated U.S. households from 2005 to 2014 on the award-winning sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother” (“HIMYM”). But that doesn’t mean modern-day and modern love still isn’t just as beautiful. 

I believe that “HIMYF” writers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger – best known for their work on NBC’s drama “This Is Us” – attempt to do just that in this spin-off series. once again set in the city that never sleeps.

The Cast: A Combination of Childhood Stars & New Faces

The series protagonist is once again a hopeless romantic. Only this time it is Sophie, a photographer who finds herself still struggling to break through as an artist after overcoming an unsteady home life as a kid.

Sophie is played by none other than Hillary Duff, who also serves as an executive producer for the show. Young millennials and old Gen Z’ers will likely recognize Duff for what was perhaps her last highly-recognized role, staring as Lizzy McGuire in Disney Channel’s self-titled TV series from 2001 to 2004.

Duff’s character can feel a bit awkward at times, but isn’t that all of us at times today? It’s this met with Sophie’s relatability of a character that allows her to shine. Like some of the best TV protagonists over the years (We’re talking on the tier of Mosby and Corey Matthews), she makes plenty of mistakes. But more times than not, she’s taking it stride for stride and learning from them.

She’s accompanied by fellow childhood star Josh Peck, who has since traded in his hijinks seen throughout Nickelodeon’s hit teen series, “Drake & Josh.” Truthfully, I’ve been a fan of Peck since “The Amanda Show” – an early-2000s sketch comedy show starring Amanda Bynes. I think he crushed it in the reprise of “Red Dawn” in 2012 and that he carries that same range to “HIMYF” as he plays a vice-principal of a New York elementary school and Sophie’s love interest.

Suraj Sharma, best known for his starring roles in “Life of Pi” and “Million Dollar Arm” is another notable member of the cast, playing the role of Sid, a softhearted doctor turned bar-owner, stuck in a long-distance relationship.

Chris Lowell plays Jessie, a musician recovering from a viral video of a proposal rejection, and Francia Raisa plays Valentina, a junior fashion designer that’s Sophie’s roommate and best friend. Audiences also meet Jessie’s sister Ellen, who recently relocated from her farm to the big city, played by comedian Tien Tran. And Tom Ainsley – who’s making his American TV show debut – plays Charlie, a naive transplant from London to the city, rounding out the cast

“HIMYF” Final Thoughts & Rating

Early criticism of the show, like many sitcoms, focused on the flatness of the characters in the first few episodes. But as season one progresses, each character reveals more about the complexities of themselves and their love lives.

Like “HIMYM,” there are some funny one-liners and analogies to contemporary pop culture… and there are also some not so funny one-liners and analogies to pop culture. But at the end of each episode, there is almost always a takeaway lesson. Often it’s discovering one of the many truths we must learn sometimes in our adult lives – like knowing when to apologize and being OK with cutting toxic people off.

The pilot episode is good enough, although not nearly as good as “HIMYM’s” which stands to have one of the highest-regarded TV pilots of all time, up there with “Cheers” and “Lost.” Episodes two, “FOMO” and episode three, “The Fixer” are two of the strongest all-around episodes. While the first half of episodes six, “Stacey” and seven, “Rivka Rebel” have a bit to be desired.

Though there are still two episodes remaining in season one of “HIMYF,” not too much could happen to change my stance and rating of the show.

If you’re willing to accept that it isn’t quite a “HIMYM”-level of a show (yet), along with one that’s geared towards 20 & 30-year-olds – it is more than worth the 22-25 minutes per episode. However, if you’re not a fan of today’s trends, modern love stories and former childhood stars, you may want to sit this one out.

Bingeability Rating: 7.6

 

Seth Woolcock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *