I want to talk about a TV show that means an awful lot to me, and that’s “How I Met Your Mother”. So this aired for nine seasons, and it was the story of Ted looking for his his soulmate, THE ONE. Over the course of the show, we got to meet Marshall, Lily, Barney, Robin, and of course Ted. The stories were great and kept us going for nine years. I love that show, It means an awful lot to me, and I watch it all the time still to this day on Hulu.
Well, Hulu decided to come out with it’s not really a spin off, right? Because a spin off would have characters from the original show somehow interlooped into the new show. But that’s not what they did. This is more of a reimagining of the story, a borrowing of the title, and a few key elements in the Hilary Duff Led version called “How I Met Your Father”. So I don’t know if you guys are like me, fans of HIMYM and struggling with HIMYF, but there are five things that I think that this show needs to fix in order for us HIMYM fans to buy into this new show a little bit. Here’s five things that I think the writers, the directors, the producers, showrunners or anybody who’s in charge over at Hulu should do to fix HIMYF.
The apartment is iconic to the original show, HIMYM. In almost every episode, it has such a central part to the story. But through the episodes of HIMYF, we’ve barely seen the apartment, it’s more of cameo than a staple. So when we do see it – and I realize that over the years there’s going to be changes. Even in our own real life homes we paint the walls, we change doors and door knobs – the status of the apartment in HIMYF, kind of loses its luster. The apartment needs to be used more in the episodes, at least at some point of the story. If you’re going to use the nameplate similarities and show cameo’s of the original cast, then the apartment that main characters live in needs to be more of a focal point, like how it was in HIMYM.
The writing. Throughout the series, there’s some really poor writing going on here. I feel like instead of writing for the joke, they wrote for the laugh track. There’s a pretty big difference there. You see, in HIMYM, they wrote for the joke and they expected the actors to hold the joke, carry the joke and execute it. In HIMYF, it just doesn’t feel quite the same. It’s more of, here’s the joke, and don’t worry, we’re going to put a laugh track in and spots that are clearly not funny and spots that are clearly not entertaining. So instead of executing for the joke, they’re just going for the laugh track. In order for this show to survive, in order for it to stand on its own, it’s going to have to improve on the writing. And due to the writing, there’s no emotional tie in to any of the characters either. There’s no reason for us to believe that any of them have a sense of humor or something that’s going to get us to invest in the show and continue watching it into future seasons.
Hilary Duff. Since we’ve talked about writing, this pairs really very closely on the back of that. Truth be told, I’ve never really been a big fan of Hilary Duff to begin with. Of course, when she was younger, she was Lizzie McGuire, and she’s tried to do a lot of different roles to separate herself from that role as she’s grown up. And I’m certainly not holding Lizzie McGuire against her … but in a way, I kind of am. Because the acting that I see in HIMYF is made for a Nickelodeon show, not this show. I don’t find her Hillary Duff’s character to be a very believable character, honestly kinda … blah. There’s not really another way to put it. She doesn’t seem able to carry the weight of being the title holder of the show. I see her as more of a supporting character. But from what I can see, in this instance, in this show, in this setting, Hilary Duff is not the person that should be running as the main character of the show.
This show is desperately lacking a Barney Stinson type character. To be fair, HIMYM’s Barney Stinson could be off putting at times because of his sense of morality, the way he approached women, the way he did certain things. But I found an excellent article about this very topic written by Decider. So if you go to Decider.com, it’s called How I Met Your Father needs a Barney. In one of the paragraphs, it says, talking about Barney Stinson, “he was vulgar, sexist and problematic, sure. But he was also instantly funny, disarmingly, charming and embody. The unearned confidence this show exhibited from the pilot on Barney being Barney gave How I Met Your Mother the runway it needed to find its own voice. The comedy could fumble with plots and characters, but the audience would keep watching to see what would come out of this cartoon character’s mouth”. Decider is 100% right – spot on. We need a Barney, and there’s clearly not a Barney in this show. Someone, somewhere has to be the comedy. In every comedy, one character has to be the person where you look to to hold the joke and run the joke. For HIMYM, that was Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson. Sure, Ted had his moments and Marshall had his moments, and even Lily and Robin had their moments in the show where they were the joke runners. That’s sorley missing in HIMYF. They need to find their Barney.
I’m not quite sure that fixing those four things is enough, and this is kind of a cop out. I understand that because I’m also trying to not be biased about a show that is in namesake, a tie in to my favorite one of my favorite shows of all time, probably my favorite TV show of all time, right next to The Office. I think they’re like 1A or 1B, depending on the day, you know? So, if I a show came in and it was called Not The Office or The Paper Mill, I would have had a problem with that. I would be biased to it coming in. They’re wanting us to believe that this show here is the same thing or at least something very similar, and so far, it’s very not. It actually turned out to be quite a disappointment. I kept watching because I was hoping that in one of those episodes, Hilary Duff was going to prove me wrong. I was hoping that a Barney type character was going to emerge. I was hoping that they werr going to use The Apartment more and make it more of the look like The Apartment that we all know and love from HIMYM. And I was really, really hoping that the writing was going to improve, because all those four things are all one big thing. One major problem as to why HIMYF really dropped the ball in season 1. So instead, if you’re as tired as I was , go to Hulu and watch How I Met Your Mother. Go back and watch the show that made us all laugh, smile and sometimes even cry over nine seasons. Go back and watch how Ted chased Robin to meet his wife, to lose his wife in death to chase Robin again.
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