I’d say it’s difficult to do a sequel/reboot but from what I understand Fuller House is fine, Girl Meets World was lauded, Will & Grace was… renewed and Roseanne led to The Connors.
For what it’s worth I haven’t watched any of these shows (the originals or their sequels) so I don’t know. It’s just worth mentioning that some shows have done it and spoken to their audience.
I liked How I Met Your Mother a fair amount. I feel about it the way I feel about seasons 6-11 of Cheers. I don’t hold HIMYM on a pedestal the way I might Friends or the first 4 seasons of Modern Family — which were perfect.
But so far HIMYF feels unstuck in time..
For instance, remember when The Incredibles 2 came out and the biggest “controversy” was “it takes place immediately after the first movie, which was 14 years ago, like nothing ever even happened!” This is like that… only it matters.
Things that were bad:
2050 reminiscing about 2022 like it’s 1995.
There’s so much to unpack here, but I’m just at a loss as to how any of this got past the editing room. In the immortal words of Chandler, “What did you throw away?”
To start with, there’s a failed proposal video that went viral in 2021 (presumably). And, you know, rather than dangle that potentially comedic gem until season 3 or 4 or 5 (like a HIMYM pineapple), they show the video. The video includes a guest appearance from Leighton Meester on stage saying, “oh no” and then the guy falls off the stage.
Just to be clear, this wouldn’t go viral. The only way this goes viral is if it’s 2005 and YouTube just launched, making it the only thing to watch. It’s a missed opportunity for a future payoff and clearly written by someone who’s never watched a TikTok.
This out-of-time continues with the group’s visit to JFK which exists in a universe where 9/11 never happened, cus everyone moseys up to the gate. They don’t even go through the rigamarole of buying an overpriced, last minute ticket, or going through security — imagine how the British (fish-out-of-water) character would react to that. Instead, they just show up at the gate. It’s weird.
It’s also weird when Jesse, the friend, videos Sid’s proposal on an iPad. Visually, it’s probably a better prop than a phone… but unless the bar is lined with tablets (like an airport bar), no one would hold up an iPad to video a once in a lifetime moment. They’d use their phone, only a dad in 2010 would want to film a proposal on his brand new iPad.
Now forgive me as I jump ahead to Episode 2 real quick as I’m currently 2 minutes in but they have Sophie and her roommate watching Jane Fonda workout videos (from the 80s). Shortly after, they make a joke about Sophie’s comfort song from 2001. Then, they have to explain what FOMO is. This doesn’t feel like it’s written for the younger audience, nor those that grew up with HIMYM. You don’t need to explain these things to us. This unnecessary nostalgia feels like it’s written by someone in their 50s whose been living under a rock for 22 years.
Some Nice Things:
It’s clever to refurnish the old apartment. Much like Friends the set in HIMYM is a staple — a character in its own right. And they made the right choice by rearranging the furniture. Had they set it up similar to the previous sitcom, it would’ve been too much, but it feels like new people living in a familiar environment. It works!
It’s the Journey not the Destination
The mom telling her son it’s the journey, not the destination was great! It’s the one part of the show that feels like they recognize what everyone detests from the final season — really the final episode — of HIMYM. It doesn’t matter who Hillary Duff winds up with, that’s not what the format is for. Also, good choice keeping the attention on future Hillary Duff as opposed to the kids. You can avoid the issue they had with HIMYM with the kids getting too old. Plus, with a much more diverse cast, it can lead to healthy conversation about who the dad is — if you’re into that sort of thing. Speaking of which…
I’m so happy we’re finally at a place where this feels normal. It’s a mixing pot and it’s great. So far, there was only two moments of outright labels that hurt, but I’m talking about nice things, so for the most part it’s good! People are diverse and aren’t limited to their race or gender. It wasn’t a discussion! … Except when the friend comments on her Mexican roots and when the adoptive sister mentions being the only Lesbian in… Iowa? I don’t remember. These weren’t necessary.
Some Seeds for the Future:
I’m pretty sure the British guy is supposed to our Barney. Obviously, Barney wouldn’t work in modern era — and I’m 99% sure it wouldn’t have worked in 2005 if it wasn’t played by Neil Patrick Harris, but this is all besides the point. At one point, he makes a comment about how he’s penniless (an inverse of Barney) and might need to rely on selling his body and/or charm to make ends meet. Off-hand, I don’t think this is necessarily bad if they’re going a Midnight Cowboy route where he picks up women (and men?) to make rent. I mean, the actor, Tom Ainsley, is cut. He’s — and I don’t say this lightly — he’s got that Marvel Super Soldier Serum already. I imagine we’ll be seeing a lot more of him topless.
Sid & Ashley appear to be the sort of Marshall and Lily. We don’t know a ton about them other than they both went to med school but Sid bought a bar and Ashley is working on the other side of the country. So it’s like a little of season 1 and a little of season 2 Marshall and Lily. So far the two seem wholly likable, so it tracks. On the surface, they already have a good premise for a sitcom (dysfunctional) relationship. He owns a bar and she’s a doctor — neither works normal hours — and if she visits him at the bar and drinks, that could be bad if she’s on-call. Meanwhile, she might feel like he’s wasting his potential. My point is, I think these two have enough problems without her working in Los Angeles. But I’m curious how this develops.
(Sidebar: I also kinda think — as of this moment — the writers want to get Sid and Sophie together. At the end of the episode she tells her son that was the night she met her father and they show all the guys except Sid. Now if they showed Sid, they’d already be alluding that the engagement (or marriage) won’t work out, but so far Sophie was on board with Sid’s proposal. Just saying.)
Sophie is Barney’s Daughter
Now it’s revealed that Sophie’s mom was a party girl and her dad wasn’t around. This leads me to believe Sophie is Barney’s daughter. I say this cus they were pretty vague about the woman Barney gets pregnant and I could see them doing a “long game” with the backstory. For instance, they could do something like Barney lost the custody battle against the mom. This would be offer a semblance of penance/comeuppance since, you know, Barney may have sold a woman at one point. So taking his daughter away would help people to empathize and not seek to cancel Barney.
Of course, the reformed Barney eventually convinces Sophie to move to New York and Barney helps her from metaphorical afar, acting as her mentor and never revealing that he’s her father. Of course, given that Barney enjoyed Star Wars, this could easily result in a legend–wait-for-it-dary moment when Barney reveals that he is Sophie’s father. This way, her “father” remains shrouded in mystery as the no-show, when her real dad, the magic-practicing master of disguise has been there the whole time.
As of this writing (January 19, 2022) I’m about 60% sure that’s the going to be the reveal. More on this topic as it develops. For instance, if I see Sophie give herself a “self-five” or start doing magic tricks, I’m bumping that percentage up.
Pilots are rarely good, so I’m curious to see where this goes and I’ve got time. But so far, it’s pretty rough.