How I Met Your Mother and How I Met Your Father both have the same idea and take place in the same world. But from the start, How I Met Your Father made changes big and small to set itself apart. Among others:
- While telling her story, she focuses on older Sophie (Kim Cattrall) instead of her son.
- We are limiting the “father” character to the people at a particular party.
- Making the core group of friends seem like strangers at the show’s beginning is just some of the changes from the pilot.
It was wise for HIMYF to change up the formula. Reboots and spinoffs can’t live up to the original, especially if the original was as popular and successful as How I Met Your Mother. By making choices that were so different from HIMYM’s, the show could stand on its own. When the show did refer to the old version, like when Jesse (Chris Lowell) and Sid (Suraj Sharma) moved into Marshall’s (Jason Segel) and Lily’s (Alyson Hannigan) old apartment. It was more of an Easter egg for fans than a plot point.
So it was a shock when the season 1 finale jumped into HIMYM history. The Captain (Kyle MacLachlan) came back in the first part of the episode, and then Sophie (Hilary Duff) went straight to MacLaren’s pub. Her friends usually hang out at Sid’s bar, so this was another small but significant change to the show. She meets Robin Scherbatsky there (Cobie Smulders). After putting a lot of work into making Sophie’s world different from Ted’s (Josh Radnor). Our main character suddenly runs into a leading HIMYM cast member.
Not only did the episode use important characters and settings from the original series, but it also had a similar plot. The plot points were taken right from HIMYM’s most popular episodes. In the original pilot, Ted’s evil “I love you” to Robin on their first date broke up their relationship. On Jesse and Sophie’s first date, a sleep-talking “I love you” does the same thing. Meanwhile, Valentina (Francia Raisa) and Charlie (Tom Ainsley) broke up because they had different ideas about whether or not they wanted to have kids.
This was one of the main reasons why Ted and Robin broke up. Many relationship problems can be made out of their situations, so they don’t have to keep going back to what is arguably the most critical relationship problem in How I Met Your Mother. When Robin shows up at MacLaren’s, it shows how familiar these relationship problems are and that we’re going back over ground that was already covered in the original series.
After HIMYF had worked hard to go in its direction, it’s a strange turn to go back to old storylines. Also, it wasn’t at all necessary to do that. The show has already put smart, original problems in the way of the prominent couples. Meredith, Jesse’s ex-girlfriend (played by Leighton Meester), broke his heart after he publicly proposed to her. She returned to make things hard for him and Sophie, who were starting to date.
He gave up the money his family had worked hard for and moved to a new country where he had no prospects of being with her. The fact that Jesse turned down Meredith (and her offer to go on tour with them) for Sophie could have given her the same emotional crisis as the unlikely “I love you” in her sleep. In the same way, Charlie and Valentina are two impulsive people who rushed into a relationship before they knew each other.
Some parts of the finale of HIMYF show that the show can make references. And parallels HIMYM without losing its own identity. For example, the story of The Captain’s divorce seems to go nowhere. But it ends up moving Sophie’s story forward by bringing back her boyfriend Ian (Daniel Augustin) from the pilot. Not only does The Captain look like someone from HIMYM. But the way the story is told is also based on HIMYM, with weird cutaways and creativity. Complicated ways to make a point. It has the same feel as How I Met Your Mother. But it also adds something new to the world of HIMYF.
Sid and Hannah (Ashley Reyes) are an excellent example of a parallel that isn’t the same as the original. In HIMYM, Lily leaves Marshall for her art fellowship, which is only temporary. In HIMYF, Sid and Hannah decide to work things out instead of running away. We don’t know if it will work out in Season 2, but the different decisions these couples make show how other their characters are.
Sadly, the same difference is not made between the other couples on HIMYF. Even though they are different from the teams that came before them. The show tries to show how Sophie and Jesse’s problems are other from Ted and Robin’s by focusing on how their situations are slightly different. Jesse says that, unlike Ted, who had only known Robin for a few days. When he said “I love you,” they had been friends for a while when he made a mistake. (However, because Season 1 only has 10 episodes. It doesn’t seem like the characters know each other well at this point). Robin says that Ted said “I love you” on their first date to refute Sophie’s story. But Jesse’s slip did happen on their first date. Even Robin is there to help Sophie figure out what to do shows that this is a complete callback.
Getting people to compare HIMYF to the original show in this way doesn’t help the show. Ted and Robin’s breakup over their plans to start a family was a heartbreaking split between soulmates. Proven when they got back together in the series finale. Charlie and Valentina’s breakup for the same reason shows how little they know each other. And how bad of a couple they are. It’s disappointing to hit this wall after the show has asked us to get past all the other obvious problems in their relationship and care about their love.
In the same way, the “I love you” slip-up was a pivotal moment for the characters and the show in HIMYM. But it was just a mistake in HIMYF. Ted’s “I love you” showed that he was a hopeless romantic who said things without thinking. It also started the will-they-or-won’t-they relationship with Robin, which was the show’s primary focus. Jesse’s “I love you” was an accident (again, a sleep “I love you” is a stretch, to begin with). And it doesn’t tell us much about his personality that we didn’t already know. On the other hand, Sophie’s adverse reaction to it is so different from her “hopeless romantic” nature that Robin can talk her out of it in a short conversation. When Sophie’s attempt to make up with Meredith fails. The whole thing is put down to “bad timing,” which makes the “I love you” almost meaningless.
Overall, the finale put How I Met Your Father back in the shadow of HIMYM. It was a disappointing end to a new show with a lot of promise. In Season 2, the show will have to deal with the effects of these choices and try to set itself apart from the source material all over again. But by bringing Robin back, Sophie and her friends are closer than ever to the original group. Since MacLaren’s door is now open, it will be much harder to close it again.