“How I Met Your Father” is the spinoff and sequel to one of Hollywood’s most loved and watched sitcoms, “How I Met Your Mother.” The spinoff has a female protagonist, Sophie, played by Hillary Duff, who, like Ted from the original show, is a die-hard romantic and in search of a happily-ever-after. However, over the years, due to a lot of analysis of HIMYM, the makers decided to have an inclusive cast, sensitive storylines, and do away with the common toxic tropes of the 90s sitcoms.
Like the original, ‘How I Met Your Father’ also begins with Sophie in 2050 telling her son as to how she met his father. The identity of the son is kept a secret from the viewers. Future Sophie is played by Kim Catrall. We are introduced to Sophie’s entourage in the present, that is, 2022.
The Story Till Now
After multiple dating disasters, Sophie, who is a struggling photographer, finally meets her match on Tinder—a guy named Ian. She meets Jesse, an aspiring musician who also moonlights as an Uber driver in Manhattan. His friend Sid is about to propose to his longtime surgeon girlfriend, Hannah, who lives in LA. Sophie meets Ian but discovers that he is about to leave the US for Australia for marine biological research.
Sophie lives with her college roommate and stylist, Valentina. Valentina is dating Britisher Charlie, who has moved continents to be with her. The gang also becomes friends with Ellen, Jesse’s gay and divorced sister. Jesse and Sid live in Ted and Marshall’s old place. Sophie starts dating Drew, a school principal, after getting over her short-lived romance with Ian.
‘How I Met Your Father’ Season 1 Finale
Episode 10, “Timing Is Everything,” opens with a wife catching her ship captain husband in bed with another woman on a boat. The man is the captain of the ship. Cut to 2050, the future Sophie tells her son that this particular incident is very crucial and important in her way of meeting his father. Back in 2022, we find out that Sophie and Jesse kiss after Sophie realizes that she and Drew want different things in life and that he doesn’t think of her profession as “serious” and “stable.” Meanwhile, Meredith, (Jesse’s ex-girlfriend), who publicly turned down his proposal, reaches out to him and writes a song for him. She wants to go on tour and wants him as his pianist, but he turns it down as he wants to be with Sophie. He and Sophie go out on a date and end up having sex. In bed, Jesse murmurs to her, saying he loves her, and Sophie panics. She also finds out that he has turned down the offer to go on his dream tour just to be with her. She says this is too early in the relationship, and he asks her to leave. Sophie then proceeds to the infamous bar Maclaren’s, where she meets Robin Scherbatsky. Sophie and Robin end up talking about Sophie’s love life, and Robin tells her to not make any decisions based on fear and that it will hold her back on how her life will turn out.
Meanwhile, Hannah tells Sid that she wants to take a fellowship in Los Angeles, which means spending another year as a long-distance couple. They soon seem to be having second thoughts as they discuss marriage and expenses. Ellen brings home a cat, and Valentina seems to take a fancy to it, only to have her heartbroken by Charlie, who says he never wants to have children. Ellen then decides to let go of the cat, but she meets Rachel, who says the cat belongs to her, and it seems like the two still share a bond.
Sophie, after taking Robin’s advice, goes to meet Jesse at his apartment when she sees him kissing Meredith. She leaves, dejected. She then goes to the art gallery, where her photograph of him is being put on display. She joins the gang, to some surprise. Hannah and Sid elope and get married, Charlie and Valentina break up, and Ellen gets the job at Goliath Markets.
The captain and his wife are getting divorced, and his wife, Becky, says she wants all his boats and wants to destroy them. He says he hasn’t been this hurt since someone stole his “Pineapple” in 2005 and that one of his boats has been lent to the marine biologists in Australia who are trying to save the Great Barrier Reef. Turns out it is the same boat Ian is working on, and he is seen attending the same exhibition at the art gallery and asks her, “Is this a good time”?
What Does The End Mean?
For 10 years, we waited if Ross and Rachel would finally be together, somewhere in between, there was Ted and Robin and then Robin and Barney. These two sitcoms had leads with such romantic chemistry yet ill-fated romances that it kept us hooked on for a decade. But does a spinoff stand the test of time of an iconic show?
In the very first episode of “How I Met Your Father,” it was established that this would also be a show where the leads would have the will-they-or-won’t-they sitcom trope. Jesse and Sophie will try to be the Ted and Robin of this post-pandemic era. Their group of friends is a more diverse bunch than Ted and Robin’s, but knowing it is 2022, the makers have to know it better. However, series nowadays don’t last for a decade and are pretty fast-paced. People are certainly not going to wait for 10 years to see if Jesse and Sophie indeed did end up together or not. Sophie’s romance with Drew was short-lived from the beginning, as we could see how mismatched they were. Her romance with Ian was also short-lived.
It is left to be seen how “How I Met Your Father” season 2 pans out as two couples have broken up: Charlie and Hannah and Sophie and Jesse. Also, the fact that the identity of the son is kept secret, unlike in the original show, could hint at the father not essentially being Caucasian. There were so many subtle hints dropped that could mean that the future Sophie, like the future Ted, is single, as one couldn’t see any wedding ring on her. We saw her photograph of Jesse in her living room, which could be a hint that things didn’t really end badly for these two. Or even if they didn’t end up together, they are at least cordial with each other.
If the series returns for a second season, Jesse and Sophie will undoubtedly be the central theme.
What Worked in Season 1?
Hillary Duff, as the die-hard romantic Sophie, is sweet and endearing. It is heartening to see such naivete in a romantic series based on an era of dating apps. She is earnest in her portrayal and makes you feel genuinely sorry for her when she meets with disappointment. Chris Lowell as Jesse is also quite earnest in his portrayal. The rest of the cast are, at best, average in their roles. Also, throughout the series, there were a lot of easter eggs, which led us to believe that Sophie and Robin existed in the same verse and that their paths would cross. Finally, in the season finale, we got to see the much-talked-about crossover between the two shows. Robin makes her appearance and talks about love and relationships with Sophie. And lastly, Kim Catrall being a part of yet another iconic show was the cherry on the cake. Since her loyal fans were missing her on the small screen, it was a pleasant surprise to everyone to see her being a part of “How I Met Your Father.”
What Didn’t Work In Season 1?
Sitcoms died a bitter death way back in 2013. People woke up to newer and longer formats of series with actual, relatable situations and humor that weren’t punching down. The sitcom format in 2022 seems frivolous. The audiences now prefer series with a longer format -comedy or drama, with episodes that are stretched up to an hour. That being said, How I Met Your Mother was an iconic show that ended on a happy note, with audiences getting their closure as Ted and Robin do end up together. But Sophie and Jesse are no Ted and Robin. Maybe it is just the first season, but Sophie and Jesse lack that chemistry and charm that can carry a series on their shoulders for a decade. Even if not a decade, Sophie and Jesse’s romance can barely last for another season. The series lacks depth and character development. We have seen most of their escapades already, and it just seems like this series is a rehash of all the sitcoms of the 90s put together, albeit woke.
Going ahead, even their woke tropes and inclusive storylines don’t seem to be working. Also, the makers forget that while it was difficult to recreate Ted and Robin for this generation, we already got a star-crossed couple like that—Mauve and Otis from “Sex Education.” The storylines of Sophie and Jesse’s friends also don’t seem to add much, apart from a few laughs here and there. The episodes, even though timed at 22 minutes, seemed to drag on and failed to keep anyone hooked till the very end. Sophie and Jesse, sadly, even for the most die-hard fans, don’t give anything to hold onto.
“How I Met Your Father” is a 2022 SITCOM series created by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger.