How I Met Your Father and How I Met Your Mother have the same premise, but an overall different theme.
How I Met Your Mother is the 2005 innovative and pioneering comedy sitcom. The show managed to subvert the traditional television and film notion that it is difficult to tell a compelling story through a series of flashbacks.
The sitcom aired for nine seasons and made over 208 episodes between 2005 and 2013. In 2022, Hulu introduced How I Met Your Father, which has the same premise as the first show.
However, the rebooted series endeavoured not to be a continuation of the original series, therefore, this version of the series explores dissimilar themes while referencing its predecessor throughout its first season.
How I Met Your Father’s biggest intertextual reference yet
How I Met Your Father premiered in January 2022, and throughout its ten-episode first season, there were numerous intertextual references made to How I Met Your Mother.
Some of these include Jesse and Sid living in Ted and Marshall’s old apartment, and the new cast’s visit to McClaren pub.
But the biggest reference was in the season finale titled “Timing Is Everything” when Colbie Smulders, who played Robin Scherbatsky, returned to give title character, Sophie, advice drawing from her experience as part of the cast of How I Met Your Mother.
How I Met Your Father vs How I Met Your Mother
As highlighted before, comparing How I Met Your Father to How I Met Your Mother is difficult at best since the themes explored in the one are different from those in the other.
This is specifically in reference to when the sitcoms were released and the different socio-political contexts in which they were released.
However, there is one big similarity between the two besides the premise and titles. Both sitcoms explore the story of a group of friends in their twenties trying to navigate life.
When we first meet Ted Mosby in How I Met Your Mother, he is unlucky when it comes to love and is trying to figure out where his life is going.
Similarly, How I Met Your Father’s Sophie is new to the city and trying to figure out her love life while establishing a life for herself in the new city.
In sharing who the title characters are, it becomes easier to see why the themes explored in How I Met Your Father are different from those in How I Met Your Mother on the basis of gender alone and the fact that the latter is more inclusive, particularly in its casting.
This was a detail that Hilary Duff, who plays Sophie, was emphatic about prior to the first episode when stated, “How I Met Your Father is “really not the same show by any means. Sophie is not Ted, and there’s not someone trying to be Barney.”
There are also other differences between the two in terms of their durations, themes, and reception.
How I Met Your Father has only confirmed two seasons
How I Met Your Father concluded its first season in March 2022, and in May 2022, it was confirmed that the sitcom would return with a second season which will have 20 episodes instead of 10, like season one did.
Needless to say, How I Met Your Mother still holds the record for the longest-running sitcom between the two, with a total of nine seasons throughout its run.
How I Met Your Father is more inclusive
How I Met Your Father is arguably more inclusive than How I Met Your Mother.
The main cast includes Hilary Duff as the female lead, and a supporting main cast with actors including Christopher Lowell as Jesse, Suraj Sharma as Sid, and Francia Raisa as Valentina. How I Met Your Mother’s entire main cast was white.
As such, even the themes explored mirror the characters in the sitcom. The perspective of the series has a more female-centred narrative compared to the male perspective narrative of How I Met Your Mother.
How I Met Your Father is rated 5.4 on IMDb
By the end of How I Met Your Mother’s first season, the sitcom was already a critical and commercial hit. How I Met Your Father currently has a 5.4 out of 10 ranking on IMDb, compared to How I Met Your Mother’s 8.8 out 10 ranking on IMDb.
How I Met Your Mother was innovative at the time of its release. On the other hand, How I Met Your Father still has to prove that it has its own style, language, and tonality, which is possibly the reason its reception has been tentative.