Will “How I Met Your Father” live up to the legacy that “How I Met Your Mother” left behind?

Photo Credit:  rottentomatoes.com

Photo Credit: rottentomatoes.com

“How I Met Your Mother” is arguably one of the best sitcoms ever. The show frequently rivaled “Friends” and “The Office” for the title and ran for a resounding nine seasons before ending on its own terms.

It fostered iconic running gags that lasted for multiple seasons and continued to make viewers feel the characters’ ups and downs for their entire duration. In fact, the show’s eventual end in 2014 devastated many loyal viewers and multiple different spin-off series were proposed.

Now, after seven years, Hulu has released the first few episodes of a spin-off series entitled “How I Met Your Father.”

The spin-off stars Hillary Duff as Sophie, a young New Yorker, on her journey to find love in the big city. Kim Cattrall plays the older version of Sophie while she tells her son the story of how she met his father.

Right off the bat, the show makes multiple callbacks to its predecessor. The longer (older) Sophie tells the story to her son, the more annoyed he sounds. In the original, the kids did the same. It holds the same joke of the parent being a long-winded storyteller, which I really loved since it was part of the appeal behind the original series.

The new show also begins with a similar plotline as the original. In “How I Met Your Mother,” the pilot starts off with Ted’s roommate, Marshall, proposing to his longtime girlfriend, Lily. In “How I Met Your Father,” the story begins similarly. Sophie ends up in an Uber (a modern take on the iconic taxi from the original series) with a man named Jesse (Chris Lowell) and his roommate, Sid (Suraj Sharma). Sid is quick to inform Sophie that he is going to propose to his girlfriend that night.

One of the things that I noticed almost immediately was that the characters in the spinoff seemed to take on a similar role to those in the original series.

Sophie resembled Ted with her optimism and romanticism, Sid is the embodiment of Marshall and Jesse took on the same role that Robin did. I honestly really enjoyed having the new characters be similar to the originals because it was a nice callback to the series. Part of what the audience loved the first time around came from their attachments to the original group, so it makes sense that the spinoff tries to model their characters after them.

What I found strange, however, was that it was difficult to recognize the relationships between the characters. It was obvious that Sophie and Valentina (Francia Raisa) were roommates because they were shown living in the same apartment, but when Sophie was in the car with Sid and Jesse, she talked to them like she knew them.

I found it very confusing that they were able to converse as if they had been friends for years despite having just met. As much as I liked the dynamic that they formed, it was not as believable as Robin and Ted’s meeting in the original series.

That does not make the newbies any less lovable, though. Sophie’s newfound connection to the guys is as endearing as the original group’s friendship.

Although the group is already forming their strong dynamic, which was a key part of the original show, the biggest (and most blatant) reference to the original series occurs in the very end of the first episode.

The new group heads back to Jesse and Sid’s apartment which is *wait for it* the original apartment from “How I Met Your Mother.” The boys throw in the first direct reference to “How I Met Your Mother” by talking about how they got the apartment (“Spoiler alert”: they got it from Marshall and Lily), and even comment on the swords hanging on the wall. The same swords that Ted and Marshall (and Robin and Lily) dueled with in the original.

That was the moment I knew: “How I Met Your Father” may not bring the same nostalgia that “How I Met Your Mother” does or have the same tenure that a decade-long show has as a staple of television, but this spinoff will (hopefully) live up to its expectations.

Overall, I really enjoyed the first few episodes of “How I Met Your Father.” The structure closely follows that of the original, one of the reasons that “How I Met Your Mother” was so successful in the first place. After the show gains its footing in the next few episodes, I can only hope that this modern spinoff maintains the same “legen-wait-for-it-dary” legacy that Ted, Robin, Marshall, Lily and Barney left behind.