Season 2 of How I Met Your Father continues to focus on older Sophie (Kim Cattrall) telling her son the story of how she met his father but transports her back to her youth and inside the stories that should eventually lead to the revelation of the mysterious father. The first season did not land for many, receiving a 38% score on Rotten Tomatoes, with reviewers coming to the consensus that it was a painful slog compared to its predecessor. While it is a slight improvement on the first season, there feels like there is something missing from the group dynamic or something that takes away from it. Sad to say it, but the present day versions of Sophie (Hilary Duff), Jessie (Christopher Lowell) and Ellen (Tien Tran) seem out of place. In the case of Sophie, she doesn’t feel as connected to the rest of the group as she does to Valentina (Francia Raisa). There is a lack of chemistry that people will probably compare to the original ensemble of How I Met Your Mother.
Despite the majority of the punchlines not landing, it is a decent watch that is carried by Valentina, Sid (Suraj Sharma) and Charlie (Tom Ainsley). They have a great dynamic with each other, but Sid and Charlie are standouts, able to carry the little comedy there is and fit perfectly into the sitcom world. There is a bit more chemistry between them as a friend group, but it seems the ensemble cast could have done with not as many characters to help land the jokes. Sid is given a bit more screen time and that should continue since he is the one that carries any humor in the show, Charlie being a close second.
Even though the show’s narrative wants to point to Sophie meeting the father of her child, there seems to be a disconnect with that and the story she is telling her son. Ted from the original series was known for his long stories and tangents, but they always seemed to link in some way to the overall mystery of how the parents met, which is lacking in this. Take away the mystery of the fathers identity; the story remains the same. Future Sophie does not seem to care about that particular plot point, and it seems that neither do the writers. If Jessie turns out to be the father, it will be surprising with the lack of chemistry the two have even though the writers seem to push them together. It equates to cringey moments and makes that pairing the blandest in the show that is not improved with a love triangle. Speaking of plot, there is a strange moment in episode 3 when the series decides to half-heartedly focus on the far right and politics of the male empowerment movement that is not only out of place but has some forced attempt at comedy that misses its mark more than anything else in the season.
It isn’t all bad. There are moments where the comedy and situations are reminiscent of the original while adding its own spin, and the characters are more fleshed out and given flaws to make them more relatable. In fact, there is an entire episode dedicated to Sophie and her tendency to lie to add more depth to her character.
Sid takes the title of MVC with an assist from Charlie. Sid is the character with the most natural comedy and is able to make anything even a little bit funny. On top of that, Sharma delivers when the story does not and makes things interesting- especially when paired with Ainsley. In particular, there is a moment in episode 5 that involves a vape that created the most laughs.
How I Met Your Father season 2 premiers Tuesday, January 24th on Hulu
The first 5 episodes were screened for review.