Television usually has me in a state of minor rage, but this week my favorite magical box has dug into me almost as painfully as when Dexter turned out to be a lumberjack. According to multiple entertainment news outlets, the folks behind How I Met Your Mother are developing a pilot for the series How I Met Your Dad (and will definitely be sold and stretched over just as many seasons as the original). This is utter nonsense and I just don’t like it. Fans of the show must be jumping round the house with giddy foam rolling out of their mouths, but this writer ain’t impressed.
I recall seeing the pilot and being instantly hooked. HIMYM had a perfectly sound premise and excellent cast, and right off the bat we were given a false hint at who the mother is. Right when we knew Robin was not the mother, we knew we’d be in for a long, wacky ride. After a while though, we grew tired of Ted’s search (he’s still all sad when he gets a job as professor and a sweet-ass apartment in Manhattan, not to mention a cornucopia of one-dimensional ladies to hook up with, isn’t that sweet?). The main character became hard to care about, the others written to the end of their comedic range over the course of too many seasons. Don’t label me a hater, Internet, I’m just saying what I always say: too many seasons.
When I thought season 9 was it, I grew hopeful again, knowing the conventions and narrative styles would be pushed to the limit upon realization of their finality. But now, it appears, we can look forward to another nine seasons of the same show but flipped on its back. The creators have stated that it will be an entirely new show (with virtually the same name and premise?), focusing on the female perspective of the search to find true love. HIMYM already proves there’s only three or four types of women (the rest are crazy, obviously, says the men we side with on the show); HIMYD will most likely take the same angle but shove all men into three or four categories (so much controversy, I love it!). Or, wait, it will be Sex and the City but in New York City (wait…).
I can see the pilot being cute at least. The creators of HIMYM are nothing if not cutesy and wacky, and I bet their new endeavor will have its moments. Most likely, too, the character roles will be reversed (did I mention Sex and the City?) and we’ll have a female Barney (that’ll go over well with America’s current audience) and a male Robin (a dude who loves guns… wait). Maybe the female Ted won’t be a sad sack who’s only happy when a man’s in her life? Oh man, Internet friends, this isn’t even a good idea on paper! Of course, the characters may be entirely new creations, but in keeping with the spirit of the old show, the working conventions will return and may get all messed up in the new universe of HIMYD.
Don’t misunderstand, though. I’m not against a female version of Barney; a girl can bang as many dudes as she wants (and with equally weird schemes… which aren’t needed for us dumb dudes… well, that was promising). The fact that I’m even railing about how bad the gender swap would be is a testament to how transparent the HIMYM characters tend to be, unless they’re falling in love or something (again, that’s what apparently makes you happy and nothing else!). Basically, HIMYM is over, the gags are done, why in the name of the Bro Code take those same ideas and wring them of what made them rad in the first place? Give your lady characters a fresh batch of stuff to do!