What 'How I Met Your Dad' Can Do Differently From 'How I Met Your Mother'
The pilot episode of How I Met Your Dad hasn't even started production and Entertainment Weekly is already reporting that Krysta Rodriquez has dropped out of playing the lead's best friend. While that's hardly a surprise this early in the game, it does bring up some concerns about the show. When we first heard the details about this How I Met Your Mother spinoff that doesn't feature any of the original characters, we were pretty happy that we wouldn't be losing the most compelling mystery show on television since Veronica Mars was cancelled. Or our romantic comedy sitcom fix. Or both.
But the closer we get to production, the more our expectations for the spinoff begin to grow. As good as How I Met Your Mother was (sometimes), there was still a lot of room for improvement. How I Met Your Dad is their chance to do those things right and there are a few things in particular that they should focus on if they want to make this show more improved than it is new.
1. A Clear End Game
Let's be honest: When you first heard the premise of How I Met Your Mother, did you know the story would take nine seasons to tell? I was beginning to think it would be 2030 before Ted Mosby finally wrapped this up and let his poor children go do anything else with their time. Half the time, his episodic adventures forgot that there was an overarching plot at all and the fact that we went eight seasons without Ted so much as catching a glimpse of the real Mother really speaks for itself. If there's one thing How I Met Your Dad can do better than its predecessor, it's decide how and where it ends before the first episode is even filmed.
2. Easter Eggs in Moderation
As a fan of anything, an inside joke that can only be appreciated with another fan of the show can be fun. Who doesn't love that sense of entitlement we get whenever an opportunity crops up to describe something or someone as legen... wait for it... dary? But while those callbacks and running gags, those high fives fives and hidden countdowns, that yellow umbrella and the Bro Code were all pretty great, they began to build up to the point where it was just too much. How I Met Your Dad should pick one or two running gags and use them in moderation or they'll find themselves trying to squeeze humor and meaning out of too many things too many times.
3. A Less Frustrating Lead Character
You could make a drinking game out of the number of times I've wanted to reach through the television screen and slap Ted Mosby. Exactly how many times can Ted fall in love with a girl, declare passionate love to her for the end of their days, and then inevitably break up with her because she wasn't the Mother? Apparently the answer is a lot. While Sally seems like she'll be a unique person in her own right rather than a female Ted, there's always the danger than her Peter Pan-esque traits will make her fall into a Manic Pixie Dream Girl pothole that will make her just as unbearable as Ted but in a different way. At the very least, we hope she won't end up being a blank slate on her own show while her more interesting friends take center stage.
4. No More Stunt Casting
Need I say more? Yes? All right. It doesn't matter whether you liked Britney Spears as Stella's receptionist Abby, Katy Perry as Zoey Pierson's cousin Honey, or Jennifer Lopez as author Anita Appleby; what matters is that I could easily pull up that list of celebrities dragged onto the show to play those cameo roles. It doesn't mean that they aren't talented or that they didn't do a good job, but it's kind of hard to pretend that Katy Perry isn't Katy Perry no matter what she's calling herself on the show. I understand that sweeps are important, but if How I Met Your Dad can avoid blindsiding me with Britney Spears playing anyone other than herself, that would be a blessing.
5. NO STELLA OR STELLA EQUIVALENT
While we appreciate the few ways in which the writers tried to redeem Ted's season three girlfriend Stella Zinman, there are still a large portion of the show's viewership that can't say her name without hissing or spitting on the ground. After all, it's kind of hard to forgive a person for dumping Ted for her ex-boyfriend in a note after dragging him to her sister's wedding on Shelter Island to begin with. Especially when they later help him for paint Ted as the villain in the movie based on that love triangle. Yeah, there's a character we'd love to never see again in any incarnation, please and thank you.