“How I Met Your Father,” the gender-swapped spinoff of the CBS original, has a lot in common with its predecessor in its centering of a core group of friends and the mystery of one child’s parental lineage. However, star Hilary Duff is cognizant of how the Hulu series course-corrects some of its source material, which has received no shortage of criticism online throughout the years for some of its misogynistic or otherwise problematic material.
“Hilarious show. You guys, I stan it to this day. Of course, it was a different time,” Duff told TheWrap during the Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour. “Lots of things on TV wouldn’t fly now that did then, and we can still hold them in a special place of like, ‘Wow, that was wild TV.’”
In particular, fans have pointed out Neil Patrick Harris’ Barney as an instigator of many off-color remarks, with the brash character frequently spewing derogatory or sexist jokes. By contrast, the spinoff’s central relationship is found in Duff’s Sophie and Francia Raisa’s Valentina, a strong female friendship that the former characterizes as a “love story” in its own right.
“We have this incredible writers room that’s mixed with people that are incredibly thoughtful, different ages, different walks of life and everyone has an opinion: ‘This is right, this is wrong, this is too far, this is fun, this isn’t,’ and everyone checks at all times,” Duff continued. “But the really cool part for me is — I don’t even know if this is appropriate to say — I’m like, ‘Ah, are we taking all the fun out of everything ’cause we’re all very sensitive?’ There’s no fun missing; the creative lines that are taking the place of things that would possibly hurt someone’s feelings or just be wrong in this day and age is so powerful in the writers room. I’m always impressed.”
“How I Met Your Mother” ran for nine seasons from 2005 through 2014, racking up a whopping 10 Emmy wins, in addition to a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series and four nods for Harris in the Supporting Actor category.
“How I Met Your Father,” which will return for a second season on Hulu beginning Jan. 24, has won two Emmys. It’s executive produced by Emmy nominee Pamela Fryman, who also directs and was heavily involved with the original show, as well as co-creators Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, the team behind “Love, Victor.”