The sequel (not a reboot!) to CBS' beloved sitcom How I Met Your Mother is finally here, and while Hulu's How I Met Your Father has plenty of callbacks and Easter eggs to appease the original series' nostalgic fanbase, the show also introduces viewers to a whole new crop of characters who we get to see navigate (and fumble) their way through New York City's young, modern dating scene, breathing new life into an already beloved franchise.
Lead by LGBTQ+ ally and TV legend Hilary Duff as Sophie, the new series also features a diverse cast of weird, hilarious personalities (including the freshly-divorced out lesbian character named Ellen, played by queer actress Tien Tran), and appearances from Sex and the City icon Kim Catrall as the future version of Sophie, who is recounting to her son the story of how she met the love of her life. All of that, combined with the cute, light-heartedness of the show make How I Met Your Father exactly the kind of thing we need right now to take a break from the world around us.
Out got the chance to chat with the series' ensemble cast, including Hilary Duff, Chris Lowell, Francia Raisa, Tien Tran, Suraj Sharma, and Tom Ainsley, as well as showrunners and executive producers Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker, about assembling a diverse, inclusive friend group that is reflective of the real-world, who they would want to play a future version of themselves, and more.
"What's making our show really special is that we're covering all the ground of sexuality and gender and race and topics that are in the forefront right now and that are kind of getting their moment to be," Duff tells Out. "All of those topics need more attention right now and we're getting to play with that on-screen, and it's been so fun."
"It's so nice to see a multi-cam sitcom set in New York in current times where the world isn't occupied by only six straight white people," Lowell adds. "I think that's certainly not an accurate portrayal of New York and certainly not an accurate portrayal of 2022. I think it's nice to see. We don't have to know someone's coming out of the closet story. It's simply that this is how it happens, people are friends with people. The more we can blur those lines, the more we can make that something that feels commonplace, because it is and should be the more accurate we can reflect what life looks like to younger people, certainly in this city."
"It is so refreshing to get to be able to see a friend group that is very reflective of what we in our own lives experience every day," Tran, who plays the show's lesbian character Ellen, a newly single woman who is also on the search for her special someone, says. "Ellen is so special because, you know, as someone who is queer, to get to play a queer character who is just one of the friends, who doesn't have to teach anyone anything, who doesn't have to go through some sort of traumatic coming out...those stories are so important. But I also think it's so exciting to just normalize the fact that this woman is trying to figure out how to date and has an amazing friend group that is trying to support her in all her weird ways. And it's not because she's gay, it's because she's like a weirdo that says whatever thing comes to her mind. So I think it's just very exciting that they all get to exist without questioning or challenging each other's identities in a way that doesn't feel fraught."
How I Met Your Father is now streaming on Hulu, with new episodes dropping weekly on Tuesdays.
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