To say A to Z is a lot like How I Met Your Mother is to say ketchup is a lot like catsup. The two shows are so alike it’s uncanny.
Like How I Met Your Mother, the narrator of A to Z was the star of a late 80s/early 90s sitcom. In A to Z’s case, it’s Katey Sagal of Married…With Children fame, opposed to How I Met Your Mother’s Bob Saget who is arguably best known for Full House.
Also, like How I Met Your Mother, A to Z tells the story of a relationship. It seems like an epic story that’s bound to be told to their kids someday. Actually, the show is already presented as if it’s a story. In one of her narrations Katey Sagal straight-up says, “Let me tell you a story.” Her narration also gives us one of the cheesy reasons for the show’s name. “This television program is the comprehensive account of their relationship from A to Z,” she says.
Again, in another page ripped from the How I Met Your Mother playbook, you already know how it ends—kinda. Katey already tells you that Andrew and Zelda dated for eight months, three weeks, five days and one hour. The reason you’re watching is likely to stick around for the journey and to see if they wind up marrying or if they break up.
Simply put, A to Z is a shameless clone of How I Met Your Mother. A to Z even has its own yellow umbrella: A silver dress. To make matters worse, the two shows even share a main star. Cristin Milioti, who plays Zelda on A to Z was “The Mother” on How I Met Your Mother. Crazy, isn’t it?
While A to Z seems to have carbon copied How I Met Your Mother as much as possible, it managed to suck the life out of it as well. There aren’t quite as many supporting characters and the few they have aren’t as interesting as they are on How I Met Your Mother. It also doesn’t have a laugh track/studio audience, not that it would need one because it isn’t very funny.
The show is too busy being cutesy, choosing to fixate more on how adorable of a couple Andrew and Zelda would be instead of actually being funny.
Andrew has an office job at a company called Wallflower Online Dating and he’s a bit of a romantic. Zelda, on the other hand, is an attorney who has her guard up.
We see the rocky start to their relationship, which involved them constantly running into each other while being completely oblivious to the fact. Still, Andrew swore they met randomly before. If you like romcoms, you might get a kick out of that, but for people who aren’t hopeless romantics it may just make you a bit sick.
I find myself rarely a fan of romcoms and there’s no doubt that the show isn’t for me, but will it be enough to win over the old How I Met Your Mother fans now that the show is off the air? I suppose it’s possible, but do they want to see what’s essentially the same thing all over again, just without a lot of what made that show fun? I dunno, that could be a tough sell.
Stateside, it’s on the highly competitive Thursday night after the rather awful looking Bad Judge, so there may already be enough nails in the coffin that we could’ve called the thing dead and buried even before it hit the air last week.
The US ratings have already been discouraging and I can’t imagine them being much better this side of the border as Global chose to air it out of simulcast also with Bad Judge on Friday night. So for those of you who are looking for a half decent romcom, you might not want to get too attached to this one.
Episode Reviewed: A is for Acquaintances
A to Z airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on Global