In Soviet Russia, mother meets you! It’s fortuitous that on a day when I spent two hours discussing adaptation versus appropriation (what many would call stealing) at NYU, this low-budget Russian take on CBS’ How I Met Your Mother hits the Internet. It’s an almost shot-for-shot remake of the sitcom, with the same sets but some tweaks: Ted’s apartment but with older furniture and appliances; MacLaren’s, but with pleather seats and stocked with vodka instead of scotch.
Though I can’t understand a word they’re saying, the plot looks to be much the same: Man feels the urge to nab a wife after his two best friends get engaged, and hits the dating scene with a “bro” friend in a suit with a propensity to high-five. There, he meets a beautiful woman, but ruins things by telling her he loves her.
It’s one thing to borrow plotlines and add your own context — see 10 Things I Hate About You — but this is blatant copying. I guess if a Russian television viewer never made it around to seeing the American show, it would at least be entertaining, but why mess with a great thing? Even with the vodka-versus-scotch deal, it’s wholly unoriginal.
But if they have to copy HIMYM, they’ll need two Russian variations on the show’s classic moments: Slapsgiving and Robin Sparkles.