Hilary Duff has responded to criticism of How I Met Your Father's laugh track, revealing that she was initially "terrified" by the idea of including it.
The sitcom, which will soon premiere on Disney Plus after a Stateside run on Hulu, follows 30-something Sophie, a romantic hoping to find her soul mate amid the hustle and bustle of New York City.
It is set in the same continuity as earlier fan-favourite series How I Met Your Mother and also retains that show's laugh track, a device that some viewers have come to dislike over the last two decades.
Duff herself seemingly questioned whether it belongs in her sequel series, on which she is also an executive producer, but ultimately came around to the idea.
"I was absolutely terrified by the laugh track," she told RadioTimes.com and other press. "And I think all of us [in the cast] were like ‘I can't deal with this laugh track’.
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"And then Isaac [Aptaker] and Elizabeth [Berger, showrunners] and Pam [Fryman, exec producer] really were like: ‘The show calls for a laugh track. We are a sitcom and sitcoms are coming back’."
Numerous initial reviews of How I Met Your Father took issue with its laugh track, although reception to the show improved as it went along – which is similar to Duff's own experience.
She continued: "The format of the show is a sitcom and I think that the laugh track that they use is very conscious – and not over the top like some sitcoms – but it is needed. And it does help carry the show along at some points.
"But it was very scary at first and I had to watch the first two episodes probably three times before I could get used to it, and now it doesn't bother me at all."
In an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com, co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker elaborated on why he advocated for the laugh track to be included.
He added: "It feels like if you're doing How I Met Your Father, it should feel like you're in the same world as How I Met Your Mother. So it should look the same and have the same vibe to it, and that does include the laugh track.
"And yes, some people think it's too old fashioned or corny... And then I think a lot of people find it really comforting and familiar, and like the TV that they grew up loving. So hopefully those who can't get on board learn to live with it."
How I Met Your Father has already been renewed for a second season, which will be double the size of the first outing with a grand total of 20 episodes.
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