Hulu is premiering a new sitcom on Wednesday that’s a “How I Met Your Mother” wannabe. “Maggie” reaches for similar qualities — ensemble warmth, an emphasis on romance, and plenty of specific callbacks. But it’s not as good or tightly written as “How I Met Your Mother” was during its first seasons. The show is pleasant enough, thanks to a strong supporting cast, and it’s worlds better than Hulu’s “How I Met Your Father.” But with so many good series out there now, “Maggie” does not compel.
The gimmick — which sometimes feels cutesy — is that Maggie (Rebecca Rittenhouse), our heroine, is a psychic. When she touches a person, she gets glimpses of their future — images that she then interprets, sometimes rightly, other times very wrongly indeed. That can make dating complicated, since she sometimes sees the end of a relationship at its very beginning, and it has left her cynical. We watch this all play out once Maggie meets Ben (David Del Rio), who quickly becomes her will-they-or-won’t-they love interest for, I imagine, the length of the series. Naturally, Ben winds up living downstairs from Maggie, but with another woman.
Rittenhouse is the calm center, to some extent, of the cast of bigger characters. It’s a little odd the way everyone perceives her predictive powers as totally normal, but they’re all onboard with her gift. Her best friend, Louise (Nichole Sakura), is kooky and scene-stealing, as is her psychic mentor, Angel (Ray Ford). Her parents, played by Chris Elliott and Kerry Kenney-Silver, are amusingly weird, and other members of the extended friends group, including Angelique Cabral and Leonardo Lam as Ben’s sister and brother-in-law, are distinctive. It’s all sweet and, maybe, a little too light.