I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels personally victimized when truly good shows get cancelled before their time. In recent times most of these shows have been sitcoms and general comedies on network television. I’ve always been a huge supporter of good comedy shows. And for me that means a smart comedy with original ideas and (obviously) humor. This includes shows like 30 Rock, Parks & Rec, Modern Family, Happy Endings (the most criminally cancelled), Better Off Ted (criminally cancelled), Benched (criminally cancelled), Weird Loners (barely given a chance), Marry Me (fucked by the network and doomed from the start sadly), The Mindy Project (fucking perfect and over for an inexplicable reason), and even Selfie (it had clear potential).
Meanwhile, garbage shows like 2 Broke Girls and Two and a Half Men are either still on and shouldn’t be or stayed on way too fucking long. I know the trend on TV right now is these unbelievable dramas like Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Grey’s Anatomy, and Once Upon a Time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t also love smart, snappy comedies too, right? And it certainly doesn’t mean that we have to resort to cheap, worn out sitcoms to decompress from all that exhausting drama.
Let me tell you a little bit about some of these terrific shows that got no love but deserved it. For starters, Happy Endings. This is honestly one of my absolute favorite shows. It’s smart and quick and just clever as shit. The pop culture references alone were enough to keep me interested, but throw in their witty as fuck banter, the recurring jokes and just the unaddressed nonsense that was everywhere and it was truly a perfect show in my eyes. It’s one and only flaw was that there was no real story that carried throughout a string of episodes or even a season, beyond like who’s dating who. I was okay with it because (to me) the show wasn’t about plot, but rather about these fucking awesome characters and their ridiculous lives and all their wonderful shenanigans. They got fucked over by their time slot conflict with New Girl originally and then they got fucked over by ABC by being moved to Friday nights at like 10 o’clock and then it was like 2 episodes every Friday night pretty much just to burn up the remaining episodes. There was little promotion by the network which just didn’t help at all. It only got attention once it was already cancelled and now it’s like a cult TV show. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU CHECK IT OUT BECAUSE I DOUBT I’M DOING IT REAL JUSTICE AND IT REALLY IS TERRIFIC. WORTH THE WATCH.***also my roommate and I made a drinking game to Happy Endings because it’s that good and I may post that game sometime***
Next up are all the one season shows that starred the stars of Happy Endings that also got fucked unjustly.
Benched: Starring Eliza Coupe on USA, I figured this show was golden because since when does USA cancel anything ever? It’s a show about an extremely talented but disgraced corporate lawyer who’s forced to take a job as a public defender. She’s an emotional and social trainwreck but she’s smart as hell and witty and hot and she stars with Jay Harrington (Better Off Ted) and he is a major DILF. The show was great and I was so sure I’d have more time with it/her (because she’s a sitcom queen) but somehow it didn’t survive even on fucking USA?
Marry Me: Another one season wonder, it stars Casey Wilson (Happy Endings-she deserves an entire post because she’s fantastic at everything) and Ken Marino (Burning Love and more but I can’t think right now because this post is making me sad and rage-filled). The basic premise is that Jake and Annie (Marino and Wilson) get engaged after 6 years together and shenanigans ensue. The show turned into an ensemble comedy like Happy Endings that centered on Jake and Annie’s relationship. It was clear that it was moving away from focusing solely on them and was going to end up focusing more on their group as a whole for most of the episodes. Unfortunately, it got fucked over by a time conflict with New Girl and then just got screwed by NBC. Sound familiar? There are supposed to be four more episodes that haven’t aired yet and if they don’t get aired to give me some closure I will have to take some passive-aggressive (heavy on the aggressive) action that will be determined if such a time comes. Pray it does not.
Weird Loners: It barely got the chance to introduce itself to its audience before it got the axe. It’s a goofy show about 4 people who are in their mid-to-late 30s and are alone for one reason or another. There’s the asshole womanizer with a heart of gold, Stosh (Zachary Knighton of Happy Endings fame), the dark artist who prefers to be alone for the most part, Zara (Meera Rohit Kumbhani who’s brand new and was fabulous), the incredible nice but unbelievably awkward, Eric (Nate Torrence), and the dental hygienist who’s desperately waiting for “the one” despite her family’s insistence to get marries, Caryn (Becki Newton, How I Met Your Mother). They’re all goofy and relationship-phobic in their own ways and it was a funny show with a fuck ton of potential, DAMMIT.
One Big Happy: Last one in this bunch, produced by Ellen Degeneres and starring Elisha Cuthbert (Happy Endings, The Girl Next Door) and Nick Zano (Happy Endings, What I Like About You), and relative newcomer Kelly Brook, it was a goofy show about a type A lesbian (Cuthbert) pregnant by her best [straight] friend who’s much much more laid back (Zano) and his new surprise wife (Brook). It was pretty sitcommy and I could’ve done without the laugh track but it was still a good show that was finding its footing and really came into its own in the little time it got.
Now I’d like to discuss Better Off Ted, one of the absolute smartest shows I’ve seen. It’s about a team working in research and development at a huge, heartless company, Veridian Dynamics. It was absolute genius and I’ve never met someone who didn’t like it once they saw it. It has weird science, workplace fun, and it never stops making fun of big companies. But for all the TV I watch, I never once saw any promotions for it. It never stood a chance of long term survival because it was basically abused by the network and just thrown around to different days and sometimes there were 2 episodes in one week and then it would skip 2 weeks. It was light hearted and smart and just an all around great comedy. For a show to survive it needs 2 things: 1) love from an audience and 2) love from its network. It didn’t get the second so in turn it didn’t get the first. Fuck. [It’s on Netflix and you should check it out because it’s marvelous and you won’t regret it.]
Lastly (at least for this post because I could actually go on about this for a much longer time), I’d like to talk about ABC’s Selfie. It had clear potential. It was all about fads and trends and technology and how it all affects our day to day lives as well as just us as people and how we interact. Eliza (Karen Gillan) is social media obsessed and socially inept otherwise while Henry (John Cho) doesn’t even have a Facebook but has real social skills…mostly. They team up to help Eliza learn to be a real person and (as we see very soon) to help Henry loosen up and have some fun and really connect. It was an adorable show with clever looks at how young people in particular exist in the world today versus how older people tell young people to exist and act. I’m not claiming this show was award worthy or that it was life changing but it was still ten times better than 2 Broke Girls, which, as I said, is garbage television.
That’s all for now but I would assume I’ll have another post on this topic at some point.
In the newest episode of the online docu-series It Got Better — part of the It Gets Betterproject to foster hope in LGBT youths — Portia de Rossi discusses how her eating disorder distracted her from addressing her sexual orientation.
I didn’t want to think about being gay. Having the eating disorder was kind of like a babysitter. It kind of allowed me to not think about who I really was.”