As ABC's comedy Happy Endings
finishes out its third season, fans of the show are crossing fingers and toes that this won't be the last we see of the wacky Chicago-based gang.
ABC might not have cancelled the show (yet) but the network has certainly not shown much love for the struggling comedy. The network pulled the show off the air for several months and when it finally returned it was to burn off two episodes at a time on the TV deadzone that is Friday night.
Plus there was the strange "Save Happy Endings" campaign which came, not from a group of dedicated Firefly-esque fans, but from the network itself. It seemed infinitely weird that the network that could, you know, actually save Happy Endings was begging viewers to rescue the show.
In fact, I even appeared (terrified) on a Huffington Post Live panel
to discuss the fate of the network sitcom using the troubles of Happy Endings
as a jumping off point. Happy Endings
isn't as controversial, form-bending, or alienating as other low-rated gems like Community,
yet it's still in a battle for survival. If a show firmly in the Friends
mold can't succeed, what does that say about the future of network comedy?
There has been some chatter about the show following the Cougar Town pattern and being resurrected somewhere on the cable dial. But the whole thing got me thinking about why Happy Endings is such a solid, enjoyable show. And why the season 3 finale really shouldn't be the series' swan song.
So here are seven reasons, in no particular order, that Happy Endings should survive to snark another day:
1. Fresh Takes on Sitcom Character Tropes
I would want Happy Endings to live on just on the strength of Max's character alone. Far from the stereotypical gay guy characters we've seen all over the sitcom dial from Will and Grace to Modern Family, Max is a different type of character. Lazy, unmotivated, and more than a little weird, Max is nothing like the gay characters we're used to seeing on comedies.
2. The Cast Has Ah-mah-zing Chemistry
The show started out with a hinky premise (Alex leaves Dave at the altar! Hijinks ensue!) but soon recovered entirely thanks to the strong chemistry shared by the cast. Each member of the group has their own distinct personality traits, yet they all come together wonderfully. Half the fun of the show is getting to spend time with this group every week.
3. Brad and Jane Are a Delightful Married Couple
The next time a showrunner complains that stable, married couples can't be interesting just roll your eyes and mention Brad and Jane. These two make partnership and commitment seem fun and sexy, whether competing in a couple's game night or playing sexy policewoman roleplay.
4. Gotta Love the Abbrevs
What would the Happy Endings gang be without their abbreviations? If there is a way to abbreviate a word, this group will find it.
5. Elisha Cuthbert is Really Funny! Really!
I wasn't overly familiar with Elisha Cuthbert's work outside of teen movies and nearly getting eaten by a cougar on 24. So early in the show's run Cuthbert easily looked to be the weak link of the series. Yet she quickly rose to the occasion and now her hungry, ditzy Alex is often one of the funniest members of the gang.
6. They Made Fun of Hipsters AND Zombies in the Same Episode
In the show's humble mid-season beginnings, an early episode showed just how good this comedy could be when it made fun of hipsters. The parody was pitch-perfect, and that was even before the zombies came into play.
7. Pop Culture References, Fast Talking, and Mandonna
Not since Gilmore Girls has there been a group on TV that talked faster or dropped funnier pop culture barbs. And how can you not love a show with an all-male Madonna cover band called Mandonna?
Are you hoping for Happy Endings to get renewed? What are your favorite things about the show? Sound off in the comments!
(Image courtesy of ABC)