It’s a pretty familiar story, which you may remember from everything from Freaks and Geeks to Arrested Development: Network TV series has a base of support that’s a mile deep but an inch wide, from a devoted but small group of viewers willing to follow the series from night to night and timeslot to timeslot. It’s also probably the only TV series in history in which its network brought it back, on an off-peak night, and implored viewers to “save” it.
Those who missed out on Happy Endings‘ run- and let’s be honest, considering the 3.0 ratings share for its season premiere, that’s 97 percent of the country- missed a whole lot of great things:
A “coed group hanging out in a big city” sitcom that’s much better than any Friends ripoff, even 15 years after all the others. A first-rate ensemble with dynamite chemistry in numerous combinations. Casey Wilson’s transformation from Saturday Night Live castoff to one of the better sitcom performers around. Elisha Cuthbert, going from one of the worst TV characters in history on 24 to a hilarious, original take on a blond bimbo- who knew she was this funny? Eliza Coupe finding a way to play a familiar type- a psychotic control freak- who’s also super-likable. Coupe and Damon Wayans, Jr., as one of the more realistic sitcom marriages in memory. And Adam Pally as Max, the most groundbreaking character of all: an out-and-proud gay man who’s also a disgusting slob.
As for Zachary Knighton? Well, I always liked all the food truck jokes…
There’s a silver lining, though, even if those rumors about USA or TBS picking up the show for an additional season don’t pan out. Even as a “failure,” Happy Endings will still have aired 55 episodes, in three seasons spread over slightly more than two years. Those episodes will stay out there for discovery, on various streaming services. And hopefully we’ll be seeing all those actors in other projects as well, as well as future series from Caspe and the writers.
So watch Happy Endings tonight, and enjoy. Let’s send the show out with better than a 4 share!