25 April 2010
The story of Accidentally on Purpose‘s first season seems to me to be that of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The critics didn’t like it right out of the gate. It was too conventional, too simple and not Modern Family in a season when comedies were neglected for the crime of being anything other than Modern Family. But I always liked it. Accidentally on Purpose was never perfect but it was far from bad. I thought it was sweet and fun and at times very very funny. But as the season wore on, Accidentally on Purpose seemed to settle into the very mediocrity that it was accused of in its early days.
As the episodes passed, tolerable broad comedy characters Davis and Olivia grew more and more obnoxious, their antics ridiculous and their screen time overwhelming. The banter seemed to slow down and the jokes grew stale.
Quirky supporting couple Nick and Abby, however, balanced Davis and Olivia well, providing some of the most consistent comedy in the series, including the finale’s best line: “It’s this kind of attitude that keeps us off The Amazing Race“.
Central couple Zack and Billie remained pretty consistently charming though grew tiresome after awhile. The series played up Zack’s immaturity and took advantage of Billy’s hormones more than I would have liked but generally Zack and Billie were watchable, not much more or less than that.
The finale brought the birth of the child conceived in the pilot, some annoyingly over-done shenanigans involving a prison cell, secret sex between enemies and a lot of Davis fainting. While the episode as a whole was mildly charming and generally uninspiring, the birth scene itself was pretty darn great as Zack serenaded Billie with “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa.
The episode served as a good representation of the show as a whole: charming, fine and generally passable with the occasional highpoint.
But despite its general decline in quality throughout season 1, I would actually like to see CBS pick up the simple sitcom for a second season. Yes, because I do like Jon Foster on my TV screen each week but also because now that the baby’s born there might be some really interesting stories to be told. I’m rooting for you, Accidentally on Purpose, fare thee well.
Finale Grade: C+
Season Grade: B-