15 May 2011
Who cancels Mr. Sunshine and Better with You but keeps Happy Endings? If they’re not going to give a show a chance, there’s no point. And perhaps people should stop hiring Andrea Anders, this is not working out for her.
So ABC’s just made a big announcement. Guess how excited I am about it.
Cue my incredible guilt over not watching the most recent season of Brothers & Sisters (I just fell behind and kept putting off catching up). The show that held the place as my favourite for years, sported one of the strongest ensembles ever on TV, gave life to one of my all-time beloved characters (Kevin Walker) and won the My TV Award for Best Drama in both 2007 and 2008 was just unceremoniously canceled by ABC after 5 seasons.
The network’s just-released pickup/cancellation announcement is full of what appear to be nothing more or less than rash decisions. Brothers & Sisters is a show that deserved a final run to close out its storylines and give it a proper finale.
Better With You was reliably good and just coming into its own, if you don’t give a comedy time to grow you’ll never find your Friends or Seinfeld or MASH (insert the names of all the other crazy successful shows that didn’t start off with a bang).
But the real tragedy is Mr. Sunshine. The only new show this year with a unique voice of any kind, Mr. Sunshine was funny in lots of smart ways. It was ironic and weird but somehow ultimately sweet and jovial. It assembled some of the greatest people ever to appear on a television ever (Matthew and Allison- PLEASE try again soon, I love you!) and told stories I’d never seen before (on a sitcom!). Canceling Mr. Sunshine is to display your lack of scope. To show no faith in your artists to grow and find their footing. It shows that ABC (who put absolutely no marketing grease behind the series they pushed to midseason) is, in its latest incarnation (post- the scripted drama golden years of the 2000s), the new FOX- unsupportive and run by people without half the vision of the people they keep firing.
As for Happy Endings, the one new sitcom to get a mysterious reprieve (pending more announcements from CBS)- it’s fine, I guess. It’s amusing. But I’ve watched every single one of the new sitcoms that have been canceled and Happy Endings ranks below all of them in my estimation. FOX’s Traffic Light got a bad rap early on but if you stick with it you realize how well sketched out the central friendships are. Better With You and NBC’s Perfect Couples (the second worst cut) seem derivative, until you actually watch them. Then you realize that they’re funny and quirky and that the rules of quality are even more arbitrary than you think. Happy Endings was the weakest (though I am always happy when Eliza Coupe has a job)- so explain to me why its still here and better things aren’t!