A mid-season hiatus has killed many a good show. It can be hard to keep up with return dates, especially when it’s for a show that has less than exemplary ratings and subsequently receives zero ad-time. Sometimes (and this is most frustrating for the fans that have viewed and obsessively reviewed reruns and desperately need the sweet hit of a new episode) the date is even pushed back or bounced around before a silent cancellation. This may be done because the network legitimately can’t find a suitable home, but more often than not, it’s a passive-aggressive way to cancel a show. Essentially, it’s the equivalent of breaking up by way of a disappearing act; you still get your desired result while avoiding the dramatics of actually saying, “It’s over.”
Similar to others (I’d say countless others, but if there were more fans then ratings would be higher and we wouldn’t be in this predicament), I think this is exactly ABC’s, plan for Happy Endings. Moving a show to Fridays with little fanfare or attention is just what you do when you’re trying to send a show off the air. Sadly, that age-old network tradition has also been coupled with the good ol’ “double-up the episodes so we can burn through the season and move on” treatment and the writing is clearly on the wall. Although the cast put on a brave face and gave hope for a new TGIF, it was clear from ABC’s lack of support (e.g., actually going with a TGIF-esque lineup) that this was the move before the move before the cancellation.
Maybe there was a huge social media push for the return of Happy Endings that passed me by, and perhaps ABC ran a crap-ton of commercials that I somehow missed, but I had no clue that the new episodes were back. Fortunately, I went to watch an old episode and found not one, but FOUR new episodes were available. This was arguably the best two hours of my weekend. I didn’t know it before, but I’ve spent much of my adult life waiting for a Ladybugs reference (“He’s not lying. He once Ladybugs’d himself into a junior high girl’s soccer tournament, bet against the team, and threw the game.”) My joy aside, damn if it didn’t hurt realizing that no matter how consistently funny this show remains to be, ABC just isn’t impressed.
There’s talk of USA saving our show, and I’m appreciative of the mere possibility, but I’d be just as happy with a”TBS saves Cougar Town” treatment. On one hand, USA “welcomes characters” or something similar, and that could be the perfect home for a guy like Max. But maybe Happy Endings needs the loving embrace of a network that appreciates “very funny”. Regardless, I need this show to stick around. The Mindy Project definitely helps fulfills my obscure (and obvious) pop culture reference needs, but I need to know that the show that brought us Mandonna stays on long enough to make me someday wish it’d just get cancelled already.
I’ll leave you with these ah-mah-zing Penny moments and a request that you tune in or DVR or do whatever it is you need to do that allows you to watch the episodes while still alerting ABC that the show has viewers and it’s worth keeping around.
There are some shows that, try as I might, I recall in conjunction with memories of romantic relationships past. Jersey Shore has been and will always be one of those shows. I remember who I was dating when I first saw the commercial for this show and we both just knew that this show was going to be a big friggin’ deal. I can pinpoint the moment I looked at my own relationship and realized, with a growing sense of horror, that it was almost as dysfunctional as the insanity that was Ron and Sammie.
I love Jersey Shore because it was a part of my life in that point where you’re approaching 24, which means you’re young enough to want the drinks and the partying, yet old enough to know that at some point all of that will get old. Screw bills and babies, I wanted to live out all my bad habits and chase the elusive “good time.” Jersey Shore gave me that, as well as an escapist attitude you can only truly enjoy when you’re watching a fuck-up that will not bring you any direct harm. I love Jersey Shore because these real people allowed me to live out all my stupidity in a very fictional way that was somehow their reality.
It’s never been cool to like Jersey Shore. You either hate it and take time to discuss why it’s so horrible (when you could be living/enjoying your own life), love it because you’re actually a guido/guidette or…I don’t know…love it “ironically”. But I swear there are people that fall into none of those arbitrary categories I just made up, and I’m one of them. I love Jersey Shore because I simply love it. It’s not a “guilty pleasure” or a show I would watch in a shroud of secrecy and shame. I’m into television, obviously, so I respect that people sometimes have different viewing preferences than I do, but seriously, if you’re one of those people that take personal offense to reality television and blame Jersey Shore for the derogation of all things sacred on the boob tube, I probably dislike you a little bit.
I will miss the show that accomplished what all the Real Worlds (post-Las Vegas) have been trying/failing to accomplish: cultural relevance. I will miss the show that gave me Meatballs. I will miss the show that redefined a “situation” and gave pre-gamers across the world a rally cry when their mode of transportation (cabs) had arrived. But most of all, I will miss the show that helped men (and women alike) across the world know if their drunk dance partner was down to f*ck (DTF) or rather too drunk to f*ck (*TDTF). I will miss Jersey Shore, and I’m not even remotely ashamed to admit that.
Maybe Buckwild, which is so obviously MTV’s attempt at cashing in on the Honey Boo Boo craze and fill the huge gaping programming void Jersey Shore leaves in its absence, will pull me in after an episode or two. I might fall in love and have a reality show that tides me over until summer, which is when Big Brother becomes my reason for living. Doubtful. I miss Pauly D and Vinny’s bromantic interactions and ability to stay both involved yet removed from their housemate’s drama already.
*I just made this up. I would have undoubtedly fit in.
(This post will undoubtedly discuss much of season seven, so don’t read if you haven’t watched…unless you’re into spoilers.)
I was very ‘meh’ about Dexter‘s seventh season. I’m still not sure why, but perhaps that after the obvious plots and pacing of season six, the many subplots and franticness that made up this season were just too much for me to enjoy week after week. It got to the point that I stopped my Sunday viewings and let my DVR fill up with unwatched episodes. I finally dedicated a Friday afternoon to catching up, just in time for the finale. While the season itself failed to grab my attention, the finale (specifically the final minutes) literally made me jump off the couch in totally shock.
Bravo Dexter writers! The last time a Dexter finale got to me like that was in season four. For all of my joy over the way this season finally played out and what’s to come, it’s bittersweet knowing that this is the end. We knew going into the seventh season that the producers (more than likely) intended for it to be part one of the final end, and that’s for the best; no one likes watching a show they love stay on long after it’s reached a natural expiration date. What I like most about the way this season ended is that it left very little room for anything but the culmination of Dexter’s journey. Even if the show’s ratings are drool-worthy for TV execs, the story will end, and the masterminds behind Dexter have made sure of that.
Hannah Disappearing Act
Hannah escapes jail, thanks to the help of her former roommate Arlene. When Hannah leaves the black orchid on Dexter’s doorstep, it could be her final goodbye before she heads to Argentina or a dark reminder of how they first met. Regardless, I loved that Hannah’s future and how it connects to Dexter is very open-ended. With Rita and Lila the finality was there, and while Lumen’s departure didn’t end with death, it was pretty clear she had no plans to return to Dexter’s life either. The writers could have killed Hannah off in the finale, either at the hands of Deb or Dexter. By not doing so, they leave a loose strand that could end with Dexter finding some resemblance of happiness when this is all over. I would love to see the whole next season end in a Shakespearean bloodbath with Dexter left with only Harrison and Hannah. She could return to help him escape and since the two clearly deserve each other, they could end up (relatively) happy ever after.
In my opinion, LaGuerta has been one of the show’s most annoying characters for many seasons now. She’s horrible and functions like some power-hungry, cold-hearted robot bitch. Even so, her romantic relationships always had a way of humanizing her, which explains why she pushed away Angel, Doakes and probably a slew of others. Her love for Doakes (and desire to clear his name) pushed her to relentlessly pursue Dexter as the BHB, even after she was given multiple reasons not to. But it’s Angel’s love for her that could ultimately result in Dexter getting caught. LaGuerta died knowing that she was right about Dexter and Deb, and her death might mean that Angel (and perhaps Quinn) start to believe her story as well. As we learned this season, all it takes is something tiny (i.e., the slide Dexter left behind at Travis Marshall’s crime scene) to put someone on his trail, and LaGuerta left a lot of “tiny” things behind. There are the warrants for Deb and Dexter, as well as the gas station surveillance video of Deb. I think the writers will find a way to have Deb and Dexter legally escape this mess, but it’s unlikely everyone goes back to thinking LaGuerta is nuts and Dexter is innocent.
All season long, we watched her grapple with her knowledge of what Dexter does and who he truly is. She finally told him that she’s in love with him, but nothing really changed, until the finale. She felt it was necessary to choose between Dexter and LaGuerta, and she chose her brother. She could have made this choice by simply leaving the scene and letting Dexter handle things, but instead she was the one to kill LaGuerta. By doing this, the writers pushed Deb to Dexter’s level; she’s no longer the innocent who got wrapped up in Dexter’s nature. She may have been pushed to the brink by everything that led up to it, but she ultimately made the decision to shoot LaGuerta, and that changes things in a much more significant way than her simply knowing (and accepting) that Dexter is a killer. Dexter always says that he was ‘born in blood’ in that shipping container. Years later, he worried that Harrison would suffer the same fate since he too watched his mother die at an early age, which makes sense since it seems killing does run in the Moser bloodline. However, it ended up being him and Deb that were forever changed in their respective shipping containers. Something in Deb died, and although I doubt she starts running around thinking about ‘dark passengers’, there is no way she doesn’t end up with a darkness that isn’t all that dissimilar to Dexter’s.
For all of the key things I loved about the finale, I still have gripes with the way things ended, including a few missteps in the overall season:
- The Phantom Arsonist was an unnecessary subplot. Period.
- Louis the Intern could have been Louis the Nephew (of Dexter) or even Louis the Sidekick, but instead he was Louis the Annoying Guy That Dislikes Dexter Because He Slammed His Stupid Video Game. I don’t know if I should applaud the writers for employing such a huge red herring or curse them for making me waste precious time theorizing for no good reason.
- The prospect of a Jamie and Quinn pairing is a bad idea. Period.
- This is hypocritical, because I loved that the season ended with Deb making such a definitive statement by killing LaGuerta, but I hated that Deb killed LaGuerta. Seconds after the shot was fired, she ran over to her, told Dexter she hated him and began crying. Moments after that, she seemingly cleaned herself off, and went to Angel’s NYE party so that she and Dexter could party like it was 1999. I can’t take a full eighth season of Deb whining and being extra emotional about what she did. You made a choice, own it. But this is Deb, so of course she’s going to opine about her guilt. Of course.