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.