by Kolby Solinsky
Editor, White Cover Magazine
Comedies have taken a sharp turn for the better since 2008. (For whatever reason, I’m linking this phenomenon to the economic downturn, er, depression.)
Starting with 30 Rock, it no longer became acceptable to simply slap up an attractive couple and have them run through the awkward “slightly racist” episode. You couldn’t just toss Jennifer Aniston between Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer and know people would watch, despite having not seen either of those dudes in anything other than Friends.
Within a couple of years, Modern Family was the bare minimum for network television. Shows with laugh tracks — Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory — were watched only ironically. Entourage and Californication became male manifestos. Suddenly, you weren’t risque unless you were glorifying incest, rape, and crack addiction on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
The result has left female comedians in the dust. Actors can’t break into the business unless they have the creativity to write their own script. Judd Apatow is a thing of the past.
With that, I have to ask: is Happy Endings the best show on television?
It’s quirky. It mixes sexual preferences with sexual preferences and then with metrosexuals, so you can’t tell the differences between either until you actually see the characters kiss someone. Everyone sleeps with everyone, or has the potential to. It takes a one-time Maxim cover model — Elisha Cuthbert — and lets her flex her acting muscle. Its writing is sharper than Panasonic’s pixel count.
Happy Endings has reset the bar on everyone else’s Hollywood aspirations. It’s part of the 21st century’s movement away from Jello/Sweaters and Walkmans. It’s like watching the evolution of the black quarterback in the NFL, only it stars a sexy, curvy brunette with self-deprecating humo(u)r who is suddenly hotter than any blonde thrown our way.
And, unlike everything else pitched in the last 10 years, Happy Endings actually has a shot to remain on the air for longer than two seasons.
If you don’t believe it, what other show would have an episode called “Why Do I Always Have To Be LaToya?”