TV Obituaries: RIP Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation - Season 7Thank you all for being with me during this trying time.  Parks and Recreation left us peacefully two days ago and there is no other show that more deserved to go out on its own terms.  Whitney already gave Parks a moving and appropriate tribute, but this show more than any other deserves an extra.

If I have recommended Parks and Rec to you in the past, you have heard my pitch, but it remains the same.  Parks and Recreation is truly a special show because it is that rare breed of comedy that is all at once optimistic, smart, joyous, and oh, hysterically funny.  This breed is so rare that I’m not even sure there is another.

Comedies are my jam, but what I have always loved about Parks is that I leave every episode feeling uplifted because (Jerry jokes aside) the humor rarely comes from malicious place.  The show is truly special because it is about a group of people who are crazy degrees of different but who still love each other and (to varying degrees) love what they do.  Mainly because they get to do it together.  The show’s series finale was the perfect encapsulation of this, the perfect send-off to our little band of weirdos and I cried more times than I would like to admit because it wasn’t really that sad.  I cried because I am losing my best (TV) friend.

I’m really going to miss Pawnee and all of its eccentricities, because the town is a character in and of itself, but more than anything I am going to miss watching the Parks department and the genuine love that they have for each other.  It truly is the most enjoyable show that you could ever watch and I highly suggest that you get on Netflix if you have never had the extreme pleasure of watching this show.

So bye, bye, Parks and Rec.  I already miss you in the saddest fashion.

Ellen

RIP: A to Z

A to Z - Season PilotI do love it when a headline has it’s own rhyme scheme. Much farther down on my list of loves, however, are Fall cancellations. That’s not to say that they aren’t a necessary part of the TV circle of life. When shows die, their carcasses are absorbed back into Mother Pop-Culture and are reborn, under the guise of a “new” show. And so it goes; Cheers begets Friends begets How I Met Your Mother begets Happy Endings begets… CSI: New Orleans? Who knows.

While I’ve been pretty satisfied by most of this year’s early cancellations (Bad Judge, Manhattan Love Story), one has lodged itself in my craw. I know that A to Z wasn’t the strongest contender this year. It’s ratings weren’t great and it was, truth told, just another serial rom-com to clutter the bottom of the DVR, but I liked it. Whereas the aforementioned Bad Judge and Manhattan Love Story were fundamentally flawed, I thought A to Z had a lot of potential. Or that it would, at least, outlive that laugh-tracked disaster Mulaney (sorry John). Because it was funny, and it was clever, and it was going somewhere, albeit a little slowly. Apparently that wasn’t enough for the ‘stach twisting, cigar puffing, show slaughtering fat cats over at NBC. So rest in peace, A to Z. We hardly knew thee… RHYME! Sorry, sad again. So, so sad. It really is too bad. More time is what I wish we had.

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Whitney

TV Obituaries: RIP Psych

PsychWe have been so busy talking about that other finale that happened that I haven’t even gotten to properly grieve the passing of my beloved Psych. HIMYM and I had a roller coaster relationship, always up and down with it pissing me off quite a bit a times.  But, Psych?  Psych is that old friend that I always knew I could go to for a good laugh.  The only thing it ever did to upset me was go off the air for long periods of time, but that was always more USA’s fault.  Oh, and when Rachel Leigh Cook came in and screwed up everything.  That also upset me greatly.

Some may have said that this show was TOO goofy or TOO light or had TOO many pop culture references.  To those people, I say “C’mon son“.  Those were the reasons I loved it!  How am I supposed to live in a world where there will never be another Gus nickname?  Don’t be an old sponge with hair hanging off of it.

Shawn and Gus are the best bromance on TV, in my opionion, and it is what ultimately made the show.  Watching them scream like girls, eat pineapple, out reference each other, indecipherably bicker, and try to grow up will always warm my heart.

I have been with this show since day one, so this one hurts., but the pain is lessened by the fact that this show lived a nice, long life and got to go out on its own terms.  Psych, I salute you by raising a finger to my forehead and letting out a resounding “Suck it!”

Ellen

Just because I love them…

JT Waring: Do you understand about honor, Mr. Spencer?
Shawn: Of course I do. I have a bootleg copy of Saving Private Ryan at home.

Lassiter: What do you two know about street racing anyway?
Shawn:Only what we learned from The Fast and The Furious. So… everything.

Gus: You’ve never read the Bible, have you?
Shawn: Sure. There’s Genesis. Exorcist. Leviathan. Do… the right thing.

Major General Felts: I assume you realize this kind of idiocy will not be tolerated on my base!
Shawn:Is there another type of idiocy you would be more comfortable with?

Juliet O’Hara: Well, Lassiter’s really got your goat, huh?
Shawn: Yeah, he does, and I want it back. God knows what he’s doing to that poor thing.

Shawn: I don’t lose things. I place things in locations which later elude me.

Gus: Do you think it could be PTSD?
Shawn: I think it’s slightly more serious than a mere menstrual issue.

Fangirly Investigates: Can There Be a Perfect Series Finale?

fans-are-not-happy-with-the-how-i-met-your-mother-series-finaleSeriously, is it even possible?

Last night, 9 seasons of How I Met Your Mother culminated in an hour long series finale.  The episode began with Ted Mosby still never having even laid eyes on the titular mother, so I went into already concerned.  How were they going to give me all of the moments that I wanted to see between Ted and the mother?  It just wasn’t possible.

SPOILERS FOLLOW: My worst fears were realized.

Bummer #1) After a season of Barney and Robin’s wedding, we find out that 3 years later they got a divorce.

Bummer #2) Robin gets too preoccupied with her job and basically never sees the gang anymore, breaking Lily’s heart (and mine).

Bummer #3) The mother dies.  Yeah, you read that right.  On a show called How I Met Your freaking Mother, the mother dies.

Bummer #4) After sitting through 9 seasons worth of story telling, Ted’s kids tell him that it is so obvious why he has been telling them all these stories.  It has not been to tell them how he met their mother, but how he may still have feelings for their “Aunt Robin”.  This was mainly a bummer because I never really “got” Ted and Robin.

Last Forever Part OneWhilst I am beginning to come around to the finale a little bit more, I was initially crushed.  This entire show has been building up to Ted meeting his soul mate, the one.  Or at least that is what I thought.

I have to at least respect that they hoodwinked all of us, because, yes, in theory it makes sense that this has been leading up to Ted ending up with Robin seeing as how the show has mainly centered on their on again, off again thing.

SPOILERS OVER

Mainly, the finale got me thinking about series finales in general.  Has there ever been one that has been universally adored?  In short, no.

I have to imagine that this is in part due to the fact that when you build a relationship, whether in real life or with a TV show (personally, my favorite kind of relationship), and you loved that person/show, the goodbye is always going to be the hardest part.

That is why I am trying to look on the HIMYM finale with some optimism and instead think of all the good times we had.   And not that I wanted to throw my TV out the window over this crushing major disappointment (*salute* Major Disappointment.)

Ellen

TV Obituaries: RIP (?) Happy Endings

ZACHARY KNIGHTON, ELISHA CUTHBERT, ELIZA COUPE, DAMON WAYANS JR., CASEY WILSONI write this with an extremely heavy heart.  This wrongful cancellation is right up there with Arrested Development, Veronica Mars, and Pushing Daisies in my book.  I have already attempted to put my love for this show in a post, so I won’t try and persuade you into seeing how a-mah-zing this show is again.  It would fruitless now, anyway.  (Goes in a corner to quitely sob)

Okay, now that that is done, I will just bemoan how upsetting this is and why.  I believe I can say that Happy Endings was one of a few shows on TV that had me literally (and yes, I am using “literally” correctly) rolling on the floor with laughter during each episode.  Some say it had gotten a little too zany this season, but that has just endeared it to me more.  Characters that once were my least favorite (Alex and Dave) were finally delivering just as many, if not more, LPEs (that’s laughs per episode).

AGH!  I cannot curse ABC enough!  And I have yet to find a gypsy woman who can tell me how to make a voodoo doll for a corporation.

Making this slightly less painful is the conviction of the cast, crew, and production company to keep it alive and USA Network’s supposed interest in helping with that endeavor.  I hope with all my heart that my little band of weirdos will find a home that will show them the respect they deserve.  Until then, sleep well, Happy Endings.  Say hi to Ben and Kate for me.

Ellen

TV Obituaries: RIP Better Off Ted

Better-off-Ted-better-off-ted-10352512-2000-1331You know what I hate? I mean, other than perfume commercials, mashed potatoes, or sentences that end in a preposition? I hate watching a young show get cut down in it’s prime. Three years after its cancellation, I’m still reeling from the loss of ABC’s Better Off Ted. Speaking as someone who strongly feels that the world can never have enough zany workplace comedies, the show was the bright spot of my week during its brief two season run.

On paper, the premise of this show seems pretty ho-hum. Ted Crisp (Jay Harrington) manages a research and development team for a massive corporation. Bored yet? Then perhaps I should mention that Ted’s boss, the stoic and well-coiffed Veronica, is played by the one and only Portia de Rossi, with all the stellar comedic timing and deadpanned delivery we’ve come to love. Oh, are you back on board? Awesome. Let’s proceed.

Of course, you can’t have a great workplace comedy without some great writing attached. I can’t tell you how many funny one-liners I’ve pilfered from this show. Oh no… there’s no stopping it… I feel a cluster-quote coming…!

There was the time Ted and his love interest/employee Linda invented the game of throwing stale bagels into an air vent:

Ted: What are you afraid of? If you throw a game, it’s gonna keep you out of the time-wasters hall of fame?
Linda: No. My position there is secure from getting my art history degree.

Or the time Ted inadvertently forced Ryan the security guard to quit his job:

Linda: So did you hear the latest office gossip? Ryan the security guard quit his job because you’re a giant douche-mobile. That’s right, you’re a douche on wheels. Or perhaps a decorative sculpture hanging above a baby douche’s crib. The gossip didn’t specify.

And how could we forget Veronica, the company mouth-piece:
Veronica: If you want to get the company off this, you have to show them that this new pace will cost them money. Because the company loves its money. If they could, they’d go to strip clubs and throw naked women at money.

Like the Temptations, I ain’t too proud to bed. Please, please, please, watch this show. You can find both seasons now on Netflix streaming!
-Whitney

TV Obituaries: RIP 30 Rock

tumblr_lh1v4vON2w1qewawmI’ve been trying really hard to be bitter about the end of 30 Rock, the show that basically shaped Ellen and me as adults and perpetual weirdoes, but I can’t. The truth is, NBC had no reason to pick up Tina Fey’s beloved brainchild after that initial 12 episode run seven years ago, but they did. They took a chance on 30 Rock, and now all they have to show for it is a truck-load of Emmys, insane critical and commercial success, and the gratitude of this humble nerd.

I love this show more than I can express without bursting into tears/hysterical laughter. Liz Lemon wasn’t like any other female character on television at the time. She was weird and obsessive and30-Rock-30-rock-32196024-620-444 cool and smart, and for the first time my thirteen year old self saw someone on TV worth looking up to.

My fondest 30 Rock memory happened during my high school years. It was one of those glorious weekends when my parents decided to take their adorable act on the road, leaving me to experience the world of independent living for a few days. Glorious, that is, until the sun went down and the house started making weird noises (did the fridge always sound like that?) and I suddenly regretted watching quite so much Law and Order: SVU. In an attempt to stave off the panic I could feel building in my teenage tummy, I started flipping though our DVR in search of something entertaining enough to take my mind off the rising crime rates in my hometown but innocuous enough to help me fall asleep. Pretty soon I stumbled upon “Black Tie”, the Black-Tie-1x12-30-rock-14679186-853-48030 Rock episode where Liz and Jack attend a birthday bash for a fantastically inbred Austrian prince played by the one and only Paul Reubens. Pretty soon I was so involved in their misadventures I completely forgot to worry about being murdered in my sleep. Mostly.

So thank you 30 Rock. Thanks for being the coolest, funniest, most bizarre show on TV. Thanks for giving Ellen and me a reason to hang out on Thursday nights. My one parting request? Get Jack McBrayer a new show. Mama needs her weekly dose of apple-faced goon.

-Whitney