I do not know how to feel about this information, I just know that I feel.
Shut Up. Shut your face.
Happy Endings finds a new way to do the Christmas sitcom episode and gets an A for its efforts. Mostly because those efforts revolve around Jane. And Jane almost always deserves an A.
Todd VanDerWerff is working late into the night to keep you up to date on the fall television schedules. Don’t you want to know when Don’t Trust The B—— In Apartment 23 will air? Won’t you justify his insomnia?
Walking Dead photo by Bob Mahoney / AMC
The answer lies in the world of the sitcom. For years now, I’ve been dividing sitcoms into shows that aim for greatness and try to push the boundaries of the form, and shows that just want to create a bunch of characters that are fun to hang out with. If Louie wants to change what television is capable of, something like Happy Endings just wants to let me hang out with my television friends on a weekly basis and laugh at the clever things they say. If you go back through television history, this divide has existed from the earliest days of the medium. I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners invented the sitcom form as we know it, but Leave It To Beaver created a warm, gentle space and a family anyone would want to be a part of. All In The Family offered an abrasive, inventive take on the American family, but Happy Days, particularly in its earlier, better seasons, presented a warm, friendly look at adolescence in the ’50s. Seinfeld changed the idea of what made for good sitcom fodder, but Friends took that basic structure and built a warm, loving show about hanging out with your best pals.
T.V. editor Todd VanDerWerff explains why shows that aren’t great can still get their hooks in us. It is nice to have friends in the television.