It took them a while to make the decision, but Showtime has finally decided to cancel Happyish after just one season. It’s a move that is a bit of a surprise for a network that doesn’t really cancel anything but they decided to end this one after one season.
I was a regular watcher of this show but it wasn’t one that really had me hooked. The show was extremely depressing. I feel like it’s been a trend lately for shows out there to try to focus on middle-aged white guys who are successful but who want to complain about how bad they have it. Look. I am not above complaining. I am a master of it. But I know this, no one really wants to hear it. I doubt highly that anyone would want to see a TV show about my daily struggles either. I don’t know why networks think that anyone wants to see the struggles of any other successful white guys.
Happyish starred Steve Coogan who stepped in to replace the original lead, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who died of a drug overdose just after Showtime ordered the show to series. Steve Coogan is about as good a replacement you can get for PSH so the show failing is not Coogan’s fault.
Nor is the failure the fault of Coogan’s costar, the always brilliant and fantastic Kathryn Hahn. She is one of my favorites and her work on the show was very good. She showed that like most comedians, they are very versatile and can do much more than just make people laugh.
The failure of Happyish lies more at the feet of Shalom Auslander. You may not have heard of him, but he was a contributor on This American Life and the show is supposedly loosely auto-biographical. Again. No one wants to listen to a successful white guy complain.
Oh, you’re commute from your executive job in Manhattan to your palatial estate in upstate New York is a pain in the butt? Too bad. Oh your new boss is younger than you and just doesn’t “get” you? Too bad. Oh you’re kids are having trouble? Too bad. Oh you just don’t know if the career you have found yourself in is the right one for you? Jesus. Shut the F up already. No one cares.
There just wasn’t anything redeeming about Happyish that would make a wide audience want to watch the show. Week after week was just the main couple struggling and complaining. There was never any resolution and never any improvement or change. They just complained. Constantly.
It’s not a surprise to see this show get cancelled. It was even more depressing than Men of a Certain Age and that show had previously held the record for most depressing show on TV.
If there is a silver lining that will come from this, the world (well the few who actually watched the show anyway) got to see Kathryn Hahn in a role that we have not seen her in before. This should be opening the door for her to many more roles and that is a win for all of us.
If you were unfamiliar with Happyish, and I’m sure you were, here is a teaser from the show that illustrates what I’m talking about. This was put out by Showtime and it was meant to entice people in to wanting to watch the show.
Happyish Cancelled – Teaser
Did that make you want to watch? Are you sad you didn’t? I bet you are sad, but not about not watching the show.
Well that’s the end for Happyish. I’ll be looking forward to what Coogan and Hahn do next. Hopefully both decide to do something funny.