June 26, 2013

The Short-Lived, The Cancelled. Part #2: How to Live with Your Parents(for the Rest of Your Life)

Read Part #1 here!

Two of the shows that met their untimely ends in 2013 I'm actually sorry to see go. I also feel a little guilty that I didn't get to know them better before they bit the dust. In my last post and this one, I'll tell you why I'm going to miss two short-lived shows of this past television season.

Source: impawards.com
The pilot episode of How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) wasn't anything special. As is so often the case, the best (read: only) jokes were used in the promo ads, which took all the funny out of watching the episode itself. I couldn't pinpoint it at the time, but I later realized what I disliked about the episode. Here's the setup: Polly, played by Sarah Chalke, falls on hard times and is forced to move into her mother and stepfather's home with her young daughter. Life is hard for the misfortunate Polly, and her hippie parents are utterly unhelpful. When Polly goes on a date, reluctantly leaving her parents to babysit, hilarity ensues. (Polly's parents gave their granddaughter coffee. That's basically it.) But rather than being funny, this episode was depressing. I just felt bad for Polly and wished that life was better for her. Suffice it to say, I didn't plan to watch another episode after the pilot.

But then I did. I forget if was sandwiched between The Middle and Modern Family, or if it came on after one of those two, but my TV was still on, and I watched the episode (confusingly) entitled "How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life." It was as though the characters' roles had reversed. Hard times? No. Polly was to blame for making a mess of her own life, and her parents (although very much still flower children) were the only ones who could help her fix it. In this episode, Polly tries to move out of their house, but is not successful at turning on an oven (or any other aspect of living alone.) Brad Garrett delivered a phenomenal performance as Polly's stepfather. His back-and-forth with Sarah Chalke made for some incredibly comedic moments. In addition to being funny, this episode was uplifting. How to Live... was all of the sudden a feel-good comedy, and one I felt I would watch again!

Alas, I will not get the chance. I guess the best news in all of this is that there are still ten episodes of the show I haven't seen. Small comfort for the cancelled.

No comments:

Post a Comment