‘Happy Endings’ Gets Canceled, We Can’t Have Nice Things

In the end, despite all the streaming and all the passionate pleas of a small but fiercely loyal fanbase (as it often goes with these kinds of things), ABC went ahead with what was probably their plan all along and announced the cancellation of ensemble comedy Happy Endings. This whole thing is dumb and a little infuriating for a lot of reasons. For one, it was easily the best traditional sitcom on TV right now (come on now, How I Met Your Mother hasn’t been good in years and you know it, you sad, sad person). Two, the poorly-publicized switching of timeslots certainly didn’t help and suggested this was a long time coming, which is a total bummer, and the ominous, hostage-y “Save Happy Endings” campaign from ABC was weird and kind of insulting to fans.

Also, Happy Endings got canceled and the gag-inducing Tim Allen vehicle Last Man Standing and the what-is-this-I-don’t-even-know The Neighbors survived to live another day, which is evidence that, as a TV-watching public, we can’t have nice things. At least ABC still has Scandal? And Nashville is coming back. It’s not all bad news?

On the bright side, the show may get picked up by USA and be reborn as a cable comedy, similar to what happened to the similarly beloved but poor-ratings-generating Courteney Cox vehicle Cougar Town, which found its way to TBS after getting the network axe. And although that might be a bummer for many Americans who don’t have cable, it does offer a glimmer of hope for a show that met its end too soon. Ideally, Happy Endings would run a couple more seasons, long enough for syndication, so that years from now, when we’ve watched the entire series of Friends in reruns for the 38th time in a row, we can settle in at night and be lulled to sleep by an old adventure of Penny, Max and the gang. Wouldn’t that be nice? If not, someone please start a Kickstarter for a Happy Endings movie or something. That’s one I’d actually back. 

Seriously, You Guys, Please Save ‘Happy Endings’

So you’ve probably been reading a lot about how Happy Endings is amazing and hilarious and the funniest show on TV, but due to its low ratings, it has been hit with the unfortunate schedule shuffling (including a move to the Friday night death-spot), episode-burning-off and possible cancellation. ABC has responded to fan pleas with a weird ad campaign, imploring fans to put the work in and save the show. Judging by the current schedule change, it looks like their minds are made up, but to dangle another season in front of fans like a carrot on a string, to sound almost as if the show is being held hostage and only you can save it—and even if views are really the only thing that can keep the show from going off the air, y’all, that’s just mean. Maybe, ABC, if you didn’t keep shuffling it around, casual fans of the show would, like, actually know when it’s on and be able to watch it and keep it from getting canceled.

And Happy Endings getting canceled, as it seems more and more likely, would still really be a bummer, you guys. But maybe we should put the extra effort in to watch it, and to convince our friends and contemporaries and people on the subway to as well. Use whatever selling point works best: the plotlines about dueling bar mitzvah emcees, the "it’s like Friends, but…," the delightful Adam Pally and Casey Wilson, the backstory that they all met as cast members on The Real World, which is sort of weird and amazing in and out of universe. Whatever cards work best in your deck, you know?

Is this what you want, America? Do you really want probably the best sitcom on television right now to get the axe while Two and a Half Men continues to drag its bloated swamp-creature corpse across your living room? Of course not! At least, we hope not. So here’s what we’re going to do: I’m going to end this post with an episode of Happy Endings. You are (hopefully—I can’t tell you how to live your life) going to watch it. You will hopefully find it hilarious, and you will continue to watch this show and end this sitcom hostage crisis. Because this show deserves at least one more season of bringing us joy, lest the cast somehow launch a Kickstarter campaign to try to resurrect it as a movie or something a few years later. 

There Are Other Movies Happening At Sundance Not Involving James Franco

Yesterday, the Sundance Film Festival announced its out-of-competition lineup, which included a lot of hype, a lot of all-star actors and a whole lot of James Franco. In his never-ending, Zelda-esque quest to become Supreme Lord of the Film Festival, James Franco is actually involved in two out-of-competition and rather NSFW films at the festival. One of the “Park City at Midnight” films is kink, a documentary about the employees of the adult website Kink.com, for which Franco worked with regular collaborator Christina Voros (Voros makes her directorial debut; Franco is signed on as a producer).

For the experimental “New Frontier” section of the festival, Franco has offered Interior. Leather Bar., which he both appears in and co-directs with Travis Mathews, who also wrote the film. In it, the directors attempt to recreate the lost gay S&M footage taken out of the 1980 film Cruising, removed to keep the film from garnering an “X” rating. I mean, it’s really only a matter of time before James Franco tries to curate his own festival of all movies involving James Franco as the star or director or EP or maybe he tries to write the soundtrack did you know he plays music now that’s a thing? Maybe he’ll come to the premieres in character. Maybe he’ll start his own filmmaking academy. Maybe eventually our national obsession with James Franco being involved in so many activities will finally come to rest, and we can all be at peace with our accomplishments. That would be nice.

But this isn’t an all-James Franco festival, because that would be boring. There are actually a lot of other talented people who have movies not in the competition. There are other documentaries, even! Including Sarah Polley’s festival-favorite Super 8-laced family tale Stories We Tell and Dror Moreh’s The Gatekeepers, a rather-relevant profile of members of the Israeli secret service. There’s S-VHS, the sequel to the acclaimed found-footage horror flick V/H/S, which will likely get a lot of play. There’s No, Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín’s look at the later years of Augusto Pinochet, a Cannes favorite featuring Gael García Bernal; Jeff Nichols’ Mud, your classic man-on-the-run-gets-help-from-teenagers story featuring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon. The multimedia art installations from the likes of lyrical Twitterati Yung Jake and interactive light-and-sound master Rafael Lozano-Hemmer also sound pretty intriguing. Let’s see you try to do something like that, Franco.

But perhaps the most exciting batch of films are in the “Park City at Midnight” section, which includes S-VHS and kink, as well as a film involving a recently-released prisoner on the road back to family and to his new life that is even called The Rambler, a road-trip horror film, a movie about a cannibal family and Virtually Heroes, which sounds like an alternate-universe Wreck-It Ralph in which “two self-aware characters in a Call of Duty-style video game struggle with their screwy, frustrating existence.” Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon’s demon-house comedy Hell Baby, featuring a whole lot of funny people (Keegan-Michael Key, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, Leslie Bibb, Rob Corddry) and road-trip comedy Ass Backwards, co-starring and co-authored by June Diane Raphael and Casey Wilson (and featuring Alicia Silverstone!), round out the lineup. 

Before Basking in the Joy of the ‘Happy Endings’ Premiere, Watch The Cast Perform at UCB

Happy Endings‘ third season premieres tonight, but if that’s just too long of a wait for you, the cast’s live special filmed at UCB over the weekend is now on YouTube. Adam Pally and Casey Wilson host the hour-long sketch show, and it goes pretty much as you’d imagine it, complete with Wilson’s goofy, vaguely Carlton Banks-esque dancing. 

A number of special guests appear, including fellow castmates Eliza Coupe and Damon Wayans Jr. (who gets asked some very uncomfortable questions), Fred Savage (!) and Kat Dennings. Brian Gallivan, one of the show’s writers who you may know as the star of Second City’s "Sassy Gay Friend," discusses writing the show ("I relate to Max because I have about one boyfriend a season," he jokes.) and sings an amusing and terrifying song about running into one of his former students at the club, with some cardboard cutouts cheering him on in the background. But perhaps the most memorable moment of the show is Eliza Coupe’s rendition of Claire Danes as Temple Grandin as Carrie Mathison. Watch.

Links: No Megan Fox Sex Tape, ‘Twilight’ Porn at Last

● Maybe the plethora of “Lonely Jen” stories stem from the fact that Jennifer Aniston hates to date; she says dating “sucks,” she doesn’t “understand it,” and the experience is just “bizarre.” [JustJared] ● Saturday Night Live has dumped Casey Wilson from the cast, reportedly because she refused to drop 1 pound of the 30 the show demanded she lose over summer break. [E!] ● Megan Fox says that, unlike other Hollywood bimbos, you’ll (sadly) never see her naked in a leaked sex tape. Fox says one glance at herself naked would ensure she’d never have sex again. [Us]

● Victoria Beckham took her kids on a family outing to Medieval Times this past weekend, but neglected to tip the waiter for her large group. [TMZ] ● After more than a decade of separation, Hugh Hefner has finally decided to divorce his second wife, Kimberly Conrad. Both have moved on — -Conrad to a house next to the mansion, and Hefner to three more blondes who could pass for his grandkids. [TVGuide] ● The characters in Twilight may not engage in premarital sex, but I’m sure those in This Isn’t Twilight: The XXX Parody do. [Examiner]

Casey Wilson & June Raphael on ‘Bride Wars’ & ‘Housewives’

The morning after the premiere of the chick-flick-to-end-all-chick-flicks Bride Wars, co-screenwriter/Saturday Night Live new It-Girl Casey Wilson and her best friend and writing partner June Raphael do their best not to talk over each other while dishing on Long Island wedding factories, bedazzled cell phones, and what makes seemingly normal girls go bonkers.

Casey, everyone knows the SNL after party is one of the hottest late-night parties in the city. What are the best late-night spots in New York? Casey Wilson: People [from the cast of SNL] go to Waverly Inn, they go to Rose Bar. June Raphael: She doesn’t really know. CW: I just go to bed.

You started in LA doing improv. So you don’t like clubs, but is there a café you used to hang out in a lot? CW: This place called Formosa Café. Starbucks.

For Casey, what are some of your favorite restaurants/venues in the city, and how have they changed since you joined SNL last year? CW: Well, they’ve changed in that I can go to better places now. Used to be Starbucks, McDonald’s … I used to go to Veselka, or Café Orlin in the East Village JR: I went to Veselka this morning.

What was the coolest part of watching your script get turned into a film? JR: Oh man, it was amazing. I think hearing the lines that you’ve written and said to each other — and when we’re writing, we say them to each other — and improvising in the back of cafes … CW: In the back of the cafes that we won’t advertise. JR: [laughs] Yah, to see moments in the script that were not comedic moments turned funny by the actresses was so exciting. CW: When the 20th Century Fox logo came on at the premiere, the “duuuh duuh duh” was the best. We didn’t even know how to use Final Draft, the writing program, when we started writing, and we never had any money to do anything. But seeing the big Fox logo felt like it suddenly legitimized everything.

I’d imagine getting ready for a premiere makes girls almost as crazy as weddings. Any fighting over who got to wear what last night? CW: No, I don’t think so. June borrowed a very nice pair of my shoes but didn’t even wear them. JR: I’m deciding when to give those back. When Casey lends something, she says “Just the only thing about this is don’t ruin it.” CW: There was one incident …

June, you’re engaged. Do you think being part of the film will make you less of a bridezilla in your own wedding? JR: Absolutely. Actually, it was the absolute best timing. I feel like I’ve already had a wedding, and it’s called Bride Wars. CW: The premiere was like a combination of an adult prom and a wedding.

Between Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson — who’d make a crazier bride? CW: Toss up. That’s a tough one. JR: I think that a lot of women who seem like normal, logical people go bonkers. So you have no clue what’s gonna happen. CW: Nobody’s safe. JR: Maybe I would say Anne actually, but only because she doesn’t seem like it.

For both Casey and June, who was the worst bridezilla you’ve ever had to deal with? CW: I had a girlfriend, she wasn’t so much a bridezilla, but things did get very strange. She was kind of yelling, walking down the aisle in kind of a cry-walk. People were thinking, “Oh, she’s crying because it was so beautiful,” but I knew really it was a pissed off-walk. One of the details must have gone very awry.

Are Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway’s characters based on any girls you know, and if so do they know? CW: I don’t think so. If anything, it’s probably based on our friendship. JR: I think we have a lot of us in both characters. We’ve never gone through a wedding together, but it’s really not a movie about bridezillas, it’s about their friendship, and a mistake they go through and trying to fix it.

Are you two competitive? JR: I’m more scared to get into a fight with Casey than any other person in my life because she knows me better. She knows exactly what to say. I think we’re competitive with stuff. Phones and bags.

What’s the last think you fought over? JR: Casey got her Blackberry bedazzled after she saw Sex and the City, and I literally went that day to the store. Not only that, but Casey only got the front bedazzled, and I got both. I’ve been nervous Casey’s gonna get an iPhone because then I’ll have to get one.

According to you guys, the Plaza is obviously the best place for a wedding. What’s the worst? CW: Oh God, maybe a hospital. I gotta say I’m not into the crazy, “let’s go scuba diving” weddings. In a car, maybe? JR: I once worked in a wedding factory, in Long Island. In one Saturday in June, they could do 12 weddings in a day. I would greet the brides when they would arrive, and there’d be three brides in the lobby walking around together. That’s tough. You don’t want to see another bride on your wedding day, and you definitely don’t want to see two.

Casey, I read in another interview that you’re into Bravo. Speaking of crazy married ladies, if you had to move to one Real Housewives town, which would it be? CW: We can definitely answer this one. We are obsessed with The Real Housewives of Orange County. JR: Me too.

Which housewife is your favorite? CW: Jeana. JR: I know it’s controversial, but I have a real love for Vicki. I know people make judgments about her, but I think we should just look a bit closer. I’m worried about her. I think being on the show is not good for her. I’d like to sit her down and help her.

2008 has been a big year for you guys. What’s up next in ‘09? JR: We’re writing a movie for us to star in, so we’re working on that. It’s a fun comedy about girls in their 20s, it’s untitled as of yet. CW: June has The Year One with Jack Black and Michael Cera.

Casey, what’s something most people don’t know about SNL? CW: That I’m on it.