How to Feel About the End of “One Big Happy”

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After only six episodes, NBC has pulled the plug on One Big Happy.  If you’re finding it difficult to access a deep reservoir of emotion over this announcement, you’re not alone. With such a brief run, OBH didn’t have time to make much of an impression on our hearts and minds. But in case someone asks you, “So how do you feel about that gay show getting cancelled?” here are a few answers you might employ.

Sadness

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It’s always tragic when a young show’s life is cut short and we’re left wondering what might have been. OBH leaves us with many questions left unanswered, such as: Did Lizzy ever get back together with that cute nurse after having the baby? Did Prudence continue to devise little schemes to end up sleeping in Lizzy’s bed until she was finally forced to admit that she harbored a secret lust for her new life? And of course: What in the shitting world did Lizzy do for a living? We can only wonder.

Anger

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There’s two sides to the coin of anger here. You could be mad at the show for not being better or mad at humanity at large for failing to watch it. Since the former option seems more manageable, let’s stick to that.

One Big Happy, why weren’t you better? Why did you choose the painfully outdated multi-cam format, when any comedy with the slightest pretensions of edginess or wit is a single-camera?  Why did you build your foundation on a flimsy ménage whose comedic possibilities were already wearing thin by episode six? WHY DID YOU GIVE US ELISHA CUTHBERT AS A LESBIAN ONLY TO SQUANDER HER? While we may never know if OBH owed its tepidity to network pressures or forces from within the creative team. But however you slice it: mistakes were made.

Gratitude

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One Big Happy may be best remembered for being so unmemorable.But it speaks to how far we’ve come when a network sitcom with a lesbian main character can pass through our lives without making a ripple. It’s easy to be nostalgic for the good old days, when asking a woman if she watched The L Word was the next best thing to asking her out; it was really something that we had a show that brought all of us together. But we were also beggars at the feast then, choking down whatever gristle television threw us because it was all we had. Now we can afford to pickier, which means networks can’t count on luring the entire lesbian demographic simply by including one character who identifies as gay. Ten years ago, you and your entire rugby team would have been watching OBH, but we have the luxury of options now.

Weirdly Protective of Everyone Involved

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Don’t worry, Elisha Cuthbert, lesbians will still love you.

Don’t worry, Liz Feldman, you get right back on that horse.

Don’t worry, Nick Zano and Kelly Brook, I’m sure you’ll be okay, too.

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