Saturday, July 4, 2015

What I’m Watching: Happyish (Season Finale)

Happyish: Season 1, Episode 10 “Starring Christopher Hitchens, Philip Larkin and Josef Stalin” (B+)

This was a fitting finish for the first season of this show, which has yet to be picked up for a second season, hardly an enduring sign of positivity given Showtime’s generally enthusiastic nature regarding the shows it likes. I think this finale wraps it up pretty well, as its main characters move beyond simply complaining about how much they don’t like everything to actually taking action to change their lives. Lee trying to redesign one of the rooms in her house as a place for Thom to do his writing was sweet, and Thom vowing to quit his job because he just couldn’t take it anymore was a fulfilling goal that has been a long time coming. The analysis in this episode was spot-on: there was no one moment that made him pull the trigger, but rather the knowledge that it would be an unending cycle of ideas being butchered and repurposed for malicious or idiotic things. The slide’s existence is a perfect example of that, a wholly unnecessary morale booster that signifies the lack of meaning to anything that they are doing. Lee’s constant vomiting turned out to be something not too surprising, and Thom’s reaction of “I love you” was great. He’s going to have to tough it out to make sure they can make money, but I think that having a new child will help instill some positive energy in his life which both he and Lee could really use. Thom’s bizarre story being enacted was just the expected kind of strange symbolism played out that this show has made familiar by this point. I’d like to see this show come back for another year, as it could certainly benefit from some growth and retooling. Let’s hope for the best!

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Kathryn Hahn as Lee

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