Romantic Comedies and Premature Deaths

I had planned on writing up my thoughts on television’s new romantic comedies. Unfortunately, I took too long and the networks have already cancelled two of the shows. It is frustrating to see shows get cut so fast these days. They do not get a chance to find an audience before some executive tosses the show away. Networks make it hard for audiences to want to invest in a show when their fate is so perilous from the start. It is a vicious cycle that feeds into itself.

Both ABC’s Manhattan Love Story and NBC’s A to Z were cancelled. Manhattan Love Story used voice over to tell the inner thoughts of the two main characters. It added a new perspective to the genre, and gave extra insight into situations as they unfolded. A to Z revealed the total length of the main couple’s dating relationship from the outset. The show used the defined timeline to add mystery as the story progressed, leaving audiences to wonder if the couple would break up or get married by the end. It was a cool way to present the series. I like when shows try something a little different, and I am sad to see that both shows did not make it.

NBC’s Marry Me is new romantic comedy created by David Caspe, the man behind the recently deceased Happy Endings. The show follows Annie and Jake, a newly engaged couple who stumble through every aspect of their relationship. Unlike Manhattan Love Story and A to Z, the show does not try to create its own unique hook. Instead, it relies on absurd situations to create comedic moments while giving the characters personality and heart. It is funny and heartwarming. I hope the show can make it through the season.

For those not willing to bet on the uncertain fate of a new show, FX premiered You’re The Worst earlier in the year. With the first season complete and renewed for a second, the show may be a better time investment. Unlike most romantic comedies, You’re The Worst focuses on flawed, toxic characters. Do not let that turn you off though. As you get to know each of the characters, the series reveals the likeable parts of their personality. Despite their messed up lives, I found myself rooting for the couple. The supporting cast also injects a lot of humor and craziness into the show.  Somewhere I saw the show described as an anti-romantic comedy, much like It’s Always Sunny is an anti-sitcom. The comparison is apt. I am looking forward to the next season.

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