Thursday, September 28, 2006

FOX's HAPPY HOUR Likely The First Cancelled Show Of The New TV Season

It's very likely that both the vultures and flies are waiting to descend on the dead carcass of the first new show of the Fall 2006 TV season to be cancelled. Many thought that the Anne Heche comeback project over on ABC, MEN IN TREES, would be the first DOA series of the season, but instead it looks like the FOX may take this honor with the announcement of yanking HAPPY HOUR from tonight's Thursday night lineup.

As far as a plotline goes, HAPPY HOUR was a complete mess. As far as laughs go, HAPPY HOUR did manage to effortlessly launch more than a few funny if not sometimes tasteless and lusty laughs. Compared to the slowly improving new Brad Garrett program before it that seemed to miss more real laugh opportunites than it captured, HAPPY HOUR at least offered some funny material despite a head scratching premise.

The best that I can determine, the premise of HAPPY HOUR was basicly to offer just about anything to hang some jokes on. And the premise of a young fellow who rents a room in an apartment where his older roommate constantly mixes drinks while everyone including his female boss, who the young roommate has already slept with, walks through the unlocked front door as though it's a revolving door, and has more foot traffic than your average Macy's department store is just about the most confounded mess of a plotline ever for a sitcom. But as vehicle to hang jokes on, this razor thin premise works just about as good as anything.

The funny thing about HAPPY HOUR is that compared to the mean spirited and bone dry humor of the competing NBC program, THE OFFICE, HAPPY HOUR seems both simple and almost wholesome by comparison. THE OFFICE has has already wringed menopause, firing and racism for laughs. Last years Halloween episode featured the cast dressed in costumes, and the man dressed like a HOBO found himself fired by show's end. This left a real bad taste in my mouth. Compared to this, HAPPY HOUR is a relatively harmless comedy.

Last year I liked the now cancelled throwaway comedy on UPN, LOVE INC. ,which wasn't great, but was very watchable. HAPPY HOUR was similarly a disposible comedy, but also very watchable. FOX claims that the show will be back in November, but that's really hard to imagine that during November sweeps FOX will bring back a show with a meager audience of just 4.1 million. Likely HAPPY HOUR is gone for good, while FOX looks for a better replacement vehicle to draw bigger ratings. Any FOX program that draws lowly UPNlike ratings is more than likely gone for good. RIP HAPPY HOUR.


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