This Is Either Edgy, Or Stupid, Or Both

One thing I forgot to include in my weekend post — about why Unhappily Ever After has turned out to be the better of Kevin Connolly’s two shows — is this clip, which may be the closest thing this show had to an iconic moment (well, that and all the scenes of drunken audience members hooting at Nikki Cox), and sort of sums up why this crass, stupid, cheap (it was literally the lowest-budgeted scripted network show of its era) has gained a certain cult following. The hero talks to his imaginary friend about how to deal with his daughter’s unsuitable boyfriend, and they spend three minutes discussing the best solution: kill the boyfriend, and then kill six random strangers so that the police will look for a motiveless serial killer.

It is at once really dark and really stupid, but you’ve got to give them credit for doing a sequence you wouldn’t see on other comedies — on broadcast, HBO or any self-respecting network. There are some network TV shows that are the equivalent of Roger Corman movies: they have no money, they’re obviously ripped off from other projects, and they’re crass and exploitative, but they do stuff that prestigious shows wouldn’t ever try. The WB and UPN had a few shows like that in the ’90s, as these shows often tend to exist on networks that aren’t “real” networks. I make no great claims for such shows, except that they were sometimes more fun to watch than a lot of shows that were theoretically better.

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