Television

TV Characters We Would All Hate In Real-Life

Joey Tribbiani

Frustrating… Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani

To be honest, I hate him anyway. I’ve never understood his appeal but to some people, he’s the funniest character on Friends. I doubt the general public would be as loving of him if they knew him in real life. For a start, he is stupid and although it can be charming, he must be frustrating to deal with seeing as he cannot grasp simple conversations. He’s sleazy, sleeping with and then ditching multiple women with no remorse and he often barges in to Monica and Chandler’s apartment demanding food and freeloads off of them in general. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the whole French debacle.

Eric Cartman

Chickenlover

Respect My Authoritah… Evil Eric Cartman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is there to say? We all love watching him on South Park but let’s not lose sight of the fact he’s a horrible little kid. He regularly exhibits racist and anti-semitic views, he tricked Butters in to thinking the world was ending so he could go to Kyle’s party in his place, he tried to exterminate the Jews, he injected Kyle with AIDs and he killed a boy’s parents and then made them in to a chilli that the boy unknowingly ate. A very sick individual that I’m sure none of us would like to know.


Ted Mosby

Let it go… Nobody is sure why Ted continues to pester Robin

It says a lot that the main character of a five-piece ensemble cast is the show’s least popular. The whole concept of How I Met Your Mother is based around Ted telling his kids the lengthy story of how he met their mother. Unfortunately, he is sidetracked by a whole lot of neediness, pathetic pining for ‘the one’, despite only being in his twenties. The whole Ted and Robin relationship is the most draining and irritating one to ever take place on the small screen, and since we love Sparkles so much, we blame it on Ted. We’re then left scratching our heads as to why he tells his kids about his various sexual conquests too. He just seems unbearably in need of constant emotional support.

Brian Griffin

Brian Griffin

Smug… Family Guy‘s Brian (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The epitome of ‘liberal douche’ is Brian Griffin. I’m not against Liberalism, I’m actually a Liberal myself but the insufferable way Brian goes on about his political and moral views like he’s some sort of prophet is very irritating. Quagmire sums it up best when he calls him out for pretending to be smart when really he isn’t all that. Plus, if his pompous attitude isn’t enough to turn you off, he’s also a dog, nobody wants to be condescended to by a canine.

Piper Chapman

Naive… OITNB’s Piper in puppet form

If you’ve seen Netflix’s drama sensation Orange is the New Black then you’ll know what an anti-hero Piper Chapman is. She is the show’s protagonist and from the start, we are led to feel sorry for her but then she starts putting her foot in her mouth far too frequently and getting herself in to all sorts of problems that causes us to abandon her. And whenever she is forced to defend herself, she naively states that ‘she never meant for any of this to happen’, will she ever learn?

Charlie Harper

Promiscuous… Charlie Harper

Like Joey Tribbiani, Charlie Harper is a heartless lothario who shows no remorse for the many, many, many women he has wronged – it’s no wonder one of them pushed him in front of a train. And is it me or does he never actually seem to be working?  I don’t watch Two and a Half Men as much as the other shows referenced in this list but I’m certain I would much rather live with Ashton Kutcher.

Susan Delfino

Cutesy… Teri Hatcher as Susan Delfino

Okay, we liked her ditzy antics in the first season of Desperate Housewives and the other housewives seem to tolerate her but I like to think I’d treat her with the same contempt that Edie Britt does.  She’s slyly selfish, constantly putting her needs before others, shown perfectly by her desire to rely on her teenage daughter, Julie for empathy. Her cutesy act would quickly wear thin as would her clumsiness and her apparent inability to keep hold of Mike, the ‘love of her life’. Urgh, she should have been fried by a power line – not Edie.

Barney Stinson

Barney Stinson

Compulsive liar… NPH as Barney Stinson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You’d have to include Barney for the same reason as Joey Tribbiani and Charlie Harper. He is an absolutely nightmare to women. He uses them for sex and then chucks them plus his compulsive lying would make him exhausting to be around. He’s the sort of person you’d have out grown in high school but may keep him around because you feel sorry for him.

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A Not So Happy Ending

On May 3rd 2013, ABC took the decision to cancel critically acclaimed comedy Happy Endings,  just three seasons in to its life span. Despite efforts from several networks to revive the show – it remains dead.

Undervalued… Happy Endings has been wrongly terminated.

Gimmick… Alex ran out on her wedding in the show’s pilot episode.

Most people are probably unaware of what Happy Endings is all about. I’m sure many know it as an obscure featureless comedy that currently does the rounds on E4 on Tuesday nights but in reality, it rarely gets its due praise. The show focuses around a group of six thirty-somethings in a big American city – unthinkable, I know. But honestly, it’s not like Friends or How I Met Your Mother in any other respect. There is no laugh track, no producer manufacturing humour and subliminally telling you when you ought to giggle. Unlike other sitcoms, the relationships are already formed and the series kicks off with Alex running out on her wedding to boyfriend, Dave. Despite this, the group tries to keep together instead of splitting as two of its members break up. Typically, the characters explore all sorts of quirky ‘sitcomy’ scenarios with various combinations of the six main characters but unlike most sitcoms, that if we’re honest are watchable at best, Happy Endings is legitimately funny. The characters are all likeable, the stories engaging and the jokes all encompassing that you feel like they’re your’s and your friend’s very own private jokes.

Hilarious… (L-R) Penny, Brad and Jane are the stand-out characters.

You’re probably thinking if it was as good as I’m saying it is then it would still be in production and I suppose that may be true. Throughout its tenure, the series received resounding critical acclaim being called “one of the sharpest and warm-hearted comedies on the air” and “the most underrated, under-watched series on TV, that may also be the funniest”.  Initially, the show drew decent ratings stateside often exceeding seven million viewers during its first and second seasons. Then, Happy Endings became the unfortunate victim of schedule congestion and was moved to Friday nights, colloquially known as the ‘Friday night death slot’ among American TV buffs. The ratings plummeted as low as 1.73 million viewers by the series’ penultimate episode resulting in its cancellation. The hardcore cult following it had amassed was nearly enough to grant it a resurrection on a different network but alas, it failed to materialise.

Fortunately for you, the internet exists. I strongly recommend this TV show, which is a slow starter so give it four or five episodes before making a judgement. The characters from neurotic Jane and her quirky husband, Brad to naiive Penny and Alex, righteous Dave and stereotype busting slob, Max, offer something for everyone – especially Eliza Coupe, Casey Wilson and Damon Wayans Jr. who are masterful in their roles. Who knows? Maybe it will emulate Arrested Development and get a deserved redemption a few years down the line and we can see whether Brad, Jane, Alex, Max, Penny and Dave did get their happy endings.

Things I’d Love To See on Modern Family

Cam and Mitch get Married

#Politics… The time is now for TV’s favourite gay couple to tie the knot

It’s the obvious scenario that every Modern Family fan wants and with the overturn of DOMA over the Summer, it’s now a real possibility. The hilarity of Cam’s extravagance combatting with Mitch’s scepticism would prove hysterical! Maybe, Cameron wants a farm themed nuptials and hires strict Claire as the wedding planner? Plus, the big occasions always deliver on Mod Fam. We would also be treated to the return of Merl and Barb Tucker and maybe even get to meet Cam’s sister! It would also be an excuse for Shelley Long to reprise her role as DeDe Pritchett – which is always a delight. I am fairly confident that the writers will make this happen in the next few seasons but I hope they do the right thing and make it Season 5’s finalé with an emotional engagement taking place before the mid-season break.

More Sal and more DeDe

Unexplored… Sal has only ‘properly’ met Cam, Mitch and Lily

In fairness, Modern Family has a pretty good track record of keeping its recurring stars exactly that; recurring. Benjamin Bratt (Javier) and Reid Ewing (Dylan) to name just two examples have appeared sparingly but frequently throughout the series. But two characters we need to see more of are Cam & Mitch’s party crazy BFF, Sal and delusional pest, DeDe Pritchett. It would be fascinating to see how Sal gets on with the rest of the family – especially say Gloria and Claire, whom she has had no chance of interacting with as of yet. And, what is there to say about DeDe? The ways she pushes Claire’s buttons is always a delight to see –  her first appearance in Season one’s ‘Coal Digger’ elevated the episode to ‘classic’ status.

The return of Ethan

Love triangle… Ethan and Dylan briefly battled for Haley in Anaheim.

Remember Ethan? The boy Claire brought along to the family’s Disneyland outing in the hope Haley would take a shine to him. Well, Ethan is played by Sarah Hyland’s real-life boyfriend, Matt Prokop. In a cast, that already thrives from perfect synergy – the reintroduction of Ethan would only bolster that. It would certainly catch Claire unawares when Haley starts dating a ‘good boy’ out of choice. It may also add to the wonderfully banterous relationship Haley shares with Alex, seeing as she too took a shine to Ethan in season three. If Dylan was to return too, it could set up an interesting battle for Haley’s affections – even though, I’m pretty sure we all know who she would pick.

A trip to Colombia… or England

Hola! Hola!… Gloria could give the family a different slant on Colombia

We’ve heard so much about Gloria’s home that it would be nice to finally see it. The extended Dunphy-Pritchett-Delgado clan have had a couple of trips during their four years of screen time. It would be nice for them to visit a place of sentiment to one of the characters. Although, Gloria has expressed her discomfort at taking Jay to Colombia, it would be interesting to see her take control of family affairs for the trip. Maybe, the fairly recent arrival of Fulgencio Joseph will give them a reason to re-visit her roots. Equally so, I’d love to see the family hop over the pond to England. Cam and Mitch briefly visited London in Season 4’s ‘Bringing Up Baby’ but it would be fantastic to see the lot of them in my home country. As I’ve already said, Modern Family’s vacations always provide hilarity.

Spouse swap

Clameron… These two have often clashed

The show builds a lot of its stories on crossovers from characters from each sub family but wouldn’t it be hilarious to see say Cam and Phil swap households? Phil lives with Mitchell for the week while Cam stays at Claire’s and watch how they react to the chaos they bring. I imagine Claire would treat Cameron fairly similarly to how Mitchell already does but Philtchell, as I’m now dubbing them, hasn’t really been explored to a great extent and if we remember correctly, Phil had expressed his curiosity about living with a guy in Season 1’s ‘Airport 2010. Although, I think it would be a genuinely funny move by the writers, it doesn’t seem inkeeping with the realistic way in which the character’s carry themselves and seems synonymous with a dying sitcom struggling for ideas.

Cameron meets Julia Roberts

Drama-queen… Cam is known for his exaggerations when re-telling stories.

“Cam has this crazy theory that if he were straight and Julia Roberts were single – they’d be dating” “It’s not crazy, I met her once at an AIDs walk and our chemistry was palpable.”
Remember that? Well let’s put it to the test! As one of television’s titans, it shouldn’t be too hard for Modern Family to attract a star even as big as Julia Roberts to guest star on the show. Imagine, Cam and Mitchell walking down the street and bumping in to her, only for Julia Roberts to have no recollection of him and subsequently completely dismiss his theory. Maybe, afterwards, Julia has a change of heart after seeing Mitchell gloat or Mitch himself sets out to get Julia to humour Cam after seeing him upset. This is certainly the most inventive thing I’d like to see on the show, but unfortunately it’s less likely.

Lily’s birth mother visits

Curious… Lily questioned her heritage in season four.

Lily has been longing to know about her real mother ever since Cam and Mitch killed a bird and told her she was a princess. Like with Ethan, it would be great for Lily’s birth mother to be played by Aubrey Anderson-Emmons real-life mother, Amy Anderson. Of course, if the writers were ever willing to explore such a dramatic twist in this, a comedy series, it should be to affirm the validity of the family Cam, Mitch and Lily have formed since 2009. Either, Lily rejects her birth mother or simply doesn’t meet her at all. It would certainly be hard to handle and portray comically but if anyone can do it – the incredibly talented writers of Modern Family can.