CBS Takes 'Friends With Better Lives' Off Schedule Because James Van Der Beek Can't Win
I have so many conflicting feelings right now, you guys. CBS canceled freshman comedies Friends With Better Lives and Bad Teacher weeks ago, but now has decided to axe the series a bit early. According to Deadline, CBS has pulled both sitcoms from the schedule, filling in the FWBL slot with reruns of Mom, a fall freshman comedy that was able to escape cancellation, and the Bad Teacher slot with new episodes of also-renewed comedy The Millers. I'm not sad to bid farewell to these shows forever... but I am bummed that we're saying goodbye (for now) to some great comedic talents.
Truth be told, nothing about these two freshman comedies stood out. Friends With Better Lives, in addition to its truly terrible title, lacked originality. I mean, the show's hook was that it was about a group of friends where some are and some aren't in relationships, so it's not like the comedy was reinventing the wheel. Bad Teacher, a TV reboot of the 2011 Cameron Diaz film, wasn't much better. The show, about a foul-mouth teacher named Meredith who is only in the game for the rich single dads, just didn't seem like it had that many stories to tell. Each week she learned how to be a better person, which is unfortunate considering Meredith was way funnier when she was being a bad one. It worked for a feature, but not so much for a TV show where character growth is key.
So yeah, these CBS comedies didn't exactly make the grade. It happens. But though the shows themselves were subpar, one thing did stand out, and that was the acting. Friends With Better Lives and Bad Teacher boasted two amazing casts, and it really sucks that with the show's cancellation we won't be seeing these guys on our small screen every week. Though both shows had a strong supporting cast, what I'm really talking about is how much I'm going to miss seeing James Van Der Beek and Ari Graynor every week.
Van Der Beek already had a short-lived TV show with the underrated Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, where he played a (what I hope is an exaggerated) version of himself. For a dude that walked off "the creek," Van Der Beek is the sitcom star that the world has been waiting for... if only he could find a sitcom that actually stuck. I mean, have you even seen this guy's Tumblr? Check it.
Then there's Ari Graynor. She couldn't have been more perfect to take over Cameron Diaz's role, so it's a bummer that the TV show just didn't pan out. Lady's got amazing comedic timing (just check her out in For A Good Time, Call...) and would be perfect for an edgy single-cam sitcom... if only she could attach herself to a great one. She'll forever be known as the "Nora-I'm-being-CARRRRRIIIIEED" girl from Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist , (which is more than fair, considering she was absolutely hysterical in the movie) but needs another TV role that showcases her comedic talents. I would watch it, wouldn't you?
So goodbye, CBS sitcoms. Your stars were great, even if you were just... meh.