Will ‘Champions’ Return For Season 2? Mindy Kaling’s New Comedy Deserves A Chance To Grow
Although the title implies winning, the fate of the NBC sitcom Champions is not so clear at the moment. The season finale of the freshman sitcom airs on May 3, but NBC hasn't renewed Champions for a Season 2 yet. Unfortunately, that could mean that the series will be canceled after only eight episodes. But even if the ratings aren't stellar, there are plenty of reasons why Vince, Michael, Matthew, and the rest of the Champions gym gang should return for the next TV season.
TheWrap pointed out that the Anders Holm-starring Champions hasn't seen particularly good ratings in its time slot of Thursday nights at 9:30 p.m. ET. And ahead of its Season 1 finale, The A.V. Club considered the possibility that NBC could cancel both of its new sitcoms — Champions and A.P. Bio. But there are still plenty of parenthood lessons that Holm's Vince can learn as he navigates being a dad to his teenage son Michael, so it would be a shame to cut this show with so much potential short. Plus, just think about how outraged Mindy Kaling's Priya or J.J. Totah's Michael would be to know that a TV show starring them has been canceled! That alone seems like reason enough to give Champions another season. But if the powers that be aren't convinced, here are nine other arguments for why there should be a Champions Season 2.
1. J.J. Totah Is A Star
All the world's a stage for Michael, but it's the actor who portrays him who is the real star. You may have seen Totah on Disney's Jessie or in the last season of Glee, but Champions could be the show to make this magnetic young performer a household name.
2. It's Got Mindy Kaling
One of the reasons Totah's performance is so dynamic is because he's reminiscent of the actor who portrays his mom — and who also co-created the series — Mindy Kaling. She pops up occasionally to kind-of, sort-of give advice to Vince. And beyond it always being a delight to see Kaling on TV, it should bring The Mindy Project fans back to the days of Pastor Casey and Mindy Lahiri.
3. The Gym Is Like 'The Mindy Project' 2.0
Speaking of The Mindy Project, Champions has an eclectic group of employees at the gym, just like Kaling's other show had with Shulman and Associates. The workplace comedy dynamic of Champions brings you right back to its predecessor — complete with the always-welcome Fortune Feimster.
4. The Guest Casting Is Already On Point
Champions hasn't had time to bring in many guest stars yet, but Hasan Minhaj as Michael's drug-addicted uncle was definitely a standout. Thinking back to all the celebrities who dropped into The Mindy Project over the seasons, there could be so many more guest stars where Minhaj, Carolyn Hennesy's Grandma Gayle, and Nancy Lenehan's Lumps owner came from.
5. Matthew Will Win You Over
Holm is the biggest name of the series, but the actor who portrays his brother Matthew is a great match for the Workaholics comedian. (Aquarius fans will recognize Matthew actor Andy Favreau for his role as Dennis Wilson.) When Vince can't connect to Michael, Matthew is there to step in with his puppy-like charm. And fun fact: Best Life reported that Favreau's real-life brother is Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Barack Obama and host of the podcast Pod Saves America.
6. All The Musical Theater References
Besides Michael's nonstop Broadway references (Vince thought Michael's friends were the characters from Rent because he talked about them so often), even the episode titles "I Think I'm Gonna Tolerate It Here" and "My Fair Uncle" are musical theater jokes. It's a dream for theater kids everywhere.
7. The Budding Romance Between Vince & Dana
Dana is currently occupied by her terrible boyfriend Asher, but Champions is definitely setting up a romance between Vince and his bookkeeper. So Champions will need a Season 2 to show that Vince can mature not only as a parent but in his love life.
8. How It Handles LGBTQ Issues & Diversity
With Michael being the gay, half-Indian child of a straight, white man, he's able to call out Vince for his ignorance and prejudices. The employees at the gym are also diverse, so while Champions has two white male stars, the series embraces discussions on homophobia and racism and lets the diverse cast members take the lead.
9. It's Funny
At the end of the day, the most important quality of a sitcom is how funny it is — and Champions is downright hilarious. While the series can feel a little disjointed at times, there are enough laugh out loud moments (usually courtesy of Michael) packed into each episode to forgive any inconsistencies. Plus, it balances the heartfelt moments with just the right dose of comedy.
Entertainment Tonight reported that Champions would have 10 episodes. So that means that there are possibly two more episodes floating around that could see the light of day even after the season finale airs. But fans of the show will want more. Because while Champions is still finding its voice, it's a series worth rooting for.