When we heard the premise for ABC’s new comedy Mixology, we were dubious — a show that takes place over the course of one night? Yes, it's been done well before: 24 stretched their seasons out to encompass a whole day, and the ninth season of How I Met Your Mother a weekend. However, Mixology seems like it’s going to be a very long version of Garry Marshall’s two holiday themed romantic comedies: Valentine’s Day and New Years Eve.
That’s not to say we have anything against rom-coms with huge casts of characters — who doesn’t enjoy Love Actually? But one of the great parts of a romantic comedy is watching it all in one sitting. Viewers of Mixology, however, will have to come back week after week in order to find out what happens to the characters.
For this reason, we think Mixology would work better with binge watching. Who hasn’t, at some point in their life, wished a rom-com lasted hours and hours on end? (Okay, maybe not a lot of people — maybe just me.) But many people have had day long marathons of their favorite romantic comedies.
Because of the way Mixology is set up, it would definitely be more enjoyable to watch all in one day, plus it would make for the most epic romcom binge watch experience. Too bad ABC hasn’t caught up to how we like to watch TV.
In December, the Twitter account for ABC’s cancelled show, Happy Endings, began promoting the network’s new comedy series Mixology. The account, formerly @HappyEndingsABC, requested fans to follow the new show’s Twitter as part of a Follow Friday promotion.
It's #FF & we have the perfect show for our #HappyEndings fans that we know you'll love! Follow @MixologyABC to learn more! #FollowFriday
— Happy Endings (@HappyEndingsVH1) December 27, 2013
However, fans of the fallen Happy Endings were not pleased with the social media promotion for another series — especially one that doesn’t look very promising. Sure, someone could argue that Happy Endings and Mixology have something in common. Both shows are about single people trying to find love in a city. However, the entire first season of Mixology is set to take place over the course of one night. Think: Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day but in a television show.
Given the slow trek that has been this season of How I Met Your Mother — which is a slowed down timeline to follow the wedding weekend of Barney and Robin — it’s safe to say TV fans are a little dubious of a whole series pulling this kind of stunt. But we suppose we should give Mixology and chance before we completely knock it (if we have to.) Still, it will never fill the void left by Happy Endings because nothing ever will.
For fans of Happy Endings, there is some good in all this: VH1 has picked up old seasons of the series and will be playing them every Wednesday night on the network. They even had a New Year’s Day marathon — sorry if you missed it!
In the romantic comedy What’s Your Number? Anna Faris plays Ally Darling a fun-loving 30-something who learns via a magazine article that a woman’s chances of marrying become infinitesimal if she’s slept with more than 20 men – a number which just so happens to be Ally’s exact tally. Apparently the highly suggestible sort she accepts the magazine’s somewhat dubious findings at face value. Loath to embrace a spinster future she gives up sex and concocts a scheme to revisit each of her past lovers to see if any of them might actually be The One enlisting the aid of Colin (Chris Evans) a crass but amiable ladies’ man from across the hall who dabbles in detective work to track them down.
The immutable laws of rom-com dynamics dictate what happens next. One by one Ally pursues each of her exes to see if any of her old flames might be worth reigniting even as it becomes increasingly obvious that she and Colin are meant for each other. Ally’s quixotic endeavor lands her in one awkward and humiliating situation after another. True love eludes her; laughter eludes us. Faris is one of the most skilled comedic actresses in Hollywood today but even her formidable talents can’t do much with the hackneyed scenarios proffered by Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden’s middling script.
Faris and Evans make a pleasing pair and their chemistry is one of the few aspects of What’s Your Number? that doesn’t feel forced. It’s what keeps it afloat in between each unfunny gag. Sure Ally and Colin’s eventual union is telegraphed from the opening frames but that isn’t necessarily a problem. What is a problem is the story’s slavish adherence to formula which renders not just the outcome but also the preceding plot points achingly predictable.
What’s Your Number?’s R rating and saucy subject matter portend raunch but in truth the film’s humor is actually quite tame save for a handful of filthy lines. For all its flaws the script is not without wit. There just isn’t nearly enough of it.