I give up.
I wasn't particularly impressed with the ABC comedy "Happy Endings" when it showed up last year as a mid-season replacement. I watched it a few times when I felt energetic enough to concentrate for 30 minutes searching for a joke.
It wore me out. I doubt that I laughed once watching the four or five episodes I tuned into last year.
Originally I took interest in it because I'm a guy and I like Elisha Cuthbert. I was willing to give it a shot just to see her.
I employed the same strategy when I began watching "How I Met Your Mother" for Alyson Hannigan. The major difference is, at least the first season of "How I Met Your Mother" was funny. I don't know if the producers fired the original writing staff or what, but beginning in year two, the characters all became caricatures of themselves and laughs were tougher to find than a budget proposal in the Senate.
I quit watching "How I Met..." the beginning of its third season.
Despite my Alyson experience, I decided to give Elisha a try. Obviously I need to employ a new strategy for picking television comedies.
At one point last summer, I read that ABC canceled "Happy Endings." And Damon Wayans Jr, a cast regular, even turned up in the pilot of this season's comedy "New Girl." I was optimistic, but the reports of its demise were greatly exaggerated.
When it returned this fall, I decided to give it another chance. I know several people who love it, and I was swayed by their cheer leading. I am beginning to question their judgment.
I probably caught 8 or 10 episodes this season, and watched the season finale yesterday -- I had recorded it.
That'll be 30 minutes I'll never get back. I've never seen a show work so hard to be funny and fail so miserably. Maybe I'm just not hip enough to appreciate it.
Someone evidently decided that the dialog itself doesn't need to funny as long as it's delivered at machine-gun speed.
The camera just cuts back and forth between the cast members as they rapidly toss out five- and six-word lines. The effect is almost dizzying.
Someone should have the writers watch a couple of episodes of "Modern Family" or "Mike and Molly" and see what's it's like to actually have a few jokes sprinkled among the dialog.
So, like "How I Met Your Mother," I've officially given up on "Happy Endings. It ain't gonna get any better next season.