TV Club: Happyish: “Starring Vladimir Nabokov, Hippocrates And God”

If there’s one thing remarkable about Showtime’s Happyish, it’s that the show is ambitiously formless. Stories about middle-aged men feeling out of touch with or angry at the world, thinking about death at nearly every turn when they’re not thinking about how to provide for their families, are a dime a dozen, so if you’re going to map out another one of those stories, you might as well do it outside the form of a traditional narrative. Happyish is interesting–or maybe curious is a better word–for how it has yet to introduce any sort of meaningful conflict into the lives of the Payne family. Shalom Auslander seems to imagine his show as truly representative of life, in that there’s no connecting dots or overarching narrative that guides us to a some sort of goal, but rather just a series of peaks and …

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