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Laugh Tracks: Finales, renewals, and cancellations

It’s a week of finales, with some sitcoms bidding a final goodbye and others looking toward a bright future.



Date Posted: May 23, 2011

By Amy Van Veen (The Cascade) – Email

The Arcadian comes down in a furious blast of CGI glory.

HIMYM started off the week of finales with a couple of big surprises. At first everything seems a little scattered, like Ted and Barney fighting over who gets to press the button and Lily getting Marshall soup that she later gets sick from, but in true HIMYM style it all comes together. Ted runs into Zooey and finds out he’s the one who is winning in the relationship. The only problem with Ted is that anything can set him off and push him back into past relationships. Cue flashbacks like that time he ran out of whipped cream for his sundae or that time he got a full body sun burn and Barney wouldn’t put aloe vera on his back. When he finds out that he is the architect responsible for choosing 50 000 light bulbs, he snaps. Meanwhile Lily gets food poisoning (or does she?) from the same soup Marshall eats three hours later, which means Marshall looks three hours into his future when he sees and hears Lily’s velociraptor vomiting. The problem is that he suddenly gets an interview with a top environmental law firm in NY, so he prepares himself in any way he can for a sudden explosion of bad soup. While Marshall suffers through a vomit-inducing interview, Robin and Barney search through NY to try and find Ted. In the end, the Arcadian blows up with the worst CGI in sitcom history after Barney lets Ted push the button, Marshall has a breakdown because of his terrible year, but it picks up when Lily doesn’t have food poisoning, she’s pregnant. The season concludes with a flash forward to the mystery wedding Ted is best man in. It’s Barney’s. Surprise!

Raising Hope had their best episode to date with their finale Tuesday night. This episode even surpasses the on-the-edge Mongoose episode. The episode starts with Jimmy getting ready to celebrate his birthday, which he shares with Maw-Maw. This gives way to what everyone’s lives were like five years ago. Cue flashback episode! Hope’s fans are given the chance to see the lives leading up to those crazy people we got so attached to this season. Barney was once overweight with the biggest moobs seen on a man. Sabrina was once just a nerd with braces applying for a job at Howdy’s. Frank and Shelley were the best shelf stockers, but Jimmy’s past is the most exciting. Five years ago he was a white-face rockstar known as Drakar Noir wearing platform black leather boots and shredded clothes. Burt and Virginia were terrified of him, but Maw-Maw was fully with it and tough as nails. Her birthday present for Jimmy so many years ago? He and Burt and Virginia were finally kicked out and forced to survive on their own. Burt and Virginia moved into Rosa’s basement next to her mother’s 24 hour laundry business and an alpaca. Jimmy was sick of his parents and decided he could do better on his own living in the grocery store. Barney suspected gypsies, and Sabrina wanted the dark prince of the night to murder her family and take her away. When Burt and Virginia come up with their very own plan and are able to make it on their own, they notice Maw-Maw’s mind start to slip with “oldtimer’s disease.” Barney caught Jimmy hiding in the DVD rental house and chased him down the road until he ran out of breath in front of a gastric bypass billboard. Sabrina got all dressed up for Jimmy only to have him run to his parents. Frank smashed Shelley in the face with a can of vegetables, and killed her tooth. Bring the party back to the present and everyone can’t help but surprise Maw-Maw over and over again for her birthday, and Jimmy wants everyone to keep his Drakar Noir past from Sabrina. Little does he know. This show has been renewed for another season of laughs and mispronounced words as the Chances continue to wade their way through raising Hope.

Traffic Light, sadly, has not been picked up for a second season and has fallen along the FOX wayside along with last year’s Running Wilde. Apparently neither of these shows have been able to keep up with Raising Hope on Tuesday nights.

The Middle celebrates a finale as everyone gets ready for the summer. Brick has an irrational fear of going over the Shady Lake Bridge and Mike and Frankie try their best to help him face it. Frankie starts out with calm encouragement and suffers through all the emotions of a frazzled parent and Mike quickly follows suit. Sue has hit her teen years which means everything is the end of the world and her hormones dictate her ability to use logic. This comes to a big mother/daughter blow-out when Frankie tries to help her buy her first two-piece for the big pool opening that weekend. Axl, too, wants to take advantage of the pool and goes up against the Heck nemesis: Sean Donahue, the all-star golden boy. It’s the hardest Axl has worked for anything in his life, but the only problem is that the idea of being the handsome lifeguard for a bunch of bikini-clad girls is a little different than the reality of being the lifeguard to running kids who do their business in the pool. Sue finally gets a bathing suit and wears it to the pool, under a dress. Brick can walk across the bridge, but he’ll never be able to drive across it thanks to a show he watched as a kid called “When Bridges Collapse.” And Frankie deals with Mrs. Donahue one last time before the season ends. It’s frightening how relatable this show is, and thankfully it’s back for another season in the fall.Modern Family celebrates a graduation and Alex has the honour of being the valedictorian. This, unfortunately, is yet another milestone that throws Claire for a loop and Phil has to pick up the pieces, but he also needs to get to Vegas so his goal for the day is to try and get Claire to break early. When the gang gathers at Jay and Gloria’s, Jay has a tiny little secret he tries to keep from the family: his dermatologist talked him into Botox. Both he and Gloria are embarrassed that he got “the lady juice for the wrinkles” and it’s hard to keep the secret when his face starts drifting south. Cam is dealing with his own embarrassment after he fell in the kiddie pool and Mitchell laughed at him only to then walk into both the glass and screen sliding doors at the Pritchett’s. When the gate doesn’t open, Claire begins to lose it because she has to get to the school to watch Alex’s speech. Alex, on the other side of things, has gone early to the school with Haley, but she’s dealing with the fact that Haley has read her thought-provoking speech about being the invisible kid ignored by the popular kids. Haley, then, opens up more than we’ve ever seen and shares the truth of being popular with Alex. In the end, everyone makes it to the speech on time, even if Claire and Phil had to hitch a ride in the back of a couple of Mexican’s pick-up truck and tumbled down the hill. This family, as messed up and petty as they can be, is always there for one another, especially when the most emotional daughter, Haley, comes back to Claire and Phil.

Next: Cougar Town, Happy Endings and more!

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