FOX canceled the comedy after just one season and Joey Moser isn’t happy about it…
Sometimes a new comedy needs to come into its own. It can be tricky to find a rhythm and settle in with a new set of characters. I remember being excited for 30 Rock when it debuted, but it had to get used to its own zany mind. When you have legendary actors like Vicki Lawrence, David Alan Grier, Leslie Jordan and Martin Mull, however, the work is done for you. You just have to tune in and enjoy the ride. FOX didn’t have that much faith, unfortunately, because the show was just canceled, and I think that just sucks.
Maybe I thought The Cool Kids was tailored to me because I love every one of the cast members. I thought Mama’s Family was one of the funniest things I had ever seen growing up. I knew Vicki Lawrence was wearing a wig, but I was shocked to discover that she was in her early thirties when Mama’s Family started. Like many a homosexual that came out in the early 2000’s, I was introduced to Leslie Jordan as the lecherous Beverley Leslie on Will & Grace. Clue remains my favorite movie of all time, so Martin Mull will always be Colonel Mustard. Every time David Alan Grier pops up on a random show I am delighted (he shows up in the last season of Catastrophe for exactly 6 seconds). I’ve loved him since I discovered In Living Color, and he remains of the most underrated character actors working.
A quartet of older people enjoying their golden years isn’t a new concept. The biggest comparison would be The Golden Girls probably because there are four central characters refusing to allow the world dictate their behavior. The Cool Kids was allowed to be looser because The Golden Girls paved the way. Obviously, we can’t compare one legendary sitcom from the late 1980’s to The Cool Kids, but what other show gives actors over 50 to act with other actors their age? It’s all yours, Grace and Frankie!
The Cool Kids offered a good kind of nostalgia while letting these actors let loose. When some shows get revived and bring back original cast members, the speed seems slow or off. The joke feels delivered before the actors even finish their lines. The Cool Kids never had that dulled energy. Grier was revving on all cylinders and Jordan was there to spike the situation. Don’t even get me started on how delighted I got every time Lawrence was on screen. Her and Jordan had such a joyous chemistry together that I will miss dearly. Where else can you see Grier breaking into a clinic to try to get medical test results, Jordan crawling through a ceiling vent to avoid fully committing to his boyfriend, Lawrence commanding the group like a boss when she aspires to open a cookie operation, and Mull being stoned out of his mind? You rooted for these characters.
Creator Charlie Day should be commended for assembling such a strong ensemble, but the ax shouldn’t have been dropped on them so quickly. Is The Cool Kids comfort food? Sure. I was excited to watch it every Friday night or when I nursed a hangover on Saturday morning. Hey, don’t judge me. Sid and Margaret would probably be on the couch with me. The guest stars have always been a welcome surprise. Jennifer Coolidge pops up as Sid’s ex-wife halfway through the first season, and Jackée showed up most recently to give Hank hell. And, hello! We could have kept the Clue reunions coming after Leslie Ann Warren popped up as a romance for Charlie.
The Cool Kids represents a style of sitcom that has been dying for the last few years, but this one gave me hope. Maybe instead of shuffling off older people and not giving them the time of day, we should listen to what they have to say? Not only can they impart wisdom and experience, but they can make you laugh your ass off. I’m so sad to see it go. These four wouldn’t go quietly.