Television Top Trumps - Brad vs Coach

After last week’s memorial to the televisual genius that was Pulling, this week we’re back with more “sitcoms that were cancelled to soon” with the sadly departed Happy Endings. It lasted three series before it was cancelled for “low ratings”, even though it was actually quite sneakily brilliant. Its cancellation freed up Damon Wayans Jr. to return to New Girl as Coach – but was he better off back in Chicago with his Happy Endings pals? Let’s find out…

RIDICULOUS BACKSTORY:

Brad: Met most of the gang, and future wife Jane, while appearing on The Real World. If you’re under the age of 25, you’ll likely have no idea what that is, but it was kind of like Big Brother meets Geordie Shore meets pretty much anything on BBC3. Basically it was drunk young people in a house. Drunk young people like Brad. 9/10

Coach: Coach doesn’t so much have a ridiculous backstory as a ridiculous tendency to just appear and disappear from the loft seemingly at will. He’s there in the pilot, then he disappears for two series, then he’s back, then he disappears again. And at no point is he on an MTV reality show. Disappointing. 4/10

LIVING SITUATION:

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Brad: Lives in a swish apartment with wife Jane. There’s a fancy kitchen and an upstairs and proper, grown-up furniture. It looks a little bit like a showhome, which is probably because Jane is a terrifying perfectionist who likes everything exactly how she likes it. Which means Brad would never have to do any cleaning.9/10

Coach: When he’s not swanning off elsewhere, Coach lives in “The Loft” with the other overgrown children of New Girl. Because living with four other people when you’re in your 30s is surely every man’s dream. Still, at least he has his own bedroom. That’s something. 5/10

“THE GANG”

Brad: Six young, urban, semi-professionals just trying to find their way in the world. There’s the married couple, the on-again-off-again couple, the ditzy one, the terminally unemployed one…but they’re not Friends, OK? They’re the gang! And they hang out in a bar, not a coffee shop. It’s totally different. 8/10

Coach: Six young, urban, semi-professionals just trying to find their way in the world. Although no-one’s married, and there are four guys and two girls. And they hang out in a bar, not a coffee shop. This is revolutionary stuff. Truly. 8/10

PROFESSIONAL DEDICATION:

Brad: Bloody loves working for his giant investment firm. In fact, he loves it so much that he keeps secretly going to work after promising Jane he’ll take a career break, because WORK IS FUN. At least he thinks it is, until he discovers he loves working at a kid’s playcentre, so long as he can still manage everything. Managing things is great, isn’t it? 9/10

Coach: The man is named after his profession. You don’t get any more dedicated than that. At least, that’s until he becomes a school PE teacher, which he seems mostly interested in because it gives him the chance to hit on all the lonely female teachers. Thankfully, however, the name Coach sticks. Because “School PE teacher” would be a nightmare to yell across the loft. 7/10

ROMANTIC MISADVENTURES:

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Brad: Happily-married Brad has few romantic misadventures, except for when he and Jane pretend to have a giant fight so that everyone else in the gang will be happy. Because they’re selfless like that. 2/10

Coach: Coach does not know how to talk to women, even when he doesn’t actually have to talk to them. He spends longer composing an email to his potential love-match May than your average columnist spends crafting the perfect tweet. And then he very nearly buggers it up many, many times. But they get there in the end. “There” being New York. Because Coach loves to leave places. 8/10

SUDDEN DEPARTURES:

Brad: Oh, Brad. How we wish we knew what happened to you, but alas, it was not to be. For the entire Happy Endings gang were taken from us far too soon, and in the middle of a wedding. No, there wasn’t a televisual catastrophe that wiped them all out – the series was just cancelled. Which is a televisual catastrophe, come to think of it. Stupid networks. 10/10

Coach: Army brat Coach is used to suddenly departing from places. It’s what he does. It’s what he’s always done. He’s suddenly departed from New Girl twice, and doubtless he'll be back again just so he can depart once more. After all, you don’t know how much people love you until you leave. Or something. 9/10

THE VERDICT

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Brad takes it, with 47 to Coach’s 41. Which just adds to the ever-growing pile of proof that Happy Endings should never have been cancelled in the first place. Not that we’re bitter. Not at all.

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