"Happy Endings" Star Casey Wilson On The 5 Mistakes That Get "Friends" Knockoffs Cancelled Again And Again

casey wilson

Casey Wilson must be used to saying this, because she offers it right up front:

Her new show, ABC’s “Happy Endings,” has similarities to “Friends.”

“Yes, there are three guys and three girls, some are married, some are single,” she says.

She’s aware — as are we — that it’s a model that’s being worked particularly hard by networks this year, and not always with great results.

(See: NBC’s “Perfect Couples,” which has been cancelled; FOX’s “Traffic Light,” which will be any day now.)

But Wilson, a writer herself (she co-wrote “Bride Wars”) knows that so many “Friends” followers have failed because writers, producers and network execs make the same irritating mistakes over and over again.

Are you listening, thousands of twentysomething sitcoms shooting fall pilots right now? You should be.

To some extent, 'Friends' itself was guilty of this -- didn't Rachel's fashion career seem to mobilize unrealistically quickly? 'These 22-year-old VPs -- why do they do that?' says Wilson. 'And every guy's an architect. I've met architects before, and they're not living the life we see on TV.' And certainly not before 30.

'Women don't get to be funny,' says Wilson. 'They just stand next to the wacky guy.' Case in point: the woeful underutilization of Judy Greer in CBS's current offering 'Mad Love.'

'Adam Pally plays a gay character in our show, but it's not the focus of his character, it's not at the forefront,' says Wilson. 'It feels strangely revolutionary.' Contrast that with this season of MTV's 'My Life As Liz,' in which Liz gets a gay roommate when she moves to New York from Texas. Guess what? He teaches her to walk in heels -- and he's afraid of mice.

'I have never turned to my girlfriend and said, 'Oh, OK, babe,'' says Wilson, 'and I see it in scripts all the time. It trickled down from 'Sex And The City.' I believe it coming out of Carrie Bradshaw's mouth. No one else's. But guys think this is how women talk to each other.'

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