Seriously, give it another chance!
Accidentally on Purpose follows the life of an effervescent movie critic Billy Chase (Jenna Elfman) first through navigating a difficult break up, then becoming pregnant with Zack (Jon Foster)- a much younger man whom she meets by chance at a bar. The show had a solid rise back when it launched in 2009, gathering a whopping average of 3.1 million viewers on Monday evenings as a part of CBS’ Monday line-up, alongside their hit shows Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory. It was definitely not falling short in the success department, but alas it was cancelled after only one season comprising of 18 episodes in 2010 due to CBS’ luxury of picking and choosing which shows to keep and which to shut down. This left its beloved audience distraught, desperately wishing for it to come back; their comments ranged from sheer sadness to absolute fury.
One fan said: “I’m very upset. There should definitely be more seasons.”
While the other commented: “Just watched season 1 on prime ! Loved it !! Seriously — no season 2. ?? Big mistake !”
For some, it was a family show:
And for others it was a lightning in a bottle kind of a show:
All in all, the general impression was one of great disappointment sprinkled with a sense of undeniable loss. However, all is not lost because there is still a chance that CBS might reconsider their decision even after 10 years of silence. Stranger things have happened! So, if the previous comments weren’t enough, I shall give them the additional 5 reasons why Accidentally on Purpose deserves another chance.
1) Offbeat writing
The writing of this show is definitely reminiscent of earlier sitcoms that have set the stage for many shows we are blessed to have now, but with a spunkier twist to it. The humor is clever, witty and perfectly embellished by well-timed moments of physical comedy which are not overwhelming to the plotline of the show. It is also interesting to note how each character has their own specific humor that perfectly complements other characters and the atmosphere; for instance, Billy’s jokes are sarcastic and pointed at herself, whereas her friend Olivia’s
(Ashley Jensen) jokes are also sarcastic, but are meant to poke fun at others and are always accompanied by her signature thick Scottish accent. Humor aside, writers have implemented many lessons about human relationships, as well. We learn about adapting to new situations through Billy and Zack; devoted sisterhood between Billy and Abbie (Lennon Parham); reconciling differences from Abbie and Olivia, Zack and Abbie’s husband Nick (Bryan Cuprill), Olivia and Davis (Nicolas Wright); and so much more.
2) Cast synergy
This was one of those close-knit style casts where one could distinctly feel the palpable chemistry on and off screen. Ashley Jensen said it best herself in an interview once: “I sort of feel like I’ve known these people and it’s always been very relaxed…I think that we’ve all kind of fit into our groove very early on and that’s really nice. It makes it feel really safe as well” The energy on the set has beautifully translated to the audience who have picked up on its radiance.
3) Jenna Elfman/ Billie Chase
Jenna Elfman. Need I say more? Oh, I do? Very well. Jenna Elfman was the most brilliant casting choice for the portrayal of Billie Chase and no one can convince me otherwise. She was energetic, sassy, yet sweet, tough and romantic all wrapped up in one person and one character that is Billie. What attracted Jenna to the role of Billy was her wit, “…I just feel like I just loved her humor and her wittiness; she thinks out loud and she also felt like an interesting combination of confidence and self-doubt that just kind of dance with each other constantly…”, Jenna stated. One could also feel Jenna’s joyous magnetism and charisma being infused into Billie’s character.
4) Setting simplicity
The whole plotline of the show is centered around 5 main settings: Billie’s apartment, Davis’ apartment, Billie and Olivia’s offices, their usual coffee place and the bar where Billie and Zack first met. It is amazing how creatively and effectively the producers have utilized all those spaces and it all goes to show that a lot can be done with only a few tangible assets. The simplicity of the setting is what helped bring the spotlight on the characters and their stories.
One of the most important aspects of any show, especially a sitcom, is the ability to connect or relate to the characters, and that is what Accidentally on Purpose smashingly excelled at.
It didn’t matter whether you’ve been broken hearted then pregnant with a man you just met or felt you are in danger of getting fired or felt a disconnect from your partner before, everyone could relate to those universal feelings of fear, worry, frustration, helplessness, etc. Everyone could easily both empathize and sympathize with each of the characters.
That is all I have to say about the ever so delightful Accidentally on Purpose. I don’t know if this article will ever reach anyone in the position of power to revive this show and how would they go about it, but I hope it at least tickles their minds a little. It might inspire them to play around with new ideas an equally fantastic revival. What are your thoughts? Do you think it should be brought back or do you think giving it another season would be a huge mistake?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjYHBMvAulw — Accidentally on Purpose — Jenna Elfman Interview
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dg-BU8XvL5M — Accidentally on Purpose — Ashley Jensen Interview