Abby’s (“The Fish”)

Season 1, Episode 10
Date of airing: June 13, 2019 (NBC)
Nielsen ratings information: 1.231 million viewers, 0.8/2 in Households, 0.3/1 with Adults 18-49, 0.1/1 with Adults 18-34, 0.4/2 with Adults 25-54

It’s the final episode of the show, and in five years we all will have forgotten that this attempt at an outdoor multi-camera sitcom ever existed. It wasn’t a bad show, but it also wasn’t a very good show, as the writers never made use of the character back stories they have established, let alone bringing any good and hilarious comedy into the dialogue scenes. ABBY’S was ten episodes of tame friendships between a bunch of wannabe drunks and alcoholics and that is just not enough for this day and age of television.

At least we got to meet Bill’s ex-wife for the finale, even though Sharon did not happen to be a very interesting character. Of course she was uptight and annoying, and of course Bill had all the reason in the world to divorce her and then tell her off months later when she thought it was a splendid idea to get back together again. In a way, Sharon was not only uptight but also selfish, and I would have wished for Bill to use some of the PG-rated curse words to chase his former wife out of the bar, and to show that he truly is part of the family Abby has established, even if some of the other bar regulars still make fun of him every once in a while. It’s kind of the perfect story for a season finale, to include Bill into the family like that, but it’s not like it did anything for his character, because it didn’t.

The feeling of having to look at boring vacation picture slides.

So what really can there be said about this episode, except for the fact that Bill has been “benedicted” into the bar, that his ex-wife is a bitch, and that the writers took a random back story element from a previous episode and had it mentioned in this one (Rosie’s time as a medical student)? It’s the series finale of a show that was never even close to being a potential sleeper hit on NBC, it’s the finale of a show that hasn’t made the rounds on social media, and it’s the finale of a show that had really no purpose than saying that some producers decided they wanted to shoot a multi-camera sitcom under an open sky. There have been no ongoing stories to consider, there have been no back stories too special to be talked about (Abby’s bisexuality could have been it, but it was a tenth of the show), there has been nothing controversial about the show, and the cast members didn’t even need to act that much, as they were sitting on their bar stools for most of the time anyway. In a way, the scene in which Abby had to mix a drink without her hands was the most worthwhile scene of the entire show, the one you will remember from ABBY’S, and saying that of a show that had ten episodes makes it a weak show. I liked the effort the writers and cast members brought to the show, but at the end of the day it was all sort of worthless. Yet for some reason I still watched all 210 minutes of it.

The tuna Pope gives his blessing.

It does say some things about the show when I can’t find many words about the episode I just watched and instead recap the whole of the show to say goodbye to it. I do hope that the cast gets another shot at a show in the near future, because they were all likable, albeit very much unused during these ten episodes. Would ABBY’S have been a different show when produced for a streaming provider? Netflix seems to be having some kind of fun with multi-camera sitcoms, so maybe ABBY’S would have had a better home there. Oh boy, am I telling to myself that broadcast television is essentially dead?

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