5 June 2012 | blanche-2
way ahead of its time
"Ellen" started out as a pleasant comedy made watchable by the funny and talented Ellen DeGeneres. It ended up a groundbreaking show with tons of humor and probably the best finale in TV history.
The first season of "Ellen," as stated above, was cute. The show was reworked so that in the second season, Ellen had a new group of friends, all of whom could hold their own with her (Joley Fisher, David Anthony Higgins, Jeremy Piven, and Clea Lewis' role was expanded). The show became much funnier and snappier. And in the fourth season, Ellen "came out" to a therapist (Oprah Winfrey) and admitted that the man she had fallen for was named Susan.
The hate mail was unbelievable -- even Winfrey received a ton of hate mail and was verbally attacked on her TV show for even appearing on this pivotal episode. There were also boycotts by groups including, as often mentioned on the show's jokes, the Baptists.
The network didn't laugh and canceled the show. When you think about series such as "Will & Grace," and "Modern Family" on the networks, and all the gay characters on shows like "Six Feet Under" on cable - wow, a lot of doors were opened by Ellen Morgan coming out.
Ellen DeGeneres is a unique talent, with deadpan delivery and a habit of talking nervously and trailing off mid-sentence which is very, very funny. She also has a decent knack for physical comedy. Surrounding herself with a great cast, well-developed characters and scriptwriters, the show was delightful.
In the finale, Ellen Morgan is interviewed as a living legend, and her life is shown going back to the 1920s and takes her up to the "big reveal" on her sitcom - which isn't what you think it's going to be. Hilarious, and so well done.
I don't know what kind of person Ellen is, except that she's an animal lover and has family support -- but everything she does, including her talk show, has an aura of warmth and high spirits. "Ellen" the sitcom was no exception, and if you didn't watch it when it was on the air, check it out. It's still very fresh.