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Many things may change, over the years, in the wild and constantly evolving world of TV production. But probably not this: Friday night is still a secluded patch of dirt with a broken streetlight hanging over it, where the networks (and now streamers) take their victims to finally die.
Going down there tonight: Up Here, the Hulu rom-com musical that starred the ever-dependable Mae Whitman and Carlos Valdes as a couple whose romantic prospects are continually sabotaged by their own hang-ups and “inner voices”—literalized in the form of co-stars Katie Finneran, John Hodgman, Andréa Burns, Sophia Hammons, Scott Porter, and Emilia Suárez. And they sang a lot! And it was also a period piece set in 1999, just to up the quirk load a little bit more.
Up Here | Official Trailer | Hulu
And, certainly, Up Here had what a looking-on-the-bright-side-type realtor might describe as “good bones”: The show was developed by Tony winner Steven Levenson and also-Tony (and Oscar) winners Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, with directing duties handled, in part, by Hamilton’s Thomas Kail. (Also, again: Mae Whitman remains a winning presence on TV at pretty much all times.) But our own review of the series dinged the show for both its storytelling and its songwriting. And Up Here’s ratings, unfortunately… well, okay, actually, we have no idea how the ratings were, since Hulu doesn’t reveal that information to anybody. (There’s actually a couple of strikes going on where that’s a big sticking point. Who knew?)
Anyway, they were apparently insufficient, such that Up Here has gotten shuffled off its mortal coil after just a single season (amounting to 8 episodes), all of which got binge-dropped on the service back on March 23. THR does note that the show will remain on the streamer for the foreseeable future, which is, apparently, what fans have to take as a “win” of sorts at this point in television history.
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