‘1600 Penn’ finishes its freshman season strong but will it be renewed?

A scene from the season finale of "1600 Penn."

A scene from the season finale of “1600 Penn.”

1600 Penn might derive its name from the most famous address in America but the show is about an ordinary, slightly dysfunctional family.

In what could have been a wasted half hour trying to provide enough laughs to hope the audience returns next fall for more, the season ended with a reminder that what’s special about 1600 Penn isn’t the witticisms or one-liners but the message behind every episode.

In both the first half of the episode and the official season finale, which was oddly sandwiched by an episode of The Office, 1600 Penn reminded its audience that it doesn’t matter whether you live on Main Street or in the White House – every family is built on love, has problems and the humor of life is found within the small moments.

The most striking scenes of either episode features first daughter Becca.

Coaching herself through labor, Becca admits to her step-mom and first lady Emily that she was originally opposed to her wedding between Emily and her presidential dad Dale because she felt like it was a betrayal to her late mother.

Moments later, and in the most delightful plot twists, Becca is seen holding her new son. And he doesn’t look much like D.B., the white boy who was presumed as the father, but resembles Becca’s ex and press secretary Marshall who is African American.

Even better and more rewarding than this surprise end to a rollercoaster season was the fact that there weren’t many words muttered other than D.B.’s conflict between being happy and upset, because the child is obviously not his offspring, and Skip’s joke that Marshall and D.B. are the same size.

And that was it. After a season of ups and downs, a show that ended with a roar and hype surrounding Broadway veteran Josh Gad’s transition to television, the series ends its first season with a heartfelt message, an intriguing plot twist and an air of satisfying lightness.

The only problem isn’t in the awkwardly aired two-part episode but in the unconfirmed future of the show.

Josh Gad tweeted days ago that he wasn’t sure if the show was airing its season finale or series finale this evening which caused stress for fans and has prompted a post-season finale (series finale?) stakeout on Twitter.

Many are tweeting NBC with their support for a second season but a major network isn’t likely to hear the voices of the individual viewer in their decision to renew or boot the series from its roster.

My fingers are crossed that the show continues, not only because it’s wonderful to hear Josh Gad say funny things on TV every week, but it’s a series that captures the essence of a family, deals with every issue from premarital pregnancy and LGBT acceptance to unrequited crushes and is never short on classic film references.

So, as many of us cross our fingers and hope to hear good news about the future for 1600 Penn (and I prepare to re-watch the episodes), the evening can be summed up by a (slightly modified) quote delivered by guest star Hannah Simone.

Are you cool, NBC?

For the sake of 1600 Penn, its cast, crew and fans, hopefully the answer is yes.

Tags: , ,

About Samantha S.

"I found the theatre and I found my home.” ― Audra McDonald
Subscribe to Comments RSS Feed in this post

9 Responses

  1. Please, if there’s one network you count on to screw up something good (my name is earl, leno, conan, leno again), it’s nbc.

  2. I can’t believe they are thinking of canceling this funny and smart show, The really good stuff, it seems, requires time to find viewers. Look at Seinfeld. Today, it would have been canceled b/c it didn’t make it during it’s first couple of seasons. I rarely watch TV, but 1600 Penn has me hooked. I’m binge-watching all the episodes for the second time on hulu.

    • I “can’t believe” you actually think this is a good show.

      I also can’t believe you are for real. You are more than likely connected to NBC, or one of the people who work on this crappy show.

      And please, stop showing the world you are such a complete idiot.

      I worked on Seinfeld for 8 years. How can you compare Seinfeld to 1600 Penn?

      Seinfeld started off weak, and the rating improved over the first year. With each year the rating got better.

      1600 Penn started off with bad ratings, and by the time its 13th episode had aired, the ratings dropped 70 percent.

      The ratings system is not perfect, but in this case, it has done its job in identifying a complete loser of a show.

      • Ratings do not necessarily point to how good or bad a show is. There are many shows cancelled that were good shows but just not watched by enough people. It’s all about money. And you could be a little civil and not such a ballsack.

  3. OMGosh! Not only did I crack up at this show, but it was one (and there are so few now) that both my 19 year old and 16 year old watched with me!

    Because they’re older now, the shows they’ll watch with me are few and far between!

    We loved it .. hope it’s back.

  4. I don’t know what is wrong with you guys?!?! 1600 Penn was amazing!! It was hilarious! You can’t just give it one season. It is just getting good! This kind of
    Stuff happens to everyday people. It’s nice to see a series that shows that noone is perfect, and Every family goes through drama, even if it is the president! In the end it shows that through all the drama, the family will always stick together. I loved it!

  5. How can you see the show ended its first (and last) season “strong”?

    The show started off with really low ratings, and those ratings dropped off steadily. They are now about as bad as they can get.

    NBC has cancelled tv shows with dar higher ratings than this crap pile called 1600 Penn.

    • I must agree with you Karin.

      I used to work at NBC, and the ratings drop on this show is really incredible. Have not seen this in ages.

      It has been a long time since I have known of a show so hated by critics and viewers alike. The real issue of course is the ratings.

      Many have pointed out the “Marigold problem” as well. Has this kid had ANY acting lessons? She makes my skin crawl.