Merry Happy Whatever is a one time watch

Merry Happy Whatever, the Netflix Original series that was released on Thanksgiving, follows Matt as he tries to integrate into his girlfriend Emmy’s family. The Quinn’s, Emmy’s family, are notorious for being prestigious and high up compared to others around them. There’s this toxic mindset that “That’s not what the Quinn’s do” that all the characters seem to struggle against.


My favorite characters are the in-laws, also referred to as the ‘Quinn-laws’, to the family. Elizabeth Ho, who plays Joy Quinn and Adam Rose who plays Todd manage to bring a sense of humor to the utter perilous situation that is living in the same town as your in-laws. The acceptance of their hopelessness as they try to integrate Matt into the “outlaws” takes what would be a decent show into a good show. 


Their characters are funny and easy to laugh both at and with. They add personality to the other emotionless characters in the show.

I found it interesting that all of the Quinns (who the story is followed around) only had around 3 lines an episode. It was something I’ve never seen a TV show really do before and it created a disconnect between the viewer and the main characters.

One of the most obnoxious parts of the show was the laugh track. This show wasn’t filmed in front of a live studio audience, so there was literally no need for it. It made it hard to focus on what was actually happening when there was a laugh track every time someone inhaled. If a show is confident in it’s humor, it doesn’t need a laugh track. Good comedic shows can rely on making the audience laugh with their own jokes. 

Instead, you’re left with a false sense of funny. It made it hard to actually find the show funny, even though there was so much potential.

Speaking of obnoxious, Ashley Tisdale killed it as self-centered middle child Kayla Quinn. She has proved time and time again that she can still bring a fresh take to the classic dramatic diva. Between her roles as Sharpay Evans in the High School Musical series and Candice in Phineas and Ferb, it would have been easy for her to use the same personality and model types that her previous characters possessed. Yet, she brought Kayla to life, and it felt like a fresh character that she hasn’t played before.


I’m not the biggest fan when shows are built only for political gain. It’s a good thing as a director to defy what’s normal. It’s not a good thing when you are constantly shoving it down people’s throats. Having a message is good- in fact it can be great. But the message can often get hindered and become obnoxious if it is there not to add to the story, but to gain clout.