It can't be easy to learn that one's ancestor is a literal horse's ass. But sad-sack Londoner Tom Chadwick takes such news in stride, again quite literally, as he acquires his great-grandfather's horse costume from a long-ago pantomime show, and after trying the rear end on for size, adds it to his collection of quirky family keepsakes.
HBO's droll-to-the-point-of-precious and occasionally delightful Family Tree (Sunday, 10:30/9:30c) follows Tom on an offbeat personal odyssey into his cloudy lineage. "In our clan, family is what disappears when you're not looking at it," says his retired dad, who keeps busy inventing useless objects like a fan for shoe trees. The dad is played by Michael McKean, who like the rest of the cast often talks directly into the camera, mock-documentary/improvisation style. The casting and the format are two of the more obvious signs that Tree is a Christopher Guest production.
"You're just not for everybody," comedic curmudgeon Marc Maron is told — by the more popular TV clown (at least among a comic-store backroom of Twitter nerds) Dave Foley, who plays a rather unflattering version of his real self, as does Maron, in IFC's new dark-side-of-laughter comedy series Maron (Friday, 10/9c). Sunnier than FX's Louie if only by virtue of being filmed in California, the sardonically squirm-inducing Maron alternates between slice-of-rant sitcom and self-obsessed podcast from the comedian's garage, where he vents on his unhappy personal life, his diarrhea-prone cats and his unruly, taunting Twitter following: "Who are these people? Don't they have lives?" You might well ask the same about Maron, although if he was happy (shades of Louie) there'd be no show.
Will Happy Endings get its happy ending and a Season 4 renewal?
That remains to be seen, but should you fail to "Save Happy Endings" like ABC wants you to, executive producer Jonathan Groff thinks they have crafted a Season 3 finale (Friday, 8/7c) for the kooky, GIF-tastic, ratings-challenged sitcom that would leave you, well, "happy." "Obviously, we want to go on, but if this is it, I don't think any Happy Endings fan would be disappointed," Groff tells TVGuide.com.
Fall TV 2013 Scorecard: Which shows are returning? Which aren't?
Find out what else you can expect from the back-to-back episodes, the latter of which features the wedding of Jane (Eliza Coupe) and Alex's (Elisha Cuthbert) heretofore unmentioned older sister Brooke (Stephanie March), what he really thinks of ABC's "Save Happy Endings" campaign, if USA will pick up the show and more.
The grumbling you've been hearing for the past two months has been the unhappy Happy Endings fans who have been waiting for the comedy's return to ABC's schedule. Yes, it's now on Fridays at 8/7c and yes, like a Xela dress, a move like that can turn a good girl bad. But according to executive producers David Caspe and Jonathan Groff, the show is coming back with a bunch of new episodes that are worth the wait. So spread the word, set your DVR, and tell your friends. Because it would totally sooook to lose this one now.
It's a reunion for Fred Willard, Michael McKean and Ed Begley Jr. who have all joined Christopher Guest's upcoming HBO series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.