“Cristela” 1×22 – Movin’ On Up

Grade: A-

I love this show, and I hope it will live to see a second season.

I just felt like I needed to put this out there before I start my review of the season finale of a show that went from being a slightly silly family-comedy that I sometimes to watch to a show that’s right up there alongside some of my favorite new series of the year.

The thing about Cristela that’s so interesting is that it’s never trying to do anything different. It’s as sitcom-ish and classic as Home Improvement–yes, I’m going back that far–and there’s nothing wrong with that. Many shows have attempted this “classic sitcom” trope before and failed miserably, but Cristela somehow makes it work. Well, not somehow: it’s definitely because Cristela Alonzo is a brilliant actress, writer and human being.

What I enjoyed about the finale–and the series as a whole (SO FAR, I hope)–is it didn’t try to end with a shocking albeit ridiculous ending. It was a game-changing ending that definitely changed the status quo of the entire show, but it’s not something that makes you frustrated if ABC executives decide to be horrible people and not renew the series. It’s a delightful finale…a quiet one that still makes the show “go out with a bang”.

I’ve always admired Cristela‘s ability to be both a family-comedy and a work-comedy. More often than not I’ve enjoyed the office-scenes more than the ones at home because I just can’t get enough of the Cristela/Maddie/Josh dynamic, but the finale somehow made the scenes at home feel earned and amusing as well this time. Yes, Cristela may have finally gotten what she’s always wanted almost 3 minutes before the finale ends, but then it all somehow starts crashing down on her–in a good, funny-for-us-horrible-for-her kind of way.

I definitely want to see season two happen. It will be a tragedy if it doesn’t happen, actually. But then again, I thought Trophy Wife was the best new sitcom last year and that didn’t even live to see a second season. So I don’t know if I have my hopes up for Cristela (I do), but it will frustrate me so much to know that I live in a world where something as trashy as Two & A Half Men lives on to 12 years but a delightful, amusing comedy like this one doesn’t.

Please, ABC, if you’re reading: make.it.happen.