Of all the cancellations that arrived at the end of the 2015-16 television season, few were sadder or less deserved than the premature death of Fox’s freshman legal sitcom The Grinder, starring Rob Lowe and Fred Savage. As it turned out, the show’s seemingly invincible title character was unable defend himself against the vicissitudes of ratings, demographics, and network politics. But is actress Natalie Morales, who played Claire Lacoste on the show, wallowing in self pity now that it is off the air? Has she allowed her life to descend into chaos, post-Grinder? Absolutely not. Morales wants the world to know that she is taking the news very well and handling this career setback like a mature, responsible, well-adjusted adult. She even has a self-shot video to prove it entitled “What I Did When My Show Got Cancelled.” As these four minutes of shaky smartphone footage prove, there is no cause for alarm here. Probably.
The video starts with Morales stepping into a photo booth. “Proof im ok,” declares a totally convincing caption. The actress is then seen hitting the town with friends, drinking and listening to music. “Jump” by Van Halen plays faintly in the background, a sure sign of good times being had by all. “Live laugh love” declares another caption, as Morales points the camera at her own feet. Later, Morales is shown sleeping in a T-shirt emblazoned with Lowe’s picture. But that’s a fashion decision anyone might make, right?
The video takes a turn when Morales sneaks onto the back lot where The Grinder used to be filmed. The show’s sets and offices are still, to some extent, intact. At this point, Morales’ video begins to feel like one of those found-footage horror movies. Morales sneaks around the darkened corridors once trod by the cast and crew of The Grinder, but she’s the only one there. Eventually, she gets the souvenirs she wanted: the sign that used to denote her private parking space and a name plate from her character’s office door. Triumphant, she gets in her car and drives off, “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty playing on the radio. So she’s doing great, everybody. No need to worry.