This Happened! is a new weekly column wherein we shed light on forgotten moments in pop culture. Because if we fail to learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.
A few months back, we were discussing forgotten relics of the 1990s. This is actually a favourite office topic. Most of us happen to be Millenials, which means, among other things, we are consumed with nostalgia for our own recent history. While this usually, rather quickly, descends into haphazard sing-alongs of B4-4 tunes (a subject for a later column, to be sure), this time it was centred on television shows that, for whatever reason — likely because they haven’t been rebroadcast on Netflix or Shomi — haven’t enjoyed any critical reappraisal.
Some of these shows deserve their obscurity. Like Scorch, a sitcom about a small, sarcastic dragon cracking wise in the modern city, which was likely green-lit because someone thought, a mere two years after ALF was cancelled, the world was ready for another hilarious puppet-centric comedy. They were mistaken. Scorch lasted three episodes. In fact, I only remember it because it happened to be recorded on a VHS when one of my siblings didn’t stop the VCR.
But, others should be remembered, if only because they gave some of our biggest stars their start. Think Breaker High, with Ryan Gosling or, well, the topic of this, the first in our ongoing series: This Happened!
Interesting fact: Welcome Back, Cotter ran for four seasons, back in the mid-70s. By all accounts it was about as good as any other sitcom back then — which is to say, not great. But, thanks to the largesse of syndication and the inevitable, if somewhat unfortunate, stardom of John Travolta, it’s considered a classic. It is remembered.
You know what isn’t remembered? Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. That show also ran for four seasons, and birthed an unfortunate celebrity (sorry, Ryan Reynolds — Deadpool doesn’t automatically make up for R.I.P.D. — and also, sorry Nathan Fillion ).
Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place was meant to be a zeitgeist-y show: a hip sitcom, like Friends, full of twentysomethings figuring out life in the ’90s with the help of their frosted tips, bootcut jeans, and Gen-X sarcasm. Apart from Fillion and Reynolds, it also starred Traylor Howard, a walking, talking Meg Ryan haircut. And someone named Richard Rucculo . Jokes were told, people coupled and uncoupled, within the confines of a pizza place .
The most remarkable thing about Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place is perhaps its resistance to ’90s nostalgia. Its existence is an answer to a Buzzfeed quiz no one is asking for. This happens sometimes: a vague memory appears, and you question whether it’s real or imagined . A cultural blip that somehow gave the world two celebrities, then disappeared. It was, by all accounts, at least as funny and groundbreaking as Welcome Back, Cotter. And yet…nothing. Like a show that died after one season, only this had four. Four!
What’s the lesson here? Maybe it’s that, while you hope you’re Friends, you’re probably Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place. But, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Or, maybe it is. We can’t remember.
 That’s if you watch Castle. And we’ve yet to meet anyone who watches Castle. It’s like Burn Notice, Royal Pains, and Rizzoli & Isles. Mythic. The friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend of TV shows.
 You may have noticed that, at this point, we’ve numbered three guys, when the title suggested the existence of only two. We can offer no explanation for this incongruity.
 It’s fun to re-name other sitcoms using this too-cool-to-be-creative format: Seinfeld: Three Guys, a Girl, a Diner, and Often One of the Guys’ Apartment.
 Like the film Bulletproof with Adam Sandler and Damon Wayans. Another column.