'Happy Endings,' Hopeful Beginnings
Anyone who watches Happy Endings on a regular basis knows the show is pun-friendly and filled with pop culture references both common and arcane. What’s great about this show is that, underneath the catchphrases and quirky subplots, there’s a real story there. It’s the story of young people banding together to navigate the sometimes treacherous world of adulthood.
When Season 2 came to a close last spring, Brad (Damon Wayans, Jr.) had been laid off from his job, Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) looked to be rekindling her relationship with her ex-fiancee Dave (Zachary Knighton) and Penny (Casey Wilson) was dealing with her feelings for Dave, but also with Chris (Brian Austin Green). Season 3 picked up right where these stories left off and the results were spectacular.
Penny injured herself falling down stairs after refusing to do a base jump with Chris. This left her in a body cast, and Max (Adam Pally) became her nurse. One of the strengths of this show is the camaraderie between the actors, which shows up on screen in a big way. Even when the jokes fall flat, the energy and chemistry between cast members save the moment. In this episode, Max begins to “Misery” Penny so he can spend more time with her physical therapist. Wilson and Pally are two of the strongest characters on the show, and their interactions are fun to watch.
Meanwhile, Brad and Jane (Eliza Coupe) are experiencing a new dynamic in their relationship as Brad is now a househusband while Jane is the breadwinner — or so it seems. It turns out that Brad has indeed found a new job, but is afraid to tell Jane. An unsung hero of this episode is Sinbrad, a dummy that Brad was working on for his ventriloquist act. Wickedly absurd, some of the episode’s best moments involve Sinbrad. “Your momma was so fat, she died.” As a viewer of New Girl, I would like to have seen how Wayans Jr.’s “Coach” character would have fit into the show, but it has worked out well for everyone involved.
Also, Dave and Alex are keeping their relationship “caszh.” The denial that they live in makes for great comedy as well. A double date only serves to reinforce their feelings for each other and, by the end of the episode, a huge announcement is made. Ten years ago, Thursday night was the night for comedy on the networks. This season now features Tuesday night as the night of laughs. Fans will probably have to do a lot of DVR adjusting to watch all these solid shows, but special consideration should go to Happy Endings. With a great cast and hilarious storylines, it is “amahzing.”
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