Happy Endings – “Blax, Snake, Home”

Happy Endings – “Blax, Snake, Home

There are a few sitcoms this year that have gotten off to something of a rocky start: Up All Night, Free Agents, 2 Broke Girls. They all have strength and seem like they could grow into better shows over time (especially 2 Broke Girls). Shows improve as the writers get a better sense of the cast and characters and the rhythms of the show. The perfect case study is Happy Endings. Let’s face it, the show is a Friends rip-off. It’s six friends in the big city. The first episode even involved a woman running out on her wedding. It’s Chicago instead of New York City, but still. The pilot had enough amusing moments to tune in the next week and as the weeks went by the show just kept getting better.

The show jumps back into things with the gang using the honeymoon suite that Dave and Alex never used (see above re: abandoned wedding). This ends with Brad getting stabbed in the leg and Jane being saved with an EpiPen. That’s one thing I like about Happy Endings: it moves fast. The storylines of this episode include the standard sitcom plot of one dude stressing because his married friend doesn’t hang out with him as much. That’s the weakest of the episode’s plots, despite featuring Max who is usually one of the best characters. You also have Penny buying a condo and then freaking out that it’s cursed and going to turn her into a spinster. I mostly just liked the way all the “weird” stuff was explained in the end by ordinary stuff (and also highly-trained cats). The best storyline of the episode for me was Dave and Alex abandoning all the white lies they told each other when they were a couple. Dave isn’t allergic to shellfish, he just hates Alex’s jambalaya. Alex thinks the song Dave wrote for her is crap. Plus there is so much more involving running socks, Frisbee golf, pet ownership, and improper fireplace usage. Stuck in the middle of it all is Jane who has to reassure the exes that Alex’s jambalaya tastes fine (it doesn’t) and Dave has a gift for songwriting (he doesn’t).

Happy Endings is a great character-based sitcom and the cast is great. Although this episode wasn’t the best showcase for him, I’m glad Damon Wayans Jr. chose to stick with this show and not New Girl (though let me say New Girl is pretty good). The rest of the cast (Zachary Knighton, Adam Pally, Elisha Cuthbert, Eliza Coupe, and Casey Wilson) brings it too. This show avoid the pratfalls of being a Friends clone because these characters are NOT Ross, Rachel, Joey, Chandler, Monica, and Phoebe. In fact, Happy Endings seems to be able to tap into what made that show work while seeming current and using the single-camera approach. I’m glad it got renewed, and here’s hoping for an even better season this year.

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