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Wait, Happy Endings doesn’t suck?

February 18, 2012

I don't hate it, but I don't love it, you know? Image from Wikipedia

Isn’t it weird how things and people you find obnoxious can become only mildly annoying to you after a while? That’s what happened with Happy Endings, the ABC sitcom now in its second season.

While the show is certainly not a smash hit, I do give it a solid 3/5 (mark that down, tens of people who read this blog and wait with baited breath for me to approve television shows). It’s certainly an improvement from the craptastic lows it started from when it premiered mid-season last year.

When Happy Endings premiered I hadn’t heard any promotion or lead up to the show. I just happened to be one of the bajillions of people watching the comedy hit, Modern Family, when Happy Endings premiered right after at 9:30. After the first two minutes, I wasn’t sure why I was still watching it. The characters were annoying and the main plot, Rachel – I mean Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) – standing Dave up at the altar, was playing out more like a romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson that should have never been made.

Despite my disgust and boredom for the show, I kept managing to watch the first few minutes of it after Modern Family ended. For that first season, I may have only watched five full episodes – and then I promptly forgot about it because the show was that unmemorable.

But then something happened this season, particularly in the last four or five episodes. Somehow the writers calmed down and started writing funny lines. In the first season, the only funny character was straight-gay guy Max (Adam Pally). Pally was the only one with any idea who his character was at that point – schlubby, sardonic and sly (an “s”-type personality, if you will). Now the writers and other actors suddenly figured out what to do with each other, and suddenly, I’m not rolling my eyes at the television anymore.

Eliza Coupe, who plays Jane, was my least favorite character at the beginning. She was super anal, like not-funny Monica à la the last two seasons of Friends. Zachary Knighton does a surprisingly good cool dork with his character, Dave and Penny (Casey Wilson) lost a lot of the strangle-worthy neediness of the first season. Thankfully, they figured out what to do with Brad because Damon Wayans, Jr. is too gifted comedically for that to not have worked. The only character that’s faltering right now is Alex. Being just the dumb one isn’t exactly sustaining.

The major issue I still have with this show is what seem like minor plot lines get blown out of proportion and situations explode into chaos too often. They need to scale back the flamboyancy and absurdity of the characters a bit.

At least they are embracing the copycat accusations the show has been receiving. One very funny and surprising moment in this season was when novcaine’d Brad, called everyone in the group by the names of Friends characters. I called the same character match ups after the series permier. Seriously, ask my sister if you don’t believe me. Her number is 555-5555 (do you think anyone has actually tried calling that?)

Overall, there is still room for improvement, but I have good expectations considering what they’ve managed to do so far. So I’ll keep watching. I won’t anxiously wait for the next new episode, but there’s also nothing else on at 9:30 on Wednesdays.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2012 10:13 am

    This show has been picking up more steam, perhaps because people are gaining the same perspective as you and not disliking it as much. The problem I don’t think I will ever be able to get into it is the lack of chemistry with the cast. It never feels like these people are actually friends, they’ ve just been thrown in together by the script.

    • February 19, 2012 12:08 pm

      I agree with you on that point. Right now it seems like the only reason they’re friends is because most of them knew each other growing up. The friendships seem really toxic even and you kind of wonder what they find appealing about each other.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Steve permalink
    April 5, 2013 2:55 am

    This show is stupid and forced. Friends for the generation that is not supposed to remember Friends, except no one talks like this. Forced insidey nonsensical banter in place of true humor, forced commentary that never lands, add a black guy (but make sure he acts white), add a gay dude (who is not stereotypical) and he might be the only redeeming quality if he were recast with a better actor with better writers and showcased in an intelligent show

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