Happy Endings: Series Review

happy endingsOne of the worst news I have received of late is that Happy Endings has not been renewed for a fourth season. Boo ABC! (The network also didn’t renew Jane By Design) In my opinion, this is easily one of the best shows I have followed and I’ve actually grown quite attached to these six kooky characters. I really thought that the show deserved at least two to three more seasons.

At first glance, one would think that Happy Endings is another generic Friends knockoff show. Well, one would be justified in thinking that given the marketing for this comedy series. But after seeing an episode or two, its pretty easy to figure out that this series has a unique charm all on its own.

Happy Endings is a show about six friends —  power couple Jane (Eliza Coupe), the control freak and Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.), the vain black dude; Jane’s sister Alex (Elisha Cuthbert), the ditzy blonde who just happened to pull a runaway bride on Dave (Zachary Knighton), the romantic nice guy. There’s also Max (Adam Pally), who is gay and best friends with Penny (Casey Wilson), the serial dater. The series revolves around how they move past the Alex incident and go through the drama of their intertwined lives in Chicago.

When the series opened with the runaway bride episode, a lot of viewers were immediately drawn to Dave, the sensitive guy. What he went through totally sucked — a fate one wouldn’t wish on one’s worst enemy. In truth, it would seem hard to forgive someone who runs out of her wedding with a guy in rollerblades, but as the series progressed, it’s pretty hard to stay mad at Alex, who really seemed like she was just confused at the time all the brouhaha happened. But for a series that starts off with a dilemma that heavy, Happy Endings never lost a beat and transitioned to the comedy seamlessly.

I like that although Happy Endings have created characters based on stereotypes, the actors have somehow owned the characters and gave their own brand to their alter egos. It just seemed like even if there was a certain way Max is a total standout in these series because he is not the typical gay guy. He just doesn’t fit into any box and no matter how sloppy or bitchy or lazy or fat he gets, viewers will still have a connection with his wacky antics because he is just nuts. Elisha Cuthbert is a revelation because her comedic timing is impeccable and her commitment to her dimwitted but sometimes brilliant character Alex is just commendable.  The cast had great chemistry and they really seemed to be having fun with the show. They were very comfortable with each other  and seemed to take whatever drama any one is going through, in stride — a fact that was clearly illustrated when Penny was hanging out with one of her boyfriends’ gang and she was comparing how staid they were compared to her group.

Speaking of drama, one of my favorite recurring characters in the show is the gang’s adopted friend Derek, who is so gay he could be shooting rainbows. Seriously, this dude brings the party wherever he appears in the series. And the logic in which he explains the most mundane of things? Say it with me — DRAAAAMMMAAAA!

END GAME. I would have liked for the show to develop the relationship of these two more. They are super cute.
END GAME. I would have liked for the show to develop the relationship of these two more. They are super cute.

What’s great about this show is the writing. Its so contemporary, fresh and the wordplay is simply brilliant. There are plenty of pop culture references especially for the 80s and 90s so that should be fun for twenty somethings and thirty somethings that were part of this era. I could even say that the show is similar to Friends because of the wit and the humor that each line evokes. However, Happy Endings delivers a different brand  of humor. It is sharper and sometimes, taken in the wrong context, borders on mean, especially with the pileons.  But as viewers get to know the gang, they will understand that this is part of their friends dynamics and this is how they roll. At the end of the day though, what gets viewers hooked on the show is the development of the relationships with each other and how they grow stronger.

I am actually a Dave/ Alex shipper, and I really like how these two interact with each other. They are super cute together and they have this chemistry that seemed to shout that they were end game, but there was also the Penny/Dave ship being pushed in some of the episodes which the writers didn’t get much opportunity to break out. I guess it would be kind of weird if this happened but the way the show ended, I guess, we will be forever kept guessing, or believing in whatever ship we were sailing.

All in all, I shared a lot of laughs with this sometimes juvenile, sometimes deep but consistenly well written series. I maintain that it was too soon to pull the plug on this show. I will surely miss the gang but then again, its great that I can still use their episodes as a pick me upper whenever I need cheering up. And for those wondering what would’ve happened if the show had been picked up for a fourth season, check out this scoop from TV Line’s Michael Ausiello,