Its 4:25 pm
I was at Disc Replay with my movie hunting and Fat Seagal film fanatic Catfish this past weekend when I stumbled across the first season of “Happy Endings” for a mere $1.11 cents. Well you know how the cheetah and I love a good deal so I snagged this up in a heartbeat.
While I had heard of this show,I also had never seen a single episode as I was rather busy when it aired from 2011 to 2013 for a total of 57 episodes. I had heard it was funny and that Casey Wilson had left “Saturday Night Live” to do this show. That was it,that was I knew about “Happy Endings”.
The show aired on ABC starting in 2011 as a mid-season replacement. This happens when a low rated show either gets the hook or an established gets moved to a new time slot. This is a reason why there are only 13 episodes for the first season,this is common for mid-season shows.
“Happy Endings” was created by Dave Caspe who has gone on to create to other series after “Happy Endings” ended. He also wrote that God-awful Adam Sandler cowpoo of a movie called “That’s My Boy” but we’ll skip over that.
Future super directors Joe and Anthony Russo also chipped in as producers and writers during the shows run. That must have been one hell of a balancing act as they also were serving as producers for “Community” at the same time.
The focus of the show is on a group of six friends (why is it always six?) in various stages of life and relationships who live in Chicago.
The main couple in the first season are Alex (Elisha Cutbert) and Dave (Zachary Knighton) who are,as the series opens,are in the middle of getting married. That is until Alex has a Runaway Bride moment and bolts out the church with Bo the Roller Blade dude. This of course affects the other four friends which include:
Jane (Eliza Couple) and her husband Brad (Damon Wayans,Jr.). How does this affect them? Jane happens to be Alex’s older Type-A sister who dreams of having the perfect family and living in the burbs. Brad loves Jane and much more laid back which sometimes can drive Jane a little hyper.
We also meet Max (Adam Pally),a single gay man who loves beer and the Chicago Bears.
Dave moves in with Max after the break-up with Alex. Max is very bright but just not motivated,when we meet him,his parents are supporting him as he isn’t working. Max also has commitment issues. He isn’t the typical gay male,he is a jock who is a bit messy and enjoys crazy hi-jinks.
Penny Hartz (Casey Wilson) is the single girl of our little troupe. She is beautiful,sassy and is always looking out for a nice guy. She is willing to go to some weird places to land a fellow and that generally leads to a dating disaster on amost weekly basis.
Top to bottom,this is a wonderfully funny show with each member of the cast getting equal time in the spotlight. The dynamic between the friends is warm and good natured. How the writers handle Alex and Dave’s break-up is done right,no forced emotions or standing outside in the rain with a blue French horn. The reactions of the others,including Jane,while gently played for laughs does address the issue of how does handle a major life event like that and still maintain a relationship.
Lucky for us all,Alex didn’t run away with Bo,she just ran away and so Dave and Alex begin the task of getting to know each other all over again. The first and most important is they decide to stay civil to each other and let the friendship rebuild itself organically.
One small problem is this first season release and that is the episodes are not in the order they were shown when they aired. I did notice that when certain events were referred to in one episode that hadn’t happen yet. It makes for a bit of a confusing watch but you can go the show’s IMDb page to see how the episodes aired.
My three favorite first season episodes were the following….
1. “Like Father,Like Gun” – Brad’s uptight and straitlaced father (played by his real life dad Damon Wayans) shows up for a visit. When his father has a health scare,he sees it a sign to live life large much to Brad’s dismay. Meanwhile Dave and Max have discovered Nerf guns and all hell breaks loose.
2. “Of Mice and Jazz-Kwon-Do” – Alex discovers she has a mouse problem in her apartment and needs Dave’s help in getting it out. The two start to really reconnect but realize once to mouse is caught,the sparks could fizzle as well. Meanwhile Penny makes the mistake of inviting the ultra competitive Jane to Penny’s self-defense class where Jane takes great pleasure in “killing” Penny. Brad tries to set up Max up with a guy from his office,not a good idea.
“Dave of the Dead” – Still reeling after Alex has left him at the alter,Dave makes a series of poor,impulsive and rash choices that threaten his future until someone unexpected comes to his aid. Meanwhile Max and Jane compete to see who would survive a zombie outbreak.
I found myself laughing out loud at this show and thought the writing and perfect casting worked wonders. The core six have amazing chemistry and I’m so looking forward to seeing is next for Alex and Dave….while I know its way too early to tell but I’m thinking they aren’t going to have that “happy ending” that everyone is expecting and I would be okay with that. But we’ll see what happens once I find the second season!
The first season of “Happy Endings” consists of 13 episodes and include some special features including outtakes and deleted scenes.
You can buy the entire series on Amazon by clicking here.
The cheetah and I gave the first season of “Happy Endings” two thumbs/3 paws straight up.
If you are a fan,drop a comment below and tell us what you liked about the show.