March 14, 2012

Quick Thoughts: HAPPY ENDINGS, "Party of Six"

Like I've mentioned before, Happy Endings can be hit or miss, and it can be a pretty nice sized flop when an episode doesn't click, but it can also tread in the middle ground as well. "Party of Six" was an example of when this show doesn't nail everything, but still had enough laughs to keep me entertained.

For a show that relies so much on the rapid fire approach to joke telling, I was a little surprised by how many of the punchlines didn't land. Some of them were strained like Alex mixing up all of her movie references or were just not funny like Dave's insistence that he's a restaurant owner, but at the end of the night "Party of Six" really wasn't about the jokes.

Instead of the episode being nothing but gag after gag after gag, it took time to give these characters a little bit more backstory and depth while still keeping them in the surreal world that they've created for themselves. We got more glimpses of Brad and Jane dating, we now know how rough it's sometimes been for Penny, and that Max sometimes gets stuck in a "Pacino." By revolving all of these character moments around the somewhat benign experience of picking a restaurant also made this show feel grounded and relateable which helped punctuate all of the issues that the gang was working through, and again there were enough laughs to keep the episode from being a dud.

Lines of the Night:
  • "You witch! You tricked us. You can't just go around Day Light Savings-ing people."
  • "Uh oh, I'm stuck in a 'Pacino.'"
  • Jane: "We need to focus. OK, we cannot have a repeat of last year when Alex and Dave ruined Penny's birthday."
    Alex: "Well, as long as Dave doesn't bring someone from Degrassi Jr. High, I'm sure we'll be fine."
    Dave: "Hey, if "Degrassi's" on the field, play ball. Am I right? Sorry, proud of the wordplay not the message."
  • Max: "Look, I haven't eaten all day in preparation for this, so I don't care if they seat me next to a Nazi storm trooper."
    Alex: Wait, Darth Vader was a Nazi?"
  • "Well, give me a minute to think. It's not like Superman can fly whenever he wants."
  • "That bitch's still young."
  • Max: "Yeah well, when I was a waiter, I was professional too unless you did something I didn't like, and then I introduced your eggs benedict to my eggs and benedict."
    Brad: "He's talking about his Sackman and Throbin."
  • "Ah, I have a brain idea!"
  • "Nathan wasn't a poet, he was a bard!"
  • "Now, she's back to Miracle? She's having a tiny stroke."
A season as strong as this one is entitled to having a few off episodes, and "Party of Six" was better than most, so I wouldn't call it a a complete bust. It just wasn't as good as so many other Season 2 outings, but that's OK.


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