April 4, 2012

Quick Thoughts: HAPPY ENDINGS, "Four Weddings and a Funeral (Minus Three Weddings and One Funeral)"

I really wanted Season 2 of Happy Endings to go out with a bang, but instead we got a decent enough episode that was worth some laughs but ultimately wasn't the show's best outing.

While "Four Weddings and a Funeral (Minus Three Weddings and One Funeral)" wasn't firing on all cylinders, it still had some of the trademark Happy Endings absurdity and banter that we've come to expect and love. Obviously, Derrick getting married was phenomenal and filled with excessive glamour that we'd want from his nuptials (although I didn't understand why everyone had to be in the wedding party since he's only known them for a year or so). Plus, the wedding was responsible for some of the better sight gags of the season like Max being the lead singer of an all-male Madonna cover band called Mandonna. Also, women in tuxes will always been a welcomed sight. Oh, and let's not forget about Jane's "Jolie" pose in that dress of hers.

Unfortunately, "Four Weddings" also exposed this show's Achilles' heel which is plotting. The stories that Happy Endings tries to tell can be hit or miss sometimes, and I have to say that the ones they put out there tonight were mostly misfires. I appreciated the fact that a show like this would try to address the hard financial times that many are going through by having Brad get fired, but throwing in a somewhat serious sub-plot among the zaniness of the wedding made for an odd mish-mash of tones, and it ended up hurting both stories. I do admit that his firing could lead to some great moments down the road, but I just wished this device was introduced in a better way.

Then there was the whole "Penny/Dave/Alex" love triangle that they tried to start up, and while I wouldn't mind seeing Dave end up with either one of them, it didn't have strong enough execution to be convincing. For example, Penny's reaction to Dave's "I love you" seemed to come out of nowhere even though the series has alluded to her feelings for him. Also, the fact that the writers immediately backed away from the idea by pairing Penny up with Brian Austin Green's character was a little bit of a letdown because I would've liked them to commit one way or the other. That being said, a Dave and Alex reunion could be good for this show since we've never seen them as a couple before, so Happy Endings can have its cake and eat it too by introducing a familiar couple that still feels fresh. I also like how it ended on a sweet shot of them holding hands instead of in bed together because it allows for some wiggle room, and I do love ambiguous endings.

The big question is where does Happy Endings go from here if it's picked up for a third season. While I do think the show can get some mileage out of Alex and Dave, I still like the idea of him ending up with Penny because it could add some dimensions to both of their characters. We can finally see Penny in a real relationship, and Dave would become 10 times funnier just being put in situations with her. Luckily, Zachary Knighton and Casey Wilson do have some chemistry, so it wouldn't feel too forced. Then again, they could keep them all single which could be a good move as well. Thankfully, this isn't a shipper-heavy kind of show, so it has plenty of options that would be believable and appropriate.

Lines of the Night:
  • "Do you guys realize that their Brangelina name is gonna be 'Derrick.' Wait, wait, wait. It could also be 'Erik.' Whoa, did we smoke weed?"
  • "We're getting married, bitches!"
  • "Make it rain."
  • "Quiet Jane in the scariest Jane."
  • "You guys were one of my top three favorite Chicago-based, all-male Madonna cover bands. Right up there with Madonald and Material Earl."
  • "Make it stiiinnnk!"
  • "Oh my god, it's the Mandonna guys. Hide me under your unnecessary hat."
  • "Hey, hey, hey. I don't have time for this endless bantering. Okay, the back and forth is exhausting. I don't even know what you're saying half the time, so slow down."
  • "Okay, now do a silly one! Blah!"
  • Max and Alex: "Got you!"
  • "You look like a hooker I slept with in Korea."
  • "So, you're sending a black guy to an Irish funeral to steal their booze?"
  • "Penny, one of them went up into my body."
So, while there was a lot to like about "Four Weddings," it was bogged down by plotlines that felt out of place and contrived. That's not to say that it was a failure because it did provide some serious laughs and character development, but it didn't flow like how the best episodes of Happy Endings tend to do. Now, I really hope we get a third season because this show cannot go out on a mediocre attempt like this one.


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