October 30, 2012

Episode Review: HAPPY ENDINGS, "Sabado Free-Gante"

In a sea of Halloween themed episodes, Happy Endings only made reference to the holiday during its cold open. From that point on, "Sabado Free-Gante" was a typical outing that was mostly hit but with a few misses.

The first of the three plots focused on Dave and Alex's decision to move in together. The real estate agent, who prided herself on finding her clients their perfect places, was taxed after every apartment she showed them was not good enough. After getting to know them a bit, it dawned on her why they were being hesitant and called them on their crap. Instead of doing the logical thing and holding off on moving in together, Dave and Alex decided on a place once and for all.

I can understand why most people probably hated this one because it's once again the most cliched sitcom storyline of the bunch, and I don't deny that the whole on-again-off-again crutch has limited appeal, but I like these two characters enough to put up with the non-sense. It's clear that things are not going to end well, especially with Penny waiting in the wings, but it feels like the writers are fast-tracking their rekindled romance in order to get it out of the way (most shows wouldn't have them obviously doubting their decision so early on). Sure, everything that's going to happen between the two of them will be a stall and ultimately pointless, but I'm rolling with it for now.

Meanwhile, a once again unemployed Brad was having trouble adjusting to a new life sans his high-end routines that included healthy meals, shopping for clothes, working out with his trainer and catching a steam. Max, being his GFF (gay fat friend) decided to show him how to do all of those things for free, and we got to see them crash addict meetings and kids birthday parties. Even though Brad was having fun, he came down to earth after seeing one of his old work colleagues and realized that he needed to find a happy balance between being a workaholic and living freely.

Out of the three stories, this was the one that I was most indifferent about. Most of the time, Brad and Max are a killer combination, and I did find them funny throughout but it wasn't anything special. I guess seeing Max teach Brad how to live like a slacker had some promise, but we all knew that it wasn't Brad's style and it wasn't going to stick. So, in the end it was all a wacky diversion, which is fine but it didn't fundamentally affect Happy Endings.

Finally, there was the plot involving Penny and Jane buying a car. For some reason, Penny felt the need to get new wheels, and Jane being a master negotiator insisted on helping her get the best deal possible. Once at the dealership, Jane schooled Penny on the tricks on the trade. After all of the zany antics, which included Penny walking through a window, she ended up purchasing her new car with little to no assistance from Jane because she was playing her own game in order to get her way.

This final sub-plot was by far my least favorite because it was an example of Jane at her worst. I get that these kind of shows need a type A personality who is hyper competitive, but it can get really grating when Jane gets rolling. Usually, she's counterbalanced by Brad, and thankfully Penny was around to do the same because too much of Jane could be disastrous.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • I was OK with the fact that this wasn't a true Halloween episode, but I would love to see more of the Jackson 5 marionettes.
  • Max and Dave trying to get into the impenetrable piñata was one of the best cut-away gags yet.
  • Penny loves Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. Further proof that she's my dream woman.
  • I sure hope Jane working for the Car Czar was just a throwaway joke.
  • "Shut up, LaToya!"
  • "Aw, hell no! You two whiteys are moving in together? Jive-ass turkeys!"
  • "That thing's jumping like Kris Kross."
  • Brad: "Man, you honkeys going to like it here."
    Penny: "Let's check out the bafroom. See where dees whiteys do they bizness."
    Brad: "You people are getting way too comfortable."
Two episodes into Season 3, and Happy Endings has yet to hit its groove, but it's still been able to make me laugh more often than not, so I'm still going to count it as a win.


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