March 29, 2013

Episode Review: HAPPY ENDINGS, "In the Heat of the Noche" and "The Straight Dope"

After two months off the air, Happy Endings debuted in its newest Friday night timeslot with two decent enough episodes in "In the Heat of the Noche" and "The Straight Dope."

In the first episode, Brad roped in Jane, Alex and Dave to help save the kiddie gym he works at to keep it from closing while Penny and Max tried to avoid texting their significant others by taking illegal cough syrup that knocked them out for an insane amount of hours.

During "The Straight Dope," Alex decided to better herself by replacing her trash TV and tabloids with scholarly books and newspapers after being teased for her tastes in entertainment, but her new-found intelligence impacted her relationships with Dave and Jane since she was now smarter than them. Meanwhile, Max started dating a woman named Katie (Abby Elliott) so he could go to Bulls games and other events.

Admittedly, neither episode stood out from a story perspective because they both focused too much on what makes these characters unlikable like Penny and Max drugging themselves in order to have the "power" in their relationships, and Jane and Dave wanting dumb Alex back so they could feel good about themselves. Sure, they all learned some sort of lesson at the end, but none of them came off looking swell when it was all said and done. All of that said, there were some good jokes here and there, and "Noche" did give us the chance to watch Dave sing about fecal matter and Alex temporarily run a sweatshop. Unfortunately, "Straight Dope" was lighter on laughs, but I did get a kick out of Penny exposing Max as a fraud.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • Props for the Requiem for a Dream homages.
  • "The Power of Love"
  • A Face/Off reference too!
  • I actually found Abby Elliott cute and charming, but to be fair I didn't know who she was until she guested on How I Met Your Mother and that show didn't do her any favors at all.
  • Are the writers trying to turn Dave into the biggest d-bag on television? If so, success.
While "In the Heat of the Noche" and "The Straight Dope" were not the strongest Happy Endings outings and probably didn't convince those looking for Tim Allen to stick around, it was nice to have the show back, and here's hoping that ABC was serious about its "Save Happy Endings" campaign... or TBS steps in.


Anonymous said...

This was my favorite episode of Happy Endings this year so far, and I really hope this season isn’t the last. “The Straight Dope” was just a perfect episode. I never would have expected it from the other stuff I’ve seen her in, but Elisha Cuthbert is just hilarious as Alex. I’ve gotten several people I work with at my job with DISH into the show, and they think so, too. I’ve recorded every episode of season so far, and plan to keep it on my DVR until it comes out on DVD, just in case it IS the end of the show. I have the DISH Hopper, and it holds up to two thousand hours of entertainment, so there’s plenty of space to save the season, and still record all my other favorite shows.

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