April 12, 2013

Episode Review: HAPPY ENDINGS, "She Got Game Night" and "The Storm Before the Calm"

While nothing particularly new or exciting happened during this week's double dose of Happy Endings, there were enough laughs sprinkled among the familiar plot points to keep me happy.

In "She Got Game Night," Penny wondered whether she knew enough about Pete to get married, so she challenged Jane to a couples game night. Of course, she and Pete did amazingly well at all of the games (along with Max and Scotty) while Brad and Jane struggled. Even though she knew facts about Pete, Penny realized that she didn't love him and called off the wedding. Meanwhile, Dave and Alex tried to find a psychic to tell him whether he should leave his food truck behind for a job in an actually restaurant.

Even though the inevitable happened, Penny decided that she should not marry Pete, the actual game night was the source of some laughs which proved that watching friends compete against one another will usually be funny. It's just a shame that the break-up really didn't mean anything since we all knew that Pete was a placeholder for someone else, and we all knew this was bound to happen. As for Dave's B-plot, it was just another attempt to make him one of the most unlikable characters of television and it's getting boring.

"The Storm Before the Calm" introduced the fallout caused by Penny's decision to break things off with Pete. She used the theatre as an outlet to express how horrible she felt, but she didn't know that's what she was doing because it's a TV show. Brad and Dave helped her realize what she was doing while Max and Alex were tapped to be taste makers. Jane wanted in on the gig until she figured out that it was all a scam.

Much like "She Got Game Night," there were plenty of tried-and-true tropes being wheeled out in "Storm" like Penny's play. I guess I appreciated the fact that the writers kind of hung a lampshade on its obviousness but it still felt a little stale. Thankfully, there was another cliche that did work and that was "straight guys love the theatre." Max and Alex as taste makers was a little too meta, but I always get a kick out of that combination so I let it slide.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • Scotty!
  • Karate Kid (not the stupid remake) references never get old.
  • Aww, Max was actually sweet.
  • How many shows are going to make the all-white production of The Whiz joke?
  • Derrick!
  • "Winners don't get touched."
  • "Tush in play!"
  • "You got them thangs. Everybody knows that."
So, "She Got Game" and "The Storm Before the Calm" may not have been strong in the originality department, but enough of the jokes landed and that's all that really matters.


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