Tag Archives: Friends

Tube talk: Happy Endings

ABC is not exactly being subtle about its desire to turn Wednesday nights into a comedy block. They’ve already renewed Modern Family, Cougar Town, and The Middle for next season, while the fates of Mr. Sunshine and Better With You are currently undecided. Enter midseason replacement Happy Endings, which premiered last night with two half-hour episodes. Last night’s episodes aired in the prime post-Modern Family slot, but starting next week the show will air after Cougar Town.

But enough about logistics — is the show any good? Well, I’ve gone on record as saying I don’t like to evaluate a program so quickly, but there will only be 13 episodes of Happy Endings this season so why not? I’d say it has the ingredients of a good sitcom: a solid ensemble cast with a few potential stars (I immediately gravitated toward Casey Wilson (Penny) and Damon Wayans, Jr. (Brad)), some snappy dialogue, and decent comedic timing. It’s pretty rare for a comedy to hit its stride right out of the gate, and Happy Endings is no exception. But there’s stuff to build on here.

The interaction between the characters has a decent amount of chemistry and believability, a critical factor for any ensemble show. The funniest “pair” so far is Wilson as the single, long-suffering Penny and her non-stereotypical gay “husband” Max (Adam Pally), who had the best quips of the first two installments. I’m not feeling much chemistry with the only actually married couple, Wayans’ Brad and Jane, played by Scrubs alum Eliza Coupe. Coupe’s character on Scrubs (Denise) was one of the few strong points over the final few seasons of that show, but I feel like she’s being underutilized so far.

After two episodes the only real weak points are, oddly enough, the ostensible leads. Dave (Zachary Knighton) is a little whinier than a lead character should be, and keeps reminding me of Jason Batemen. Alex (Elisha Cuthbert), on the other hand, is just too vanilla. Of the two, Dave has more potential for growth. I don’t know how much mileage the writers will get out of the core premise of the show — Alex left Dave at the altar on their wedding day to run away with another man, and this throws the dynamic of a group of six friends into chaos — and by the first regular episode it appeared that they had largely abandoned it in favor of the typical “single guy/gal looks for love” plots for the pair.

It’s hard to view any ensemble comedy about a group of friends without referencing, well, Friends. As much as that show went off the rails in later seasons, early in its run it set a new standard for the type of sitcom. I think Happy Endings, given some time to grow and stretch its creative legs, could at least be in the same ballpark. Hell, it can’t turn out any worse than Perfect Couples, can it? ABC is sure hoping so.

Enhanced by Zemanta

People found this post by searching for:

    "happy ending tube", "happy endings theme song", "happy ending tubes", "happy endings tube", "happy end tube", "happy endings intro song", "happy endings abc theme song", "little house on the prairie cast"

Just Shut Up! — 7 Television Characters I’d Like to Smack

Katherine Heigl as Izzie Stevens (Grey's Anatomy)

Harriet Brindle (Small Wonder) — On a show already full of loathsome characters, Harriet was especially rage-inducing. Watching this show as a pre-teen was one of my first times experiencing true hate. All I remember thinking every time she opened her yap was that I wanted to go to college, become a theoretical physicist, invent a machine that would allow me to travel inside a television, and then smack the freckles off her smug little face. Although I suppose it’s to Emily Schulman‘s credit that she was able to make Vicki the frigging robot seem appealing by comparison.

(skip to about the 2:30 mark and feel the hate flowing through you)

Josh Radnor as Ted MosbyTed Mosby (How I Met Your Mother) — I’ve been watching HIMYM from the first season, but have always felt that there was just a certain little something that’s prevented me from really connecting to the show, which is otherwise one of the more well-written and acted comedies around. And I think the answer is Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor). Ted’s entire vibe just screams “New York Douchebag” to me, and not in an endearing way. He’s as whiny and arrogant as Ross from Friends, but without an ounce of the latter’s underlying pathos and humanity.

The premise of the series is that we’re being presented with years’ worth of flashbacks taking place now, all leading up to Mosby meeting his future wife and mother of his children. But I’ve gotten to the point where I actively root against the guy and hope it’s all just some middle-aged delusion, and that he’s actually still single into his 50s and serving out a prison term for dealing pot out of his apartment.

Denny and IzzieIzzie Stevens (Grey’s Anatomy) — This was a tough call. After all, there’s so much to hate about George O’Malley, but at least his character had the good taste to die off. And of late, Callie Torres has really been laying the groundwork for becoming the most unlikeable character on the show. But I still hold out hope for some redemption there.

The specter of Izzie, meanwhile, lingers in the corridors of Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital like a wet fart trapped in corduroy pants. Kudos to the show’s writers for finding a way to make a character who was cheated on, lost her boyfriend to a stroke, and then developed Stage IV melanoma so utterly unlikeable.

I suppose part of my blind hatred of Izzie is wrapped up in Katherine Heigl’s very public verbal slapfight with show creator Shonda Rhimes. But I think that even if I didn’t know how much trouble Heigl was willing to cause in order to get more time to make shitty romantic comedies, I’d still hate her.

Dennis Mitchell (Dennis the Menace) — Call me old before my time, but even when I was a lad not much older than Jay North I totally empathized with the eternally put-upon Mr. Wilson. I would’ve given my entire allowance to see him snap, just once, and give that little turd the throttling he so rightly deserved.

The entire cast of Gilmore Girls — Except Luke (Scott Patterson). He seemed like a pretty decent guy, and the only person who wasn’t a shrill, soulless caricature of a human being.

Gilmore Girls cast
Now that’s more like it!

Dr. Jim Taggart (Eureka) — I like Matt Frewer, honestly. And I could handle the forced quirkiness of Taggart’s character. But every time he opens his mouth, out spills the worst Australian accent ever (outside those horrendous Outback Steakhouse spots), and I want to travel back to the 18th century and sink the ships bringing the first British prisoners to the continent.

Marina Sirtis as Deanna TroiDeanna Troi (Star Trek: The Next Generation) — The easy and popular choice would’ve been Wesley Crusher, but as much as I enjoy a good “Worf stuffs Wesley into a photon torpedo tube and presses the launch button” joke, at least Wesley’s character made sense. Usually.

But Troi? Troi was not only annoying, she was also useless. Picard typically used her to help figure out if some alien ambassador or leader was lying, but the crew still ended up getting caught in the middle of some ancient political bullshit anyway. Her empathic abilities also made her particularly vulnerable to mind control, which was always a huge hindrance.

But the biggest beef I have with Counselor Troi (Marina Sirtis) is that I knew I could count on an appearance by her mother, Lwaxana (Majel Barrett-Roddenberry), at least once a season. I usually spent those episodes in a sort of catatonic state, and my only relief came when I imagined both of them getting accidentally sucked out of a shuttle bay into the cold, inky vacuum of space.

People found this post by searching for:

    "ted mosby", "ted mosby is a douche", "Josh Radnor", "ted mosby worst character", "josh radnor is a douche", "ted mosby how i met your mother", "ted mosby douche", "izzie stevens"