It seems that most of what I’m writing about these days ends up being TV series. The thing is that there are more good TV series coming out these days than I’ve seen in some time. Which is odd since most people complain about how bad TV is these days. Those people need to watch a little more and DVD gives them the chance to do so. Take the new series HAPPY ENDINGS for example.
The series opens with the set up, a wedding for characters Dave (Zachary Knighton) and Alex (Elisha Cuthbert). As their vows are being exchanged, a rollerblading guy rolls in and tells Alex she can’t go through with it, to come with him. She agrees and off they roll. What follows is a group of people that are friends of both individuals who must learn how to deal with staying friends with them while not alienating either.
So that’s the set up. The thing is as each episode unfolds we get to see how their attempts fail and how Alex and Dave develop into friends as opposed to man and wife. All the while there’s an undercurrent that perhaps these two are destined to be together and that maybe one day they’ll realize that. Until then everyone walks on eggshells trying not to take one side or the other.
There are two things that make this show stick out from so many other comedies on these days. The first is the writing. The stories offer ways to move the idea of the friends dealing with issues that are brought into focus by the couples parting ways, by their friendship and eventually in how they deal with one another. The wordplay is witty and fast paced so much so that on occasion you need to back up to catch a line because you were laughing so hard. In jokes are also on hand, like referencing Cuthbert’s role as Jack Bauer’s daughter on the series “24” when one character says she acts like her.
The second thing that makes this series work is the character and the casting. Each actor portrays their role to perfection. Knighton as Dave seems like the loveable guy who was left at the alter only to move on to find his dream. Cuthbert is great as the runaway bride who followed an impulse only to realize later how it affected everyone else.
Rounding out the friends are interracial couple Jane and Brad Williams (Eliza Coupe and Damon Wayans, Jr.). Brad is an executive while Jane is Alex’s sister, a competitive woman with a touch of OCD. Casey Williams stars as Penny Hart, the 30 year old single woman still searching for Mr. Right and nearly ready to accept anyone. Rounding out the group is Adam Pally as Max Blum, the not so obviously gay man who Dave ends up sharing an apartment with after the break up.
One of the greatest things about these characters is that while each could become an issue to press be it race or sexual preference, they instead are just all good friends. They support one another, they help one another and they seem like everyday folks rather than a rallying cry for some cause or another. When treated like just characters rather than symbols it becomes much easier to accept them as they should be accepted.
Episodes deal with so many issues that develop from the main set up as well as the characters. Everything including coming out to your parents, sleepwalking, opening up to your parent that you love them and my favorite who of two characters would survive in a zombie apocalypse. Yes indeed, Jane and Max compete with one another to decide who would be the one to carry on. Remember I said this was a comedy?
While watching this series I had to stop it occasionally until I could stop laughing. It was one of those DVDs that you begin watching and find yourself not wanting to turn off, instead looking at the clock and saying well I can sleep tomorrow night, I’ll just watch one more episode. It’s amazing how fast those half hour episodes fly by.
By the end of this collection you’ll find yourself wanting more and you’ll realize that this is a show you can watch the old ones of and still find yourself laughing. Yes, as with most comedies these days, there are the occasional risqué jokes, but nothing that was too blatant. All in all, while perhaps not a family comedy, this is one series that will make you laugh and be worth adding to your collection.
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