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Happy Endings recap: 'The Shrink, the Dare, Her Date and Her Brother'

Max and Jane go to war over a sweater, while Brad and Alex find a common thread. Plus: A new romance in the gang?

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Happy Endings
Richard Cartwright/ABC

Happy Endings

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:

Sitcoms, not unlike rom-coms, can be all too easy to poke fun at. Most of the time they’re rooted in a very exaggerated reality (no one ever seems to work and when they do, it’s always somewhere incredibly hip and modern, much like their sleek urban apartments) and their conclusions are often times so predictable and corny you can’t help but gag on your Junior Mints. But here’s the thing about sitcoms and rom-coms (and I should know, I attended last year’s Sitcom Rom-Com Con): Those are exactly the things we love about them…when they’re done right. Life is no sitcom, and it’s certainly no rom-com, so it’s nice when a movie or TV show can give us that reliable escapism.

In fact rom-coms, not unlike sitcoms, can unexpectedly bring people together. As was the case with Alex and Brad during last night’s fantastic new episode of Happy Endings titled “The Shrink, the Dare, Her Date and Her Brother.” After realizing they have nothing to talk about when they’re without the rest of the gang, the in-laws try, in vain (well, for the sake of Jane), to force a bond with one another.  There are a lot of things I love about this show, from consistency in the plot (Max’s taco tattoo, Jane mentions Alex and Dave’s split) to the tiny nuggets about the characters traits (Jane is a psychotic gardener, Brad’s voice gets high when he’s nervous, Max uses meteors as an excuse for everything and is sensitive about being called “chubby.”) But I think what I love the most is that HE, unlike a lot of sitcoms, actually finely pinpoints group dynamics. Every group of friends has someone you struggle to make conversation with when left alone. If you’re anything like Alex and Brad, all you have to do is find one common ground and you’re set. (Note: A conversation about the difference between rap and hip-hop will not last long.) After bumping into one another at a screening of the fictitious, vaguely titled “That’s The Way It’s Gotta Be,” the two discover they both have a shared admiration for the rom-com genre. (Wait until Brad finds out Alex was in one of the best rom-coms of all-time, Love, Actually. He is going to die!)

NEXT: The Odd(er) Couples