'Happy Endings' react
It’s tempting to recap a show like Happy Endings by just transcribing every line and saying ”this was hilarious,” but let’s savor the hour a little more. The gang begins ”Deuce Babylove 2: Electric Babydeuce” hanging out with Penny’s mom, Dana (Megan Mullally), and Dave’s Dad, Big Dave (Michael McKean). When no one can hang out with Max, everyone starts to think about how much time the group actually spends together. Really, it’s just breakfast four or five times a week and drinks every evening. Oh, and they deliver all important news in person. That last part involves an awkward incident with Jane’s gyno.
Jane and Brad lied about going to a Bris, because they really wanted to try to join a tennis club. Max and Alex try to tag along to the Bris — Max wants to see his third one, though ”the second one was less of a religious ceremony and more of a horrific jet-skiing accident” — so Brad makes a quick lie about how he thought Max and Alex would make fun of them for wanting to do a rich people thing like join a tennis club. ”What time is your monocle-fitting, Ambassador Goldface Von Cash?” Max promptly throws out. Whew! Brad and Jane think they are off the hook. But really, Max knows they lied and he has a plan.
Meanwhile, Dave and Penny get some big news. They were hoping their parents might be tying the knot, but instead Big Dave and Dana announce that they want to adopt. Penny and Dave are obviously not excited, but they lie. Oh, do they lie! So much so that Dave has to improv a little jazz solo. Of course, they think of a plan and they think it up quick. They’ll just borrow a baby from one of their friends with kids — who apparently exist somewhere — and remind their parents how hard it is to raise a kid. We also learn that they once took Max to a prison to teach the inmates to get their act together. Also, Penny has a (frequent?) Jason Giambi sex nightmare.
At the tennis club, Brad and Jane are having a wonderful time. ”Tanning cream: heated, towels: heated, locker room attendant: heated… when I pointed out all of his lotions are full of toxic parabens,” Brad delightedly tells Jane. They’re about to go on a tour of the facilities when they are introduced to the people who will be touring with them: Max and Alex, sipping fruity drinks and trying to act rich.
Brad and Jane are not happy with their tagalongs, so Max makes a deal with them. The two pairs will play each other in doubles tennis; if Brad and Jane win, Max and Alex will leave. ”Max, nobody solves things through tennis matches anymore, bro. It’s not the ’80s” says Brad. Then Max calls Brad Arthur Ashy. Now, this moment right here is what makes this show so great. It could have gotten really offensive really fast, but instead Brad angrily delivers a line of pure hilarity: ”Nobody calls me ashy. Ever. That is not just a slap in my evenly moisturized face, it’s an insult to my personal lotion consultant and my creamist.” If you saw our clip, you know Brad and Jane win, but in the process alienate everyone in the club with their intensity and impressive racket-breaking skills.
The search for a friend’s baby is not going great for Dave and Penny, so they decide they’ll just hold a casting call for a baby. At the casting call, they try to find the worst mother and tell her they just need to take her baby for a quick screen test. Then they take the baby downstairs and try to make it start crying before their parents get there. Dave tries insulting the baby and Penny makes herself cry in hopes the baby will too — she just reminds herself she’s wearing Shania Twain perfume. When the baby’s mom comes down she threatens to call the police on Dave and Penny, just as Dana and Big Dave show up.
In the end, Dana and Big Dave solve the problem by paying the mom off. However, in the process, Dave and Penny did convince their parents not to adopt. So, win?
Brad and Jane explain to Max that they aren’t going to go off and do rich people things. They just want something to do as a couple. Max feels bad for ruining their chances of getting into the tennis club, but he has the perfect plan to get them back in. It doesn’t work though, and he ends up frantically running out of the club, naked, screaming as much. Well, he tried.
NEXT: Brooke out-Janes Jane… just accept that there’s a third Kerkovich sister.
In episode two, the gang is busy making the perfect wedding gift bags for Jane and Alex’s older sister, Brooke. ”I can’t believe Jane and Alex have an older sister. I mean we never see her. Never talk about her. She never shows up in any of your flashbacks,” Max says. Turns out, flashbacks are what Alex and Jane call their photo albums. But also, real talk, Brooke has never been mentioned.
Jane’s super nervous about making everything perfect, because it turns out her older sister is even more perfect than her. Although really, all loyal fans know that’s impossible. Brooke also never remembers Penny, has a perfect job in Hong Kong, and treats Alex like she’s a literal baby– buying Ring Pops for her and all.
Dave does the cutest dance to get his clay beads out of the oven and by the time he’s done singing about them, all his friends are gone. Well, except Alex, who can’t hide for anything. Also, bomb dropped: Dave and Alex broke up! They plan to tell everyone after the wedding so they don’t take away any attention from Brooke. Plus, everyone likes to gossip.
‘”Strength. Courage. Composure. No Carbs.” Jane chants to herself waiting for Brooke. The first thing Brooke asks Jane is ”Have you been renovating? Because it looks like everything’s covered with a thin layer of dust.” Jane responds ”Good catch. Yeah, I must have just cleaned thoroughly instead of compulsively.” Brooke got Alex Chinese rice candy, for real has no idea who Penny is, and then once again starts quizzing Jane on the specifications of her rehearsal dinner seating chart. Remember, mom can’t sit by the band!
Brooke’s fiancé Elliot is black, which makes Brad act excited and also try to overcompensate. ”Finally, another Elliot. I haven’t hung out with another Elliot in like two years, man.” Brad smells Elliot then gets him to say ”White people be crazy.”
At the hotel for the wedding, Alex tries to check into a separate room from Dave, which leads to her confessing to Penny that they broke up. They locked themselves into their room — they’re idiots — and got to talking about their relationship. Basically, they’ve never dated anyone else, so they can’t really know if they’re right for each other. Eventually they get locked in the bathroom and then the shower in the bathroom (it’s a hilarious sight gag). Penny promises not to tell anyone, but also by this point Dave has told Max. So obviously, everyone will know soon enough.
Jane’s looking at her perfectly laminated seating chart for the rehearsal dinner — she has her own laminating machine: ”I’m a card-carrying member of the Lamination. We even have our own constitution, which we can’t amend, cause it’s laminated”– but her sister quickly knocks her down by saying that laminating is tacky. Just don’t spill. Jane is devastated.
Of course, Penny and Max instantly tell each other that Alex and Dave broke up. Too bad Alex’s second cousin Sherry is right behind them and super nosy. Eventually, Max lies and says that Alex is pregnant, going into vivid detail about the whole pregnancy process. When Penny asks him how he knows so much about uteruses, he replies, ”Uteri. You’re a woman, you should know what part of the butt the baby comes out of.”
Brad is bummed that everyone is being so nice to Elliot and not treating him like the token black person (like they did to him). He refers to himself as the Jackie Robinson of the family. Also, we learn that Dave minored in African American studies. To trip Elliot up, Brad tells one of the Kerkovich relatives that Elliot knows Blair Underwood. But it turns out, Elliot actually does, so it’s not an awkward stereotype at all. In the end, we all sort of wish we knew Blair Underwood.
At the rehearsal dinner, everyone starts asking Alex how she’s feeling — guess the second cousin didn’t keep her mouth shut — and Max and Penny decide to change the story. So… they tell second cousin Sherry that Brad and Jane’s relationship is on the rocks. Word spreads quickly.
Speaking of Jane, she messes up the seating chart because she had to un-laminate it (is that how you would say it?). Everything’s a mess and Brooke downgrades her to handing out programs. Everyone felt the same sense of sadness when this happened, right? Maybe I’m just a little too Jane-like. Anyway, Jane ends up even messing that job up — she’s rude to everyone she hands a program to — and Alex has to tell her that Brooke thinks it would be best if she just lets the podium do the program job. Oh, if you didn’t guess, Alex is the flower girl.
Things come to a head at the wedding when the programs catch on fire just as the bride is about to say ”I do.” Don’t worry, Elliot is a volunteer firefighter. Second cousin Sherry tells Dave to take Alex out of the wedding because the fumes are bad for the baby. All the rumors come out. Finally, Dave and Alex admit they are breaking up. But someone was still talking about a pregnant Kerkovich sister in the bathroom. It turns out, that was Brooke. Right then and there the sprinklers go off.
At the reception, Brooke tells Jane that she’s actually not perfect. She’s always been hard on Jane, because she sees Jane’s potential. ”I knew you could be great. Maybe even better than me. That’s why I had to destroy you.” This brightens Jane right up. Jane can also buck up, because she only sort of ruined Brooke’s wedding, Max and Penny definitely did. This prompts Penny to excitedly jump up at being remembered… and knock over a waiter’s tray.
Brad and Elliot become pals and Brad jokes that Elliot’s really going to get it with the Kerkovich parents for getting their daughter pregnant out of wedlock. Turns out, they’re just happy to finally be getting a grandchild.
As we reach the final minutes of what I’m hoping will not be the final episode of this series, Brad and Jane are being adorable. Dave lets Alex know that they’re still going to be great friends. And the gang dances to ”For Once in My Life” as the credits roll.
So, did the hour make you laugh nonstop? Do you want to see Penny and Dave get together? How sad will you be if this show is canceled and no other network steps up? Also, give me all your favorite quotes (I couldn’t include all of mine or we’d be here all night)!