Happy Endings "Ordinary Extraordinary Love" Review: The Man Show

By Bill Kuchman

Jan 09, 2013

Happy Endings S03E09: "Ordinary Extraordinary Love"

Despite Happy Endings having some of the funniest female cast members on TV, last night’s episode was all about the men discovering themselves. Don’t worry, though—Jane was still right in the middle of the action. Did you really expect Jane to sit out any adventure?

While the most of the group is pretty paired off (Jane and Brad are married, Dave and Alex are dating again, Penny found Pete), Max has been alone since Grant left him last season. He came close to finding someone when he tried to date Marcus during Sunday’s episode, but Dave and Jane messed that up for him. Of course, based on ABC’s rapid airing of Happy Endings episodes, I have no idea if we’re even still going in chronological order anymore. For all we know, Sunday’s episode, "Fowl Play/Date," could have been pulled from later in the season, shattering the Happy Endings space-time continuum. I’m going to proceed as if everything is still in order, though, which brings us back to Max being alone. The poor guy just can’t seem to find someone, recognizing that he’s in a man drought.

It seems that Max has always had love interests come to him, usually in the form of pizza delivery guys who just so happen to be gay. But Max realized in this episode's opening scene that he couldn’t just assume the role of pizza delivery guy himself, as that would be prostitution, and he just couldn’t deal with breaking his hypothetical pizza shop/pimp’s heart when he eventually fell in love and left the pizza/pimp game. So how would he ever meet anyone?

At Derek’s urging, Max made it his mission to identify his gay spirit animal. If you don’t remember who Derek is, I offer you this: DRAMA. There we go. Max, with Derek and Jane, went forth and attempted to figure out which gay niche he belonged in by hitting up every club in Chicago. Ostriches. Ginger snaps. Chamelons. Lobsters. Broadway queens. Sitcom gays. Max didn’t fit in anywhere. (I’d like to point out that this is because Max is a real character, not a caricature. I’m looking at you, Modern Family.)

As a last-ditch effort, Max decided to host his own niche even, planning an Optimistic Red-Velvet Walrus Night. Of course, Max had no idea what an optimistic red-velvet walrus was, but he still managed to meet a guy named there, right at the end of the episode. Well, two guys, if you count the walrus-esque man wearing a red suit who also showed up.

Meanwhile, Brad was going through his own period of self doubt, feeling like less of a man in the wake of his own unemployment and his wife’s crazy success as a car saleswoman. The large man purse he pulled out at the bar probably didn't help Brad’s feelings of inadequacy, but we’ll just stick to the “Jane makes more money” thing for now.

Armed with the desire to prove he was a man (and without any of the necessary tools, since the hardware store was closed), Brad enlisted Dave’s help and attempted to fix a broken dimmer switch in the Kerkovich-Williams apartment. After shorting a fuse and blowing out the power, Brad and Dave got into an argument over who was more of a real man. I’d call it a pissing match, but Dave actually won that segment of the competition.

Amazingly, this was the first Happy Endings episode of the season to pair off Dave and Brad, which I find shocking considering the fact that they’re married to/dating the Kerkovich sisters. Dave has spent much of Season 3 with either Alex or Penny or suffering the plight of the Native Americans on his own.

Speaking of Alex and Penny, that duo had the only non-dude adventure of the episode, finding themselves engulfed in a celebrity scandal. After Winnie McCray, a Demi Lovato-esque pop star, bought a dress at Alex’s shop and also told Alex about her dinner plans for the night, Alex and Penny leaked those plans to the paparazzi in hopes of pushing Xela, Alex’s shop, into the celebrity spotlight. The plan backfired when Winnie’s date dumped her in front of the paparazzi, sending Winnie into a Britney Spears-style meltdown. Okay, not quite Britney Spears. Winnie didn’t shave her head, but she did attack a car... a car which happened to be Penny’s. And Xela did get a shout-out, so mission accomplished?

Alex and Penny’s banter with Winnie later in the episode perfectly distilled the character’s personalities. Alex felt bad for the pop star, but had already alerted the paparazzi that Winnie was at Xela before they had a heart-to-heart conversation. Penny tried to fix the entire situation, kind of made it worse, and ended up on the sidewalk after smashing her head on the side of her car. I don’t know who told Penny she could stop wearing her concussion helmet, but she really should keep it handy.

Don’t forget that Happy Endings returns this Sunday and is finally airing "Kickball 2: The Kickening" on American TV. This episode was originally supposed to air during Season 2, but was cut to make room for Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. If Dave has a different haircut and facial hair setup, it’s because the episode is airing completely out of order.


– Dave ordered a “Surprise Me” at the bar. Dave got a flat ginger ale. Don’t ask bartenders to “surprise you,” kids.

– Max critiqued the hypothetical Jane plan he had created in his head: “Jane, ya dumb lamp post, your plan is garbage.” Cue Max sitting in the booth alone.

– Dave on his manly abilities: “I actually Bob Villa’d the squeak out of a cabinet last week.” Alex: “You used butter, and then you tried to make croissants, but then you didn’t have enough butter, and then you screamed into a brown bag.” Dave: “I know what I screamed into.”

– Dave to Alex and Brad: “You women wouldn’t know a real man unless he came up and slapped you in the face ... I meant that in a figurative way ... not a domestic violence way.”

– Alex on today’s music: “Haven’t been too interested in music since Smash Mouth left the game.”

– Jane trying to guess the name of the gay bar Max went to: “Let me guess the name of the bar. This is so fun. Man Hole. Back Door. Club Tush. Dream Balls. Club Tush again. Is it Club Tush?” Max: “It was Greg’s. The gay bar was called Greg’s.”

– Max in response to Derek’s attempt to figure out his gay niche: “I know what you’re doing. You’re gay Yoda-ing me. Wait. Is that redundant?”

– In case you missed it, while Penny was addressing the paparazzi, Alex was in the background trying to make appropriate hand gestures.

– Brad: “How are we the first people to think of making stud finder jokes?” Dave: “I don’t know, but we are.”

– Alex: “Usually rebranding doesn't work. Look at KFC. Sorry guys, you’re always going to be Kitchen Fresh Chicken to me.”

– Penny apologizing to Winnie: “We just never think of celebrities as real people.” Winnie: “It’s okay. Celebrities don't think of you guys as real people either.” Penny: “You shouldn't. We’re garbage.”

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  • JohnCouto Jan 10, 2013

    Don't trust the B is also airing out of order right? One episode she quits the coffee shop and works at the office and the next she's back at the coffee shop

  • JT_Kirk Jan 10, 2013

    Penny's work nicknames were hilarious, and Derrick declaring that he's a "soft soft soft soft soft soft butch" then confirming that Dave's claim of hypothetically being a power bottom because he has strong glutes was for the wrong reason but the right conclusion was really funny stuff.

  • MissRight Jan 10, 2013

    Alex helping Penny arch her brow, that was hilarious!

  • JustinJohnson9 Jan 10, 2013

    Very funny episode. Brad and Dave trying to fix the dimmer switch had me rolling LOL!!! I also liked it when Penny smashed her head AGAIN against the car door!! For the love of god woman, put the helmet back on LOL!!!

    By the way, Cam and Mitchell are not caricatures, they are hilarious characters, so back off of them (if you're talking about them). I actually like them a lot more than Max, but I think Max is hilarious. So stop freaking looking at Modern Family unless you're a fan, like me!!!

  • Milanowicz Jan 10, 2013

    This show is brilliant. ABC give them a new season and stop dicking around with one of the funniest shows on TV.

    It is so much smarter and funnier than Modern Family, which had one good year before it imploded and became a non-relatable stereotyped annoying monster of a show. No clue why it has better ratings, but then again people are idiots and especially people with Nielsen rating boxes (if you have a Nielsen ratings box in your home and you are offended, please note that I mean the other people with a Nielsen ratings box in their home). How did we get to this rant? Oh yes, ABC appreciate a good product and treat it and it's fans with some respect!! The same goes for Don't trust the bitch in apartment 23, ABC stop ruining it you (inapropriate xxx-rated language fill in whatever you want) !!!!

  • gpgurl50 Jan 10, 2013

    I still love the show. Very funny. The episodes being out of order was kind of distracting.

  • torontogirl98 Jan 10, 2013

    I loved Ginger Snaps, it made me laugh so hard! And the order is really messing with my head

  • Mate Jan 10, 2013

    This was an odd episode. Not odd in the sense that it isn't funny. But ABC needs to freaking stop running episodes out of order. It nearly ruined the first season of Happy Endings, and is going to ruin this season of B in 23.

    Happy Endings was great. Jane with the names of the gay clubs was fantastic. Everything Alex says is hilarious, the KFC bit. too funny.

    Brad I think needs something more to do. The whole house husband is getting speedily played out. Same with Max and the weight and searching for men. It is all still funny, but I want more from them because they are so funny.

    The whole episode though crazily out of order was great. Even the crazy pop star was good.

  • slipknot1485 Jan 10, 2013

    Funny like usually for Happy Endings. More people need to watch this show so ABC can quit dicking around with it. Sundays don't work at all and Tuesday at 9 is rough. Happy Endings needs to go back to Wednesdays after The Middle. Get rid of The Neighbors.

  • KateSullivan Jan 09, 2013

    This episode was totally out of order...Penny made at least two single lady jokes when we know she is currently dating Pete (and if you caught spoilers, you actually know where that is heading) and I would have even said it was last year if not for the joke about her hitting her head and Brad being unemployed.

  • rishabhpb Jan 09, 2013

    So was Don't Trust The B--- .

    *shakes fist at ABC*

  • KateSullivan Jan 10, 2013

    Yeah, that one was way more obviously out of order that I found myself very uncomfortable. Especially with the Mark stuff, but heck, even with the JVDB stuff, he and Mark are randomly friends now.

  • ekwartler Jan 09, 2013

    Yeah, what the hell? It's one thing to run episodes out of order when there's no series continuity at stake, but June had a totally different job. Come on, ABC.

  • rishabhpb Jan 10, 2013

    and on Sunday JVDB was helping Mark get June... this was effed up.

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