For the Winsday: Happy Endings Wins Again!

ABC's Wednesday-night comedy block is the victory lap we take after the endurance marathon of Monday and Tuesday. But some of these runners are endorsed by Nike, with spicy new pedometers, and some of these runners are wearing shoes with soles made out of old tires and have a pair of children's pants tied around their heads to block the sun out of their super-dilated eyes. Let's call first, second, third, and BRONZE place with...


The Middle: "The Concert" (S03E16)

Axl took a break this week and we focused on Brick entering a spelling bee and Sue scoring tickets. Has anyone alerted Paul Reubens to the existence of Brick? Kind of feel like a Pee-wee groupie stole one of his combs and cloned Brick from a tuft of shiny black hair. Okay, yes, I was genuinely touched by how after Frankie valiantly worked with Sue to get tickets, Sue wanted to go with a friend instead and Patricia Heaton teared up. Yes, that was well done. But Patricia, you are still wearing a wig! You are in poor-person drag! Sue is seriously growing on me, though, she is so unafraid and fearlessly commits to being a raw teen, it's like a much older wiser comedian is operating the body of a young girl. Sue, all the points this week go straight to you and P-Heat's tear ducts. (Everything above P-Hea'ts tear ducts: NOT OKAY.)

Final Score: 5.2

Suburgatory: "The Body" (S01E14)

Suburgatory is a heightened reality and it often stirs surreal humor into the mix, something I'm a sucker for. When Tessa ran against a pair of "Fit Twins" for class president, and their debate speech was an a Capella song about a wrestler sung into invisible microphones: You will not see that anywhere else. Only Suburgatory takes those kinds of chances.

This episode also let across-the-way jock Ryan take center stage, and let me just hold up my hands and holler some praise, Parker Young is basically Paul Newman with Homer Simpson coming out of his mouth. However, the weird funeral party for his torn ACL just confused me. And while he was living over at Tessa's house in his wheelchair, he could have interacted a couple times with Tessa. Plus I wanted a little more follow-up to Dallas being on the market than tooth whitening—like, say, a reaction from George. Missed opportunities equal point deductions.

Final Score: 7

Modern Family: "Aunt Mommy" (S03E15)

Gloria and Manny were the best part of the show last night, both with their genuinely sweet lucky penny collecting backstory and the physical comedy of Manny on his jazzy. The conceit of being torn over donating an egg was handled well until the Pritchett siblings climbed under a table. Have you tried to crawl under a table recently? It's UNPOSSIBLE. The last time I tried I almost strangled myself between a chair leg and a strappy sandal. Also, maybe this is just me but there were a LOT of talking-head confessionals this episode, and it felt a little bit like spackle. The episode was okay. Just okay.

Final Score: 6.5

Happy Endings: "Everybody Loves Grant" (S02E14)

High five to Happy Endings! The show continued a storyline from the Valentine's Day episode. I love on-camera continuity. A courtship blossomed between Max and Grant that extended right on to the rest of the group when they (alongside the audience) fell in love with guest-star James Wolk. There were some standalone hard laughs this episode (like Alex practically purring while thinking about the sound of chicken bones in her drain) and Damon Wayans Jr.'s physical comedy in practically every scene. Much like its actors, this show is just so beautiful to look at I am constantly shocked by how funny it can be. My sole complaint is that the "m" word joke (mopportunity! mappetizers!) was about three lines too long. That's not a complaint, you say? Fair enough! No deduction!

Final Score: 7.1


Happy Endings: 7.1
Suburgatory: 7
Modern Family: 6.5
The Middle: 5.2

Overall Average: 6.5

Whoa whoa whoa! Can Happy Endings be stopped? A tip of the hat to our as-yet undefeated CHAMPION, leading the way across the finishing line in shiny new Nikes, fluorescent colored running shorts, and a silvery arm band in which to put its iPod! But watch out, Happy EndingsSuburgatory is nipping at your heels and only a fraction of a point behind!

(AND for those who joined us last week, I averaged your scores from the comments: The Viewer's Choice Win still goes to Happy Endings with a solid 8.3! If you rate three or four shows in the comments, I will average your picks to calculate next week's Viewer’s Choice Win!)


... Does Patricia Heaton favor boys over girls in real life or just as Frankie?

... Tessa wears layers, but aren't they also TIGHT layers?

... Why hasn’t Surburgatory given Dallas and George a moment yet to discuss her separation?

... Are you sad to not have seen more Dahlia in the last two episodes? Did she get cast in a movie or something?

... Would raising Claire’s egg be a perfect solution for Cam and Mitchell or just kind of icky?

... What were your own rankings for the week's episodes?

Comments (19)
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I thought all three shows (I don't watch The Middle) were absolutely hilarious last week, and slightly less so this week. But still great episodes!

Happy Endings finishes in third place this week in my opinion, because the Grant-adoring was borderline annoying in the end (at the dinner table). And Dave was horrible, although this was one of Alex's best episodes yet, so it wasn't all bad (and still a funny episode).

Suburgatory: 8

Modern Family: 7.5

Happy Endings: 7
I love that Happy Endings episode! With Community not back yet, it has become my favorite sitcom. I particularly loved their opening scenes and this week's was no exception. So I disagree with you on the "m" words things going a bit too far, I thought it was hilarious.
Happy Endings (which is now one of my favourite shows) gets a solid 8/10 for this episode. I was really unsure about casting Elisha Cuthbert in a comedy role, but she's great. The whole cast is great and they have picked some fantastic guest stars too. Of the block, this is the show (but only just).

Suburgatory get 7/10. This was a great episode. I definately prefer the episode that concentrate on the kids rather than the parents. Allie Grant is definately starting to make a name for herself, she's been fantastic for several weeks now.

The Middle gets 5/10. This was a little too predictable to be anything other than average. Going into each of the situations I found it obvious what the outcome would be. Having said that, Sue Heck was great, again. Unlike most (I think) I'm not as keen on Patricia Heaton and I think she has the weakest of the three chraacters - and the most cliched.

I don't watch Modern Family so I won't rate it. In fact, I'd happily see it swapped with Cougar Town.
Happy Endings is a fantastic show. I expected it to be Ok, nothing more. But it turned out to be veryy funny, smart and entertaining. And not stupid! The jokes are not forced like in many other sitcoms.
" Missed opportunities equal point deductions"

So, basically you deducted points because Suburgatory is only a 1/2 hr??

"the weird funeral party for his torn ACL just confused me"

then YOU get 1/2 point deduction!! LOL ...think Paul Newman wearing BROWN CONTACTS in Hud.

"Why hasn't Surburgatory given Dallas and George a moment yet to discuss her separation?

... Are you sad to not have seen more Dahlia in the last two episodes? "

Once again Lily, 1/2 point off for you wanting to read the LAST PAGE!!!

Middle is so underrated!!!!! There are so many subtle funny lines, Sue is a riot!!!!

HE, sorry, just not into it!!!!!!
I am really happy for happy endings, they surely deserve it.
-I'll say no. But I really like Patricia Heaton.

-Yes, they are.

-They're saving it.

-I am, but I can live with it.


Pcsjunior002's rankings:

The Middle: 6.5 not their best showing, but there's been worse

Suburgatory: 7.5 I particularly thought this one was great

Modern Family: 7 good, but not enough on the Dunphys in my book (excepting Claire)

Happy Endings: 6.5 good, but there were parts here that really grated on me

Suburgatory - 7.0 - Solid episode. Love the show, but nothing especially amazing happened. (The debate was pretty awesome though)

Modern Family - 7.5 - This was probably my favorite episode in a long time. I found the Aunt Mommy storyline to be extremely funny, sweet, and weird all at the same time.

Happy Endings - 8.0 - I love Grant too, but I was starting to get frustrated for Max at about the same time that Grant blew up. All my frustration dissipated and the episode ended awesomely. IMPENETRABLE!!
Suburgatory: 7. Starting to get sort of stale, they should try to do an episode where Tessa doesn't whine about stuff. Still liking most of the other stuff on the show though, and got to give them props for its semi-continuity.

Modern Family: 6. I usually really dislike Modern Family these days, with it's formula that it sticks to 100% of the time, and one dimensional characters, but for some reason I really liked this episode, it made me laugh.

Happy Endings: 9. Not really sure what to say about it, loving the characters, the actors, and what they actually do, and this episode did it great, like always.
The only one I watch is Happy Endings which always worth a few laughs, nut I want ABC to put Cougar Town on Wedensday as well because it would fit so much better and actually give the show a better chance!
Happy Endings: 8 - consistently laugh-out-loud funny

Suburgatory: 7 - full marks for being unique, but I can sit through an entire episode without laughing, which kind of defeats the purpose of a comedy show.

Modern Family: 5 - not funny anymore, completely stale unless a few new characters or developments are introduced

The Middle - Never seen it
The Middle: 6.5

Suburgatory: 7.5

Modern Family: 8.0

Happy Endings: 6.0

I felt Happy Ending is usually a good show, but last night's episode had way to much going on in the episode. It was just to much, in my opinion. I thought Modern Family was the best, it was crazy and over the top with great performances by everyone. It was a very funny, but also had a little heartwarming moment at the end.
I give Happy Endings a solid 7.5, the stuff with Dave was the only stuff that didn't work THAT well, and Penny was screechier than usual, but overall I laughed a'plenty.

Modern Family, your number is on the nose, 6.5, sappy and cheap and hacky material all rolled into one.

Suburgatory just keeps getting more "meh" for me each week, I watch less and less of it as it gets broader and broader, and too many characters become nails-on-chalkboard annoying.

I didn't watch The Middle, 2nd week in a row, I think they've lost me permanently. I was never that attached, Patricia Heaton's "poor person drag" is right on the money as to why not.
Suburgatory: 7.5... Happy Endings: 7... Modern Family: 6.5

Happy Endings was funny. Unfortunately, I have this thing where I get a little annoyed by really annoying characters... and this episode of Happy Endings had Grant make everybody really annoying. I was laughing and cringing at the same time.

Suburgatory was really good this week... one of my favorite episodes of the show. All the characters were funny. Something small like Tessa trying to play volleyball was pretty funny physical comedy. Tessa's song for Evan was hilarious. "Is there a bridge?!" George and Ryan's relationship was fun. As someone who loves sports and loved gym class in high school, it was fun being told I'm being irrational.
I would also put Happy Endings a little bit ahead of Suburgatory. While the latter is really fun in its own kooky way, the quick delivery of jokes on Happy Endings makes me like the show a little more.
Happy Endings is the funniest show hands down!!!! its such a great show!!!!!!!!!!!
I liked Suburgatory a little more than you did this week. I think broadening the interactions between the characters so that it isn't so grouped together or in clicks is a good thing. They can't do a George and Dallas thing because it could very well take over the show in a will they won't they type of thing and the cast is too good to do that. Tessa's one liners are great. and Ana Gaystere and Chris Parnell carrying the guy around yelling body, body! was laugh out loud funny. I give them an 8

MOdern Family was all right. I would have preferred either more escapes of the kids trying to fix the house or the drunken night with Clair and Phil and Cam and MItchell would have been better use of their time. But overall it was all right. Manny rolling around on a scooter after the football game was pretty good. But the lack of expanding on either of the two potential funnier moments I give it a 6.

Happy Endings might be too good. For me it is getting right up there with Community and since NBC is still stupid and Community is still on the bench. Happy Endings is quickly becoming my favorite comedy. The writing is just plain funny, the little idiosyncratic spots. Like where Alex says "met" and Dave said bow chica wow wow. Just makes me laugh. Penny's isms are great. And the constant absurd plots that they continue to find them in are great. i would love for them to go a little deeper and obscure like Community did. But I don't want it to be a Community Clone. I guess I am just happy there is another top notch comedy out there in a year where it is seriously lacking.

Tessa's dress. I like the contrast of it between the done up suburbanites and her kind of new york style.

I enjoy Dahlia in every episode. THe back and forth between her and Tessa are one of the aspects of Suburgatory that just makes it work..

Cam and Mitchell raising Cam and Claire's baby would be weird. It however would be interesting comedically because Claire is the type of person that would not stay out of the raising of it because technically it would be her child too.

Also i agree with Luke. Lily is weird.

I think I'd give Suburgatory the edge. It's constantly reminding me of Aliens in America, one of the better comedies in recent memory. The look of the show is so great, and that was on display big time last night. Gotta think it will always be neck and neck with Happy Endings though while Modern Family continues to slide into mediocrity.

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