Happy Endings is the perfect show for age of pop culture we’re leaving in. It’s quick, with rapid-fire jokes. The show operates under the notion that its audience gets the references it’s making. The characters abbreviate everything. If Twitter were a TV show, it would be Happy Endings. (This is not a suggestion to turn Twitter into a TV show, though, especially not a show starring William Shatner. Knock that sh*t off.)
While Family Guy gets mocked for having bare-bones plots that only serve as delivery vehicles for jokes, Happy Endings manages to cram more story and more jokes into thirty minutes than any other show on TV (well, any other show except Community, but that show is unfortunately not on TV right now). See, manatees who write Family Guy? You can have both plot and jokes.
Anyway, let's talk about last night's episode, "Boys II Menorah." Max may be one of the funniest characters on TV, but the guy sure can’t hold down a job. Out of the limo-driving business, Max became a bar mitzvah hype guy. After realizing how much Max was enjoying the gig, Brad convinced Max to let him join his hype crew, and the two became Boys II Menorah. The two guys worked great together (Brad even learned Max’s entire routine in 15 minutes), but things went bad when Brad put his own spin on Max’s dreidel dance. Brad went behind Max’s back to perform solo—betrayal!—but Max caught him in the act and challenged Brad to a hype-off. Did they make up? Of course they made up. Boys II Menorah was a great group, but it wasn’t worth ruining their friendship over. This isn’t Mandonna we’re talking about.
Meanwhile, thanks to some prodding on Jane’s part, Alex set out to rekindle the spark between her and Dave. Alex being Alex, her plan didn’t go so well. While Jane and Brad are experts at role playing, Alex’s skills need some work. First pointer? Open a window when you’re playing sexy painter. Alex’s attempt at romance ended when paint ruined both Dave's Lasiks and his Asics. Dave, in turn, set about planning a romantic getaway for Alex. Even though he couldn’t whisk Alex away to Paris, Dave enlisted Jane’s help to create a bit of Paris in Chicago. (Hopefully Dave and Alex will someday get to visit Paris. When they were first together, Dave gave Alex a snow globe of Paris with a key to his apartment taped on the bottom, knowing back then that it was her dream to go there. It was a nice touch on Happy Endings’ part to call back to that.) The quality of Jane’s fake invitation was just too good, though, and Alex wound up getting detained at the airport after trying to board Love Airlines.
Bringing Dave and Alex back together was a risky move for a show whose very existence was based on the idea that Alex left Dave at the altar for a guy on rollerblades. And having the two back as a couple hasn’t exactly been easy. There seems to an uncertainty in how to move the characters forward. Zachary Knighton and Elisha Cuthbert are the show’s most improved players, but all they can do is go with the flow when it comes to being a couple again. Knighton and Cuthbert have chemistry and they're always funny to watch together, but I don’t know what Happy Endings’ next move is with them. Do you keep them together? Do you break them up forever? Do you trap them in on-again/off-again limbo?
Penny was kind of on her own this episode. When she joined J-Date back in Season 1, I’m sure she never dreamed that Jewish men would someday be throwing themselves at her... or at least, not 13-year-old Jewish “men” at bar mitzvahs. Ah, 5773 isn’t going to be the Year of Penny either.
NOTES & QUOTES
– Max introduced the man of honor at a bar mitzvah: “He entered a boy, but will be leaving a— Entered a boy doesn’t sound great. He came— Still doesn’t sound great.”
– Could we get an entire Happy Endings episode where we just follow Max around and learn the secrets of his life and many jobs?
– Alex after learning the realities of kosher eating: “Can I still stay friends with my pig friends?” Dave: “Of course... of course...” Penny: “Pig friends?”
– As I’ve said after past episodes, Brad and Jane are one of the greatest couples on TV. I’m amazed at how much the show gets past censors when it comes to these two.
– Alex referring to Dave’s sunglasses: “Did the doctor make you wear those?” Dave: “Yeah, Dr. Style.”
– Jane helping Dave set up a romantic getaway for Alex: “What is one place Alex has always wanted to visit?” Dave: “Smurf Village.”
– Dave to Jane after realizing how realistic-looking the ticket for Love Airlines was: “You don’t think Alex saw this and thought...” Jane: “No, there’s no way she would actually...” Dave: “But she can be pretty...” Jane: “Yeah, there was there what time she ate that...” Dave: “Well, in her defense it did smell like...” Jane: “You would think after one bite...” Dave: “You know what, let’s just say what we’re both thinking. Alex went to the airport.” Jane (at the same time): “Only an idiot eats a candle.”
– Someone should set Alex up with How I Met Your Mother’s Nick. This candle-eating thing is a trend this week.