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Happy Endings "Sabado Free-Gante" Review: The Car Czar

Happy Endings S03E02: "Sabado Free-Gante"

One of the most popular topics in the comments section of last week’s Happy Endings review was my failure to mention a certain bathroom scene featuring Jane. Look, mistakes were made, and I don’t really know how that happened. I’ll do my best not to do it again.

That said, the response to my Jane omission synced up well with this week's episode, "Sabado Free-Gante." While the “Dave and Alex moving in together” and “Max shows Brad how to enjoy a cheap Saturday” sublots were meaningful and funny, respectively, the main attraction of this episode was the spectacle of Jane guiding Penny through the experience of buying a new car. If we didn't know it before, we'd better know it now: Jane Kerkovich-Williams is one of the best characters on TV. Thank you, Happy Endings, for giving Eliza Coupe the role she was born to play.

When Happy Endings first premiered, it was pretty easy to say that Elisha Cuthbert was the show’s biggest female lead. She'd been in movies like The Girl Next Door and Old School and she'd had a role on 24. Casey Wilson had been on Saturday Night Live for a bit. Coupe? Well, she had appeared in the final real season of Scrubs (and that additional Scrubs 2.0 season that we all pretend never happened) and done one episode of Community, but that was about it. Did anyone expect her to become such a comedic force on Happy Endings? I certainly didn’t.

Like the Season 2 episode that exposed Jane’s habit of Kerkoviching Brad, "Sabado Free-Gante" allowed Coupe to go full Jane. Diabolical. Clever. Crafty. Penny knew exactly what she was getting into when she admitted to Jane that she was planning on buying a new car. Penny tried to leave the apartment without Jane, but—poof!—there was Jane in the backseat of her car. Penny turned her head, and—poof!—there was Jane in the passenger seat. In response to Penny’s cry of “Man alive! Are you a witch?” Jane only shrugged.

At the dealership, Jane amazed Penny with her ability to predict the salesman’s every move. At times, Penny couldn’t handle the stress, crashing through both a glass window and the plastic that eventually covered the space formerly occupied by a glass window. But with Jane's help, Penny finally sealed the deal with the salesman, at which point she turned to reach for her purse, only to discover that—poof!—Jane had disappeared once again, possibly by transforming into a fly.

While the adventures of Jane and Penny brought the episode’s biggest laughs, Dave and Alex’s search for the perfect apartment was the episode’s most substantial plotline. After deciding last week that they couldn't move backward and that they didn’t want to keep it casual, Dave and Alex decided to move in together. The couple enlisted the help of a realtor played by Rachael Harris (who you know from her bit parts in just about every sitcom that’s been on TV in the past five years). When the reality of making a two-year commitment to an apartment and each other hit them, Dave and Alex unleashed every excuse they could muster to deem the apartments they were looking at wrong. One apartment was too "LaBeoufy." Another was definitely haunted. And yet another had wi-fi—a huge deal-breaker, since Dave and Alex only do dial-up (they’re old-school like that). After Dave and Alex rejected every apartment she showed them, the realtor called the couple out for knowing they shouldn’t cohabitate.

I gotta say, this was an awkward moment in the episode. Dave and Alex are fun together. They have great chemistry. The one problem is that Alex leaving Dave at the altar for a guy on rollerblades is always going to be the cloud hanging over them. As great as they may be as a couple, their past may be too much to overcome. They’re going to go ahead and move in together for now, but how long will their relationship last?

Rounding out the episode was Brad’s journey into the depths of Max World (which is neither trademarked or registered, btw). With Brad out of work, not only have he and Jane had to cut back on brunch expenditures and "of the month" clubs, Brad has also had to give up his usual Saturday routine of shopping, working out with his trainer, and spending time in the steam room. Max’s solution to Brad’s problem didn’t involve speaking to any smelly guys in alleys, but it did involve credit card fraud, several support groups (“Thanks for sharing that story about your dad and the ice tray”), and slapping a pretzel out of a large man’s hand and running like crazy.

My only real complaint about "Sabado Free-Gante" is that the group spent pretty much the entire episode split into pairs. This is an amazing ensemble cast, and they’re hilarious when they're together. The Halloween-themed opener featuring the six characters dressed up as a marionette version of the Jackson Five packed a serious number of laughs into just a few minutes. "Shut up, LaToya.”


NOTES & QUOTES


– Max upon realizing that Brad and Jane had scaled back brunch: “That is not fresh-squeezed juice. That is from concentrate. Concentrate!” Alex: “I’m trying, but I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

– Based on Alex’s impression of Brad, I think she’s been hanging out with her racist parrot too much.

– There were some questions last week regarding what had happened to the apartment Alex had once shared with Dave. In last season’s "Blax, Snake, Home" episode, Alex adopted a snake named Tyler and proceeded to feed it Peeps. The Peeps gave the snake diabetes, it got mad and got loose, and Alex moved in with Penny. I’m assuming a Peeps-addicted snake with diabetes leaves an apartment uninhabitable.

– I could watch the pinata montage on repeat. Max trying to sneak up on it killed me.

– Jane to Penny: “You control your own destiny, like Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.” Penny: “Oh my god, I love those books! You read them too?” Jane: “No, that stuff’s for dorks, but I knew it would get you excited.”

– Realtor to Dave and Alex: “I can understand why you’re hesitant choosing your apartment.” Dave: “Hesitant?” Alex: “Hesitant?” Dave: “Hesitant?” Alex: “Hesitant?” Dave: “Hesitant?” Alex: “Hesitant? Is that even a word?”

– Alex’s dial-up impression joins air hula-hooping, a Renee Zellweger impression and krumping as the most ridiculous things Cuthbert has done on Happy Endings.

– Jane to Penny: “Must be strong, like Hermione in the Harry Potter books.”
Penny: “You read those?” Jane: “Dorks …”

Comments (31)
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I watched this episode thrice already and every time I saw the pinata montage, I ended up laughing my head off. Max is so funny.
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Excellent. This show is continually excellent. I think there was maybe one week last season where Suburgatory had the best show of the good old Wednesday Night Comedy showdown thingy, but for the rest of the season Happy Endings was the clear winner. Recently however I do have a slight gripe with the writing. Why do Alex and Dave (particularly Alex) keep talking like a couple of teenage illiterates? There is no need for it. Penny would occasionally use some annoying language but not the others, so how or why did it start? Anyway, I have to agree that when the group is together they are exponentially funnier, the sum is truly greater than the magnificent individual parts. And the thought of Rob Corddry guest starring on the show only serves to heighten my already skyrocketing anticipation.



Eliza Coupe is fantastic and certainly deserves an Emmy nod, but so do the rest of the cast. How Modern Family manage to get everyone, including 'Man Walking A Dog', on the short list for an Emmy whilst great cast's like Happy Endings, Community, The League, Raising Hope, Children's Hospital (another nod to Rob) etc. are continually ignored will baffle me for an eternity. WAKE UP you ignorant geriatric Emmy committee!
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I actually liked Eliza Coupe a lot on Scrubs and had expected her to be awesome on Happy Endings when it was first picked up/announced/aired. I think it was Eliza and Damon Wayans Jr. that made me give this show a try, even though at the time it was promoted as more of a rom-com. I guess it's not a coincidence that I think Eliza and Damon have been the heavyweights of the series so far.

Anyway, I loved this episode. Liked it a LOT more than the season premiere. Rob Corddry possibly being a recurring character for a while as Jane's boss is fantastic. Brad's "You people are getting way too comfortable." line had me giggling.
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This episode was HILARIOUS! Better than the premiere last week, which I found good but a little underwhelming. Eliza Coupe is brilliant on this show! Where is her Emmy nomination?



I'm really sad the ratings for this and Don't Trust The B aren't better. One problem is the lead-in. DWTS is too old-skewing and it just doesn't fit with these two shows. Move Happy Endings and Bitch to Wednesday night and have six comedies on in one night :P. Then move Last Resort to this spot and keep Private Practice in the spot it's currently in. Or you could put a couple of obviously old-skewing sitcoms, Last Man Standing and Malibu Country in place of Happy Endings and Bitch. Do something because these two shows are too good and they need to air with something more compatible.



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love love love this show!!!



tvwhorasaurus.wordpress.com
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Is anyone writing reviews on the new episodes of Don't Trust the B--- in Apartment 23?
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It doesn't appear so. I was hoping for something similar to what they did last year by having one review for a certain block of shows on one network, but I guess two shows (Happy Endings + The B in 23) isn't "block enough" to have one review for both.
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Yes, I expected exactly that. I spent the entire first season wondering and saying often "Why would a relatively big star like Elisha Cuthbert agree to be on a show with another blonde who is so much taller, prettier and funnier than her?" Coz, let's face it, that first season Elisha was still learning how to be a comedic actress and Eliza was already a pro.
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oh yeah ... the piata full of 16lbs of nerds that they couldn't open was also hillarious
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How can you leave out the end where the Car Czar and Jane are making counter offers ... I love the fact that she doesn't leave home without a counter offer written on a folded piece of paper.



And having both Rob Corddry and Rachael Harris in the same episode is awesome



Anyone know what the Car Czar whispered to Jane? I don't read lips too well ...
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The Car Czar told her what cars are.
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There is just so much in this show. It just bring quality and out there laughs every time and I love it. And it happens at such speed and ease that it is just phenomenal.



I have to agree with you Bill, Jane is the best character currently on a comedy show. Her and Rob Cordry giving offer to each other back and forth was hilarious. I hope this means Rob will have more cameos in the series because he always brings the funny.



Elisha Cuthbert though kind of taking a back seat to Eliza right now. Still drops those one liners in a way that just makes me laugh.



This is one of the few comedies on right now that can just make me laugh out loud. And I agree again, I could watch the Pinata montage on repeat for a long time. When they do physical comedy it is top notch.



The only sad part is that this show deserves an emmy but will continue to be blocked by lesser comedies.
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Oh, and are we not talking about the video dating between Dave and Chloe on Don't Trust The Bitch? Not at all what I was expecting, but a funny idea for a crossover.
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Haha, I was definitely expecting more when I first heard that there would be a crossover featuring one of the Happy Endings dudes. But the fact that the crossover was so small and just a self-made video montage of Chloe and Dave made it more funny.
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I remember Rachael Harris from The Daily Show.

This was a weird episode in that it was actually broader than the season premiere and yet also less group dynamic. I had a hard time believing Penny could scheme that well, but I liked the idea enough to enjoy the punchline.

Alex's overly ethnic imitation of Brad got a pass from me only because they're siblings-in-law and should know each other's boundaries enough to get away with something like that.
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Yep, I love Rachel Harris. I stopped watching the Daily Show when they replaced her with the annoying and not funny at all Samantha Brown, yuk.



A month later I cut my cable all together...



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I thought that Brad had a job in the 1st episode of the season and was hiding it from Jane... Now he's fired again? Did I miss something?
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Maybe just pay attention next time
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He did, but then he quit it at the end of the episode.
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This episode was HILARIOUS! (Is there any other show on TV so fast and furiously funny?)

I actually enjoy when ensemble casts segment their characters into pairs. Of course they're great together as a unit, but it's also fun to watch some one-on-one comedic chemistry.

Jane & Penny. Dave & Alex. Brad & Max. Which fabulous pairing was the funniest?

It's really no contest. Jane stole the show hands down. This episode displayed the Jane-iest Jane we've seen to date. I have no idea if she's a witch, but she's got more hoodoo than some other actual TV witches I know (*cough* Bonnie *cough*). I'm not going to lie, she scares me a little bit (in the best way possible). But she couldn't have done all of that without the off-setting and adorable personality of Penny. I've always thought Penny was the sweet and geeky heart of Happy Endings, and seeing her with Jane the tigress really highlighted that. They complimented and contrasted each other perfectly.

I must say the women of Happy Endings are absolute powerhouses. Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert and Casey Wilson bring the funny on such a consistent basis, I can't think of another comedy that has this many top-notch female leads (Friends? Please.)

Speaking of Friends, I'm beginning to fear the writers are taking Dave&Alex down a dangerous Ross&Rachel-y path. I think they have great chemistry together, this episode proved that (their impressions of the other group members were spot on!) And watching them come up with fantastically bogus reasons for not liking several apartments was as funny and cute as it was foreboding. They're obviously hesitant (hesitant? hesitant?!) to make a commitment, and another break-up seems like an inevitability. At this point I don't know if we're even supposed to care about their relationship (I don't. Who's with me?). Friends effectively destroyed a pretty decent romance with what felt like 14 break-ups and 9 get-back-togethers (romance and math don't mix). By the end of the series, even hearing the names Ross&Rachel together made us feel slightly nauseous. I don't want the same fate for Dave&Alex. If (when) they break up, let it stay that way. A revolving-door relationship isn't good for the characters or the show.

Notes:

Hunger Games? Read it. Harry Potter series? Read it. But Personally, I would have used the GoT character Arya Stark to inspire Penny. A dork can dream.

The Piata scenes definitely produced the biggest laughs. I totally thought tipping the table onto it was going to work!

Rachel Harris was hilarious as the multi-named Realtor. "You two have been coming up with stupid excuses all day, because you know in your stupid hearts you should not be living together! But it's up to you! What the f**k are you gonna do?!"

Am I the only one who wants to hear Max's story about his Dad and the ice tray?
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I had no problem with this group splitting up, simply because whether together or separated, they're totally hilarious. There were just so many funny moments in this episode!!! My favorite though was watching Dave and Max try to break open that pinata!!! ROTFL!!!! That freaking thing just wouldn't budge lol!!!!
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Aley nearly burned down the appartment that why she had to move in with Penny.



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Jane was just the best. She was killing it in this episode.
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When Jane appeared in the rearview mirror and Penny screamed "CCH Pounder," was that a Warehouse 13 reference? Because if it was, this show is more beyond awesome than I previously believe it to be.
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I think it was .
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that is totally the first thing I thought of too!

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Pretty sure it was. At least that's how I took it while watching. I mean Mrs. Frederick is always popping up behind people on W13, so it makes perfect sense.
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"You go girl!"

...

"You go to hell girl!



and "It's too Shia Leboufy:" were my favorite lines this episode. Couldn't stop laughing..
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"We're not paying for that" That final tag with Jane and the Car Czar was one of the funniest things she's done. The cast is amazing and I love each and every one of them but Jane is by far the rockstar of the group. This was one of my favourite HE episodes because of the Jane/Penny and Alex/Dave stuff
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After Penny's impression of Brad: "You guys are getting too comfortable..."
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I love this show lol
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