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Happy Endings' Season 3 Premiere: More Like Happy Beginnings, Right?

Happy Endings S03E01: "Cazsh Dummy Spillionaires"

When Happy Endings was last on TV, the world was a different place. Mitt Romney was still fighting for the Republican nomination for president. Dan Harmon was still running Community. The Avengers hadn’t yet made billions of dollars at the box office. A lot can change in seven long months, but there’s one thing that definitely didn’t change—Happy Endings is still one of the funniest comedies on TV.

Much was up in the air when Happy Endings signed off for the season in April. Brad had just revealed to Jane that he'd lost his job. Penny was replacing her feelings for Dave with a wheelchair-bound Brian Austin Green. Max had reunited with Mandonna, his all-male Madonna cover band. And Dave and Alex had rekindled their relationship. What had happened to this gang of friends since last season’s finale?

Happy Endings' Season 3 premiere advanced the show's plot in three pretty straightforward but significant ways. An unfortunate stairwell accident put Penny in an upper-body cast, and Max took on the role of male nurse. After almost storming out due to Penny’s ridiculous demands (tea that was hot but not too hot, pillows that were cool but not too cool, sandwiches stricken of any crust), Max found himself crushing on Penny’s physical therapist, Kent. Max’s feelings toward Kent caused him to lie to Penny's doctor so as to delay the removal of her cast and keep Kent around, even going as far as drugging Penny with Sleepington’s sleepy tea (and some Lunesta—nature’s Ambien!). Penny, after getting caught in a fence and graffiti'd by a bunch of kids, told Kent what Max had been doing to her, ruining Max’s chances with the physical therapist. Penny also let it slip to Max that if Alex were to move away or die but asked her to marry Dave in her absence, she totally would. So Penny’s not over Dave, huh?

Elsewhere, Brad was putting on a convincing stay-at-home husband show, working on his dance-cooking and candle-making and spending some time with Sinbrad, his ventriloquist dummy, all to hide the fact that he'd actually been working for the past three weeks. A bubble bath and potential game of Loch Ness Monster (seeing as how this is Brad and Jane, one can only imagine what the rules of Loch Ness Monster might be...) exposed Brad’s secret. With an assist from Sinbrad, Brad realized work had been controlling him and quit his job. Is there a better sitcom couple than Brad and Jane? With each season, Happy Endings has upped the ridiculousness of their relationship. Their fake angry fight from Season 2 was one of my favorite TV moments last year.

And then there was the Dave and Alex storyline. Happy Endings first introduced us to this group of friends through the story of Alex leaving Dave at the altar. The showrunners have noted before that we’ve never actually seen what Dave and Alex are like as a couple, as we’ve only experienced their lives after their failed wedding. This episode gave us a chance to see what Dave and Alex are like in a casual relationship. We now know that they’re super awkward and really awful at keeping it casual. Dave let a flirting bartender buy him drinks. Alex gave that same bartender Dave’s phone number. When faced with the question of what two "friends" do on a Saturday afternoon, they had sex. By the end of episode, they realized that they weren’t so good at being casual. Apparently, they’re not very good at moving slowly, either: In the final scene they announced to the group that they were moving in together. Again.

Max and Penny have great chemistry, and Brad and Jane are a great couple, but Dave and Alex were the weak spot in Season 1. Dave has evolved into a more fleshed-out character as the show has progressed, but Alex has quickly become the character whose lines I look forward to the most. Part of this is probably due to my love of Elisha Cuthbert (The Girl Next Door is highly underrated, and I may or may not have seen it in theaters four times), but Cuthbert has really come into her own as a comedic actress. While her co-stars get to play characters who are highly aware that they’re saying funny things, Cuthbert’s Alex rarely understands why her friends are laughing at her. This episode’s “be friends with benefits like in No Strings Attached” line was another awesome deadpan that left the rest of gang slightly confused. After years of ridiculous movies and TV shows like The Quiet, Captivity, and The Forgotten, Cuthbert has found a place where she belongs with Happy Endings.

This was a great episode to kick off what I can only assume will be another great season of Happy Endings. I love how this show constantly keeps moving, delivering joke after joke while still molding characters that are grounded in just enough reality to remind you of your own friends. I laughed when Dave and Alex revealed to the gang that they were back together, only for everyone to groan and point out that they already knew. Two of my best friends once started dating in July, then told me about it at the end of the summer as if it wasn’t obvious. The six main characters on Happy Endings are great because they’re not caricatures. They’re not written to check off certain boxes or to serve as plot devices. They say stupid things. They abbreviate words and phrases in ways that they know their friends will understand. They’re real. And that’s ahmahzing. (Damn it. I thought I could get through this review without dropping an “ahmahzing.” I’ll try harder next time.)


NOTEWORTHY QUOTES


– Brad trying out some new Sinbrad material: “Your momma so fat, she died.”

– Alex trying to assure her friends that she and Dave aren’t going to end badly again: “Trust us, the last thing we want is for things to get complicated like in It’s Complicated, so we’re just going to go with it like in Just Go With It, and be friends with benefits like in No Strings Attached.”

– Jane sharing her thoughts with Brad on his stay-at-home role: “I’ve been coming so hard home from work.”

– Max to Kent: “Two thing you should know about me. I’m selfless, and I’ve moves like Jagger, specially the ones he allegedly used on David Bowie in the '70s.”

– Jane upon seeing Alex wearing Dave's V-neck: “You look like the Olsen twins’ burnout brother Larry Kate Olsen.” Alex: “C’mon, his middle name is also Kate?”

– Penny yelling for Kent’s help: “Max is Misery-ing me. He’s like Kathy Bates but way fatter.”

– Alex on keeping it casual with Dave: “When I saw you with Karrisa today, it took everything in my tiny body not to slap the crunchy curl out of her hair and send her back to whatever monster truck back seat she was born in.” Dave: “What makes you think she was born in a monster truck?” Alex: “She said she was from Florida.”

– Max in response to Penny asking if was sure about being gay: “Right now I’m writing a Hot in Cleveland spec script, and I just had sex with Kent in your powder room, so...”

Happy Endings "Cazsh Dummy Spillionaires" Photos


What'd you think of the premiere?

Comments (29)
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I'm sorry, but who did not LOVE when Penny had the door knob in her mouth and was trying to place it back in the door while screaming! I freaking died laughing.
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So are they ever going to mention the fact that at the end of the first season Alex was going to stay with Penny for "a little bit" because there was that snake that got loose in her apt., but she never went back. And now her and Dave are moving in together again so does that mean she's back at her own place and that's where they're going to live? This episode didn't really say where she was living, right?
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Jane saying that Chris Bosh looked like one of Omar's boyfriends from "The Wire" was easily one of the funniest things I have ever heard. The pop culture references on this show are amazing.
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:) so glad someone else picked up on this awesome line!!

this premiere was simply hilarious and one of the best episodes!

Brad & Jane are THE best married couple on tv!!
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I am so excited. this is the first season that I caught on when it started. I am so mad at myself for missing previous seasons.
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It was nice to see the show hadn't lost its ability to write these characters, but man was the situation over the top for both Max & Penny and Dave & Alex's storylines, especially with Max & Penny pointing out they had done exactly the same thing with the roles reversed. Also, not that I don't think Elisha Cuthbert's not funny and pretty (and how do you not mention that she was on 24?) but Dave going for Alex over that bartender seemed just a tad hard to believe after how bitter he was last year. I think Dave & Alex is going to be this show's weakpoint no matter what avenue they take, Dave is already the weakest character in the group (although Penny's fling with Brian Austin Green's broken-leg guy sure fell through the second she had a broken bone, WTF Penny and/or that guy?) but to see him pull a Ross & Rachel with Alex is just undermining him so much more.
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Yea what's up with Jane's awesome nakedness?



This is is simply one of the best comedies on TV and since who knows what the heck is going to happen with Community, it is currently in the top spot for me. I am glad that it is back it just has a great mix of characters that deliver the funny.





And Alex's deadpanned one liners are fantastic. My favorite was the one about The bartender being conceived in the back of a monster truck because she was from Florida. Having 4 Floridian cousins I can say at least that quote is true for 1 of them.



So glad it and B in 23 is back as well. It seems ABC is is smart enough to keep these around, they are smart comedies and don't go after the lowest common denominator.



Great review Bill. thanks.
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Wow, not one mention of Jane's Naked Body anywhere on this page..... I've seen this episode 4 times thus far, and NOW___________ I'm off to see it a Fifth..



Apt 23 and Happy Endings Back-to-Back, rejoice my fellow TV viewers with real working Brains.
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All These People Are Just The Best!! Love Happy Ending so much I might come so hard home and watch it again. I'm glad the highlight of my week is back.
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So happy one of the best comedies is bacccck!
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she's so wack, her first name should be nick-nack-paddy!
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Loved how Brad told Sinbrad to stall Jane.

and Dave and Alex had sex on a Tuesday afternoon....just saying.

Love MAX!! Sleepingtons......
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Keepin' it cazsh. Is that how it's spelled?
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I love this show ...



Does anyone know if ABC is ever going to actually air Season 2 Episode 22 "Kickball 2: The Kickening" ? They aired it in Canada last year and I was able to catch it there (and found it online in HD) ... but is has never aired in the US.

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Yes, I've seen it already, as well. I heard/read it will be aired as part of season 3.
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Besides all the great things mentioned in the recap, I also just want to add that being originally from Chicago this show really nails on the head the Chicago sports scene. The references to Lebron James and the Heat had me doubled over because I've literally had that conversation with my friends. And in past episodes there have been jokes involving the cubs, the bears, the blackhawks, but like most of the jokes on the show it doesn't rely on a set up, punchline, wait for laughter....its more the natural flow of hilarious.
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I thought this was the best return of the season so far. Love this show!
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Quick question to all of you who watched the episode:

Was that Brian Austin Green, in the beginning, base-jumping with Penny?

I thought it was, and thought it was a great one-off joke, but now I'm not so certain.
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Yes, that was Brian Austin Green. As Aquitar94 mentioned, we first see him at the end of last season as one of the guys at Penny's Skype table, at Derek's wedding.

There was mention somewhere that Penny will have a steady boyfriend this season, so it may be BAG... or some dude introduced later.
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In the season 2 finale she met BAG's character, indicating that he'd be a potential romantic love interest for Penny's character! Hopefully he's a recurring character!
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I'm a huge Happy Endings fan, but I will say that this episode was a bit odd. There was a tone to the show that felt a little off and different from usual Happy Endings. I can't exactly pin-point what it was... maybe it moved a bit too fast? I don't know... maybe I'm just stupid.

Anyway, Alex's line with the romantic movie titles was great.
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Totally know what you mean! I liked this episode and I love the show but yeah, there was just a weird vibe goin' on and I couldn't put my finger on it!
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So glad Happy Endings is back. Great review. Alex is one of the funniest characters on the show. I am not sure if i like the idea of Alex and Dave coming together again. It's true we never seen them as a couple, but it took a while for both of them to get over each other and while that was certainly funny i'm not convinced it will be a second time. But so far this show has been great so who am i to doubt it?
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love this show so much
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I'm so glad that Happy Endings is finally back, because it's the only comedy that stuck with me while other were either cancelled or getting lame. Let's toast to an ahmahzing 3rd season!!!
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This show is excellent! It might even be fighting with Community for the top spot on my comedy list. The dialogue is just so, so good. I often wonder how the writers manage to come up with it, while so many other shows fail to produce anything that is even close to the same calibre.
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The show was pretty good at first, now it's really lame !
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Girl next door is ahmahzing! & so is this show! I'm sooooo happy this and don't trust the B is back in my life! & Jane and brad are my all time favorite couple, for sure!
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i love how u love this show as much as i do!...

and jane and brad really are the best couple EVER! they make me laugh so much!!!

one thing i didnt get tho, maybe i wasn't paying attention but, where did his job come from? didn't he get fired?



note to self: watch girl next door
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