Ranking ABC's Wednesday Comedies: Happy Endings for the Winsday!

Comedy is like seafood, best when it's freshest and served at its most sizzling. But some comedies are grade-A lobsters and some of them are clearly stolen from that koi pond in the abandoned business park, and they're still kind of flopping around on your plate, cold and naked, as their beady eyes reflect back at you in bewildered protest. So get out your judgin' notepads and your hot butter, landlubbers, because it's time to sort through Wednesday's ABC comedy-block catch in...


FOR THE WINSDAY!!!


The Middle S3E18: "Leap Year"

This episode opened a window in the dark chamber of Mike and Frankie's stagnating marriage, and that window faced out onto the dark brick wall of Mike's alienation. He's cared for a cat at his work for six years? That he's never told anyone about? And it died in his arms? As far as The Middle goes, that's actually kind of edgy, and I thought it was one of the show's stronger conceits. Mike was profoundly detached from Frankie, present beside her yet clearly disconnected, kind of like her head and her wig. Is the next season going to deal with their divorce? Sue crying herself to sleep and then getting woken up by the family's makeshift birthday party at 4am was another hilarious bit mined from a truly pathetic and sad moment. Eden's joyful reaction to her shabby birthday cake was absolutely amazing and touching. So yeah, weirdly tragic humor this week, but oddly enough, it worked.

Final Score: 6


Suburgatory: "Poetic Injustice"

Jackie Geary might have to be arrested for attempted murder because she was KILLING ME as the hip poetry teacher. Tessa's desperation to impress her both fit with Tessa's character and with that age. I think many of us had that one teacher you almost kind of crushed on. Dahlia's poem "Cars" was incredible, as were her exchanges with Tessa in the classroom and at home. Suburgatory has been fearless about weird physical humor since its pilot, and George's tongue slaps with Ana Gasteyer were pure Tim & Eric (even if they were embedded in a dream sequence). Another visual stunner: Chris Parnell's facial hair accumulating throughout the episode. Dallas and George are now croquet partners (eyebrow wiggle!) and I thought it was a graceful parallel that after Tessa exploited her mom abandoning her to write an impressive poem, the show highlighted that she was fighting for the approval of an alienating mother figure. Seriously well done, Suburgs.

Final Score: 7.35


Modern Family S3E17: "Leap Day"

The Cam and Mitchell storyline had lots of truly hard laughs: The Wizard of Oz extras arriving while Mitchell was trying to distract Cam, the flashback to four years earlier when Cam had a crazy mustache, and Mitchell's desperate dance alongside the car—full of the same visual humor, restrained realism, and hilarity Modern Family is known for. But the rest of the show was garbage. I'm sorry! I love this show! But PMS humor? Three women getting their periods on the same day is "Satan's trifecta"? Gloria wants her man to have a fistfight in a bar? Sure, awesome. Glad the Work It writers are still getting punch-up jobs. Also, two shows on the block both had leap year birthdays? The Middle aired first, so Modern Family gets the point deduction for repetition there.

Final Score: 5.9


Happy Endings S2E16: "Cocktails & Dreams"

This episode knocked it out of the park. It had me at "whore's bath" (Penny rubbing dryer sheets on her armpits in the bathroom of an Au Bon Pain) and then the cleanse humor and Penny hiding food on her ceiling fan and then having it rain down when the fan was turned on, and then an entourage guy named Beans?? This barbecue taste GOOD, Happy Endings! Elisha Cuthbert had some huge hard laughs (table keg!) and Max holding his horses was visually delightful, and Damon Wayans Jr. screaming "Bitch it's 5:30!" They're all winners, but Casey Wilson was the MVP last night. And what do we all think about Alex and Dave hooking up? Just a potent combination of that drama on top of many throwaway jokes (Kardashian book everywhere!) and really great visual humor (Penny almost throwing herself off a balcony during the cleanse). A very strong episode in a very strong season.

Final Score: 7.4


Rankings:

Happy Endings: 7.4

Suburgatory: 7.35

The Middle: 6

Modern Family: 5.9


Overall Score: 6.6

Congrats, Happy Endings, on reclaiming the throne (for now) from Suburgatory. The Middle made big gains with its dark humor this week, and Modern Family has nowhere to go but up. We are living in a golden age of ABC comedy guys, and frankly last night's steamy bouillabaisse made me happy as a clam. Because seafood. We mermaid it! Okay that was too far. (Don't eat mermaids.)

Thanks to everyone who voted for last week's viewers' choice! The Viewers' Blue Ribbon Win votes are in for last week's ABC comedy block...


1. Suburgatory swept first place with 7.5!

2. You gave Happy Endings a 6.9.

3. Modern Family was right behind with a 6.8.

4. And The Middle averaged 6.3.


Remember to score three or more shows in the comments I'll tally for next week's Blue Ribbon Viewers' Choice. See you next... FOR THE WINSDAY!

Comments (27)
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Once again, I don't think "Happy Endings" is as funny as everyone else, and I truly enjoyed "The Middle" (this, though, is also coming in really late due to scheduling issues this week).



Pcsjunior002's scores:

The Middle: 7.0, wasn't quite up to last week's, but very solid

Suburgatory: 6.9, was quite good as well.

Modern Family: 6.0, didn't do much for me at all.

Happy Endings: 6.5, I loved the wake-up shots from the sex dreams (the 5:30 thing in particular), but other than that, I thought it wasn't exceptional. Also, I enjoy Colin Hanks as an actor, but as himself in this episode he did nothing for the show and probably made me like him less.
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i don't think they;ll ever get a divorce on the middle. i mean if it was a show that thrived on drama, then maybe but the middle is a show where they just float. they may not be the hottest couple on tv, but i dont see them breaking up ever
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I actually loved Julie Bowen on Modern Family this week, and normally I hate her! She is an interesting breed of mom. I laughed out loud a lot this episode, which is why I can't seem to drop this show from my watch list. Suburgatory was fantastic as per usual. Penny's whore bath rant on Happy Endings was just the beginning of 21 minutes straight laughing out loud.
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Happy Endings was so good! Every scene you pointed out had me laughing. Excellent show.
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If ABC could swap Modern Family with Community (I know, never gonna happen) this would be the perfect comedy block. Anyway, ratings:



Happy Endings 10/10 - They knoced it out of the park, everything they tried worked. It was a fantastic 22 minutes of comedy that had me in stitches almost constantly.



Suburgatory 9/10 - excellent episode, some great moments, especially Daliah telling Tessa that she was trying too hard to impress the teacher. If there had been a little more from Allie Grant (who is going to be a massive hit) then this episode could have also earned a 10/10.



The Middle 8/10. This was my favourite episode so far, it was great. Once again Eden Sher showed she's the standout star of the show and Atticus Shaffer was also brilliant (again). The mix of comedy and drama was perfect and the 4 am birthday party was fantastic.
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Happy Endings - 8

Suburgatory - 6.80

Modern Family - 6.50
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Since I only watch Modern Family and Happy Endings, I can only rate them.



Modern Family: 9/10. I'm sorry, but the PMS storyline had me in tears, and my family is mostly dominated by women. Phil definitely stole the show with his "Satan's Trifecta" line, but everybody shined in this episode. Everybody!!! Given that this is a COMEDY, some storylines are likely to be done by other shows. What matters to me is which show executes it the best, and MF was nothing short of spectacular!



Happy Endings: 8/10. It took me a while since I skipped the first season to watch it on DVD(wasn't into it at first), but this show has definitely grown on me. Brad and Jane are officially my favorite tv couple right now. The way those two woke up to their sex dreams had me ROTFL, especially with the "It's 5:30, b###ch" and "It's 5:40, b###ch" lines.



So, Modern Family clearly had the win for me, but I love both shows. In fact, these two shows, back-to-back, makes the funniest hour on television to me.
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OK, I have to point this out because of the eerie coincidence. It's about what happened on Modern Family and the death of Davy Jones of the Monkees earlier that day.



So the scene is the one where Mitchell sees Cam arriving back home as Mitchell is in the process of creating a surprise Wizard of Oz themed birthday party. Mitchell opens the front door to get to Cam but when he opens it up he sees two guys standing there holding the flying monkey suits.



Guy #1: Hey

Guy #2: Hey

Guy #1: We're the monkeys



They recited the famous line from the Monkees theme song...
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I totally noticed that and thought the same thing you did. Unfortunate coincidence. Or maybe eerily timed tribute? RIP Davy Jones!
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The only argument you'll get from me was on the PMS humor. My son-in-law is dealing with a wife and triplet girls(I've suggested testosterone injections daily). It may only be funny if it is familar I guess.

I would agree with the rest of your rating and "Whore's bath" had coffee coming out of my nose!!

Lily, please!!! Ya gotta change Scarey Mary!!! I'm havin nightmares!!!
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Does it make me a bad person if Penny's almost suicide made me laugh so hard I almost wet myself! Happy Endings was definitely the best!
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Yeah the winner of the night was definitely Happy Endings. "Bitch it is 5:30" LOL! I laughed the whole episode.
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I get about one laugh per show, so I'll rate on each show's memorable bit:



"I don't really like his shirt."

"Remember how we talked about using our internal editor?"

"Oh, I did. I don't like his shoes either." - Brick, The Middle 8/10



"You know, in my day, the early '90's, coolness was about not trying to look cool. Nirvana taught us that." - George, Suburgatory 7/10



[Whore's Bath rant] - Penny Hartz, Happy Endings 7/10



[something about Monsteration] - Luke, Modern Family 5/10

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i just started watching happy ending for two weds in row and now i'm fan of it
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Happy endings was WAY above a 7.4 for last nights episode. That might've been one of my favorites ever. 9.1 at least. Surburgatory gets 7.5, Modern Family 7.9 and Middle 6
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Modern Family was below par this week so a 5.5 for them and the PMS story line.

Suburgatory was awesome. Fred's facial hair put me off my food!! And yes that cars poem was an absolute masterpiece. 8

I have to agree that Happy Endings had me laughing most, from start to finish. Elisha Cuthbert with just everything she did, Penny and the ceiling fan and even Dave ! 8.4
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Oh, Happy Endings, you make my Wednesdays. This episode had a few really juice moments. And you had to watch the episode until the last second to catch the best line. Alex' "Oh boy" was hilarious and channelled Porky Pig just a little. That was a real "happy ending". All and all I have been pleased to see Alex' character grow into a really funny one. In the beginning I wanted to see a really great performance from Elisha Cuthbert, but ended up being disappointed. Alex character felt like it was the least ready of them all. But now Alex might in fact be my favourite character together with Max.
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Modern Family: 6.2 - Immediately loses points for using that stupid Sarah Mclachlin commercial. Yes it's extremely sad but it is EXTREMELY overused and a few years old. Add to that the fact that it was used to compliment a PMS storyline. Awful. Cam and Mitchell were hilarious however. Mitchell: What are you doing? Cam: Canceling our baby.



Suburgatory: 7.5 - Very well done episode. Love the poetry teacher. Love Dahlia's poems.



Happy Endings: 9.2 - Was laughing out loud almost the entire episode. Max and the frittatas, food falling from Penny's fan, Penny's suicide attempt, "Bitch, it is 5:30", Freddy Kreuger, Beans and Colin, "I knew you had my my morning jacket jacket.", Penny's suicide attempt, "Oooh, floor bacon!", Andre, "Max, It's, it's it's a, it's a leather couch!". Then add in some nice drama touches with Penny's attraction to Dave, and Dave hooking up with Alex. Love this episode. Also anyone else catch this, http://i.imgur.com/6Wdwq.gif, at the beginning when they were laughing at Dave's new idea? So weird but I couldn't stop laughing.
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The "bitch it is 5:30," had me laughing for like a good two minutes. The funniest part of the episode.
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Suburgatory: 7.0... Modern Family: 6.5... Happy Endings: 8.0



Suburgatory was fun. Dahlia's car poem was great. I also thought Dahlia and Tess' convo in Dahlia's room was funny: "Yeah, you think about that, biatch, because I see it sinking in." It's even funnier because of how many inner monologues Tess has.



I guess my feelings about this Modern Family episode is fairly similar to yours, Lily. On the whole, I think there were a few problems with it. However, I also thought it was funnier than a lot of the rest of this season. Mitchell's realization that they named Lily after a pig was funny, as was Luke's: "Because... because... because of this! You're all monster-ating!" I am so gonna use that term when I want women to hate me.



Happy Endings was hilarious. Not only do they do a ton of references, puns, and plays on words, they also do a ton of great visual jokes. Favorite line(s):



Jane: Mine was like that scene in Varsity Blues but instead of winning the district championship, Dave had sex with me repeatedly.

Penny: How was that like Varsity Blues?

Jane: Jon Voight was coaching us.

Penny: I don't want your life.
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Suburgatory: Not enough Lisa Shay (Allie Grant is awesome), but the other Shays were great! Decent story, good jokes: 7.2



Modern Family: The Gloria and Jay story had barely any laughs, Mitchell and Cam's had mostly visual humor (which isn't really my thing), but I actually loved Phil. Luke and Manny were great too. Below par, but decent: 6.2



Happy Endings: The stories made no sense, but they were funny as hell. Deduction for Max and Grant's "we're taking a break" though (and even more for the reason: Max might want kids and Grant doesn't? I'd believe it if it were the other way around.) 7.3
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Maybe because I am not female. And I am sure it is a cheap shot. But I liked Modern Family, and thought it was a bit better than last week. I understand (not fully) where you are coming from but it was kind of funny, if only for Alex losing it just as well, and the sock thing was great. Also had it just been Phil talking about it then it would have been bad. But Luke's commentary and face when the ladies kept him from the trapeze lessons. That did it for me. Luke is really coming into his own on the show and is just hitting my funny bone. I would give it a solid 6.5.



Suburgatory was great, it hit all their points and I think they are enjoying teasing us with the George/ Dallas will they won't they thing. Also Tessa and Dahlia's back and forth were great as always. And Parnell's Goat tee was hilarious. I wish he had more part in the show, his straight man is probably among the best in the business. I would go 7.5



Happy Endings, ah Happy Endings. By and far one of their best episodes. The Dave Sex dreams were laugh out loud funny. The individual reactions were hilarious as well. Damon Wayan's JR's facial expressions are perfect. Elisha Cuthbert as Alex is getting better every week. Max used to be my favorite character because he is just outrageous and funny.But Alex's comedy is more subtle and Elisha pulls it off perfectly. Penny, I agree was hitting on all cylinders this week. From the eating in bed to the hiding of the food on the fan, seriously how did she do that, she is like a ninja. And the balcony thing, so great. Couple all of this with Max and his horses? Seriously way too good. I go 8.5.



Do we know when this show is wrapping for the season? Because for me I would love to see a head to head comedy showdown between Happy Endings and Community. Because really I think this show is Community's only competition.
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Are you kidding Modern Family was hilarious!!!
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I started watching the Middle just to be able to fully comment on these articles (also, I hate an unpaired 30 minute show on my DVR), and I must say last night was the first time I genuinely laughed at this show. I'll get back to you on the other three.

The middle: 6.5
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I only watched Modern Family and Happy Endings, but here are my ratings.



Modern Family: 5.5. I loved this show in season 1, but season two and three are just awful. This episode is no exception.



Happy Endings: 8.3. Happy Endings was kinda going down hill in the past few episodes, but this episode was a breath of fresh air and a reminder of why I fell in love with this show in the first place.
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ne more complaint about this week's modern family, the "Dutch" guy Gloria was arguing with was obviously German, the accent was just wrong.....
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Modern Family: 4/10. I thought this episode was one of the worst the show has ever done.



Suburgatory: 6/10. I enjoyed the George parts, and liked Dahlia in Tessa's part of the episode, but I'm still just getting more and more tired of Tessa, and that's a problem seeing as the show primarily revolves around her. I also didn't care too much for the teacher.



Happy Endings: 8/10. The plot in itself felt a bit sub-par to me, but the jokes where all amazing, I bursted out laughing more times than I can count, the almost-Penny-suicide-attempt cracked me up so much that I actually had to pause the episode in order to catch my breath, and that doesn't happen often.
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