Last night was the last new episode of our beloved Happy Endings until the New Year, as well as being the Christmas-themed episode. This was the last impression we have until the show starts airing new episodes in the new year – more than a month from now. Did they hit it out of the park? Did they leave us wanting more? Well…not so much. But for a show that leads with its comedy first and it’s heart last, this episode did give us a few gifts to keep us warm until January.
Let’s get to it.
Like most of the episodes this season, the gang got broken into pairs. We had Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Jane (Eliza Coupe), Max (Adam Pally) and Penny (Casey Wilson) and finally Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) and Dave (Zachary Knighton).
Brad and Jane were planning a holiday to Turks and Caicos, but things got complicated when Jane accidentally gave their vacation money to their maid Gita (Jamie Denbo) thinking it was the envelop containing her Christmas bonus. Obviously some people haven’t heard of traveller’s checks. (It’s the SAFEST way to travel people!!!) Oh well. Their wad of cash did give us one of the best scenes of the night, as well as a line I plan on using in the very near future: Who doesn’t want to Indecent Proposal with someone? It is all about rolling around on the bed with money flying everywhere.
Once Brad and Jane realize what they’ve done, they try different ways to explain to Gita about the obvious mix-up. This does not go according to plan and leads to Jane stealing the money from Gita’s purse and leads us to witness one of the funniest escapes ever captured on film. That walk was brilliant! (Was it a homage to IKEA?) Jane and Brad are seriously one of the most adorable couples on television. Not only because they have such great chemistry but because the actors who play them are so fearless. I feel like I gush about these two every week, but seriously they just constantly bring it. Monica and Chandler ain’t got nothin’ on these two!! They play off each other so effortlessly and are equally comfortable playing the straight man or the crazy. There’s a reason they are often paired together in episodes: it’s because they light up the screen and make even the silliest lines and situations seem funny. That whole opening scene with the hub-tub (Jane’s OCD Christmas planning case) could have completely misfired with lame jokes and over the top antics, but Eliza and Damon brought their A game and made it enjoyable, funny and sweet.
Another couple that I usually love, Max and Penny were kind of disappointing this week. Mostly it was their storyline that left something to be desired (which is often the case – cause how could you be upset with Casey Wilson and Adam Pally?!). Max agrees to be Santa for a charity event Penny is organizing, even though he hates Christmas and children (sounds like most of my friends…I really need better friends). Of course this is the season of charity and one of the kids gets the best out of Max and he starts to feel. Soon Max is holding back crocodile tears. This leads to the funniest part of their storyline when he shares his new found feelings with Penny by admitting that while one of the kids was on his lap he felt something, and that the kid touched him. Penny is, naturally, horrified. The joke was highly inappropriate – my favorite kind of joke – in an otherwise lackluster coupling. I have complained in the past about Max being too one-dimensional this season and this episode tried to play that to its advantage. It felt like the show was spoofing the old holiday cliche of the Grinch, complete with kids who act like cut outs of Christmas movies past. Most of it was absurd and over the top and although I can see what they were trying to do, it only made me more annoyed with Max’s character – or lack thereof.
My favorite pairing of the night was Alex and Dave. In a storyline that didn’t merit any mention in the official logline for the episode, Dave challenges Alex to make good on all the homemade coupons she’s given him for Christmas. Some choice ones include: “Free basic haircut or bang trim” and “Free diner and a DJ.” This storyline wasn’t overly complicated and felt the most realistic, thereby providing a refreshing change of pace from the over the top shenanigans of the other two couples. (Who doesn’t know someone who gives away crappy coupons for birthdays and Christmas?).
Of course the highlight (of this pairing and of the episode on the whole) was the very last coupon which entitled Dave to a free kiss, even after she had put on lipgloss. This had me squealing like a little school girl. This was the biggest moment of their under-the-radar flirtation, which has been going on since the first episode. Was it as epic as the first kiss between Ross and Rachel? In a way, yes. I really enjoyed the simplicity and sweetness of it. It’s the way it should be. These two have kissed before and have a whole history behind them, so it was nice that their first kiss since the break-up is subtle and sweet. Watching these two made me realize how great this show could be if they could find a better balance between the crazy and the normal. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want this show to be over emotional or lose it’s edge. But I feel like the characters need to be grounded in something more realistic so that we can see ourselves in them rather than just laugh at their crazy situations. Just a point to ponder.
Other points to ponder:
- Why was Casey Wilson given so little to do? Running around with a clipboard and being buried in the sand is not a significant contribution to the show. What is this: SNL?
- Will Adam Pally be showing any other human emotions this season? And how many times will they make him appear in his underwear?
- Will my incessant Friends comparisons ever end? (Answer: No)
Well, that’s a wrap for the year. Don’t forget to join bitchstolemyremote for the Bitch awards when we count down our best and worst films and television shows of the year, as well as other goodies like marathon recaps of Justified, Oscar awards coverage and live-blogging Christmas movies on Saturday, Dec 10. For more details on December updates, check this out.