Taking a page out of the Friends Thanksgiving episode playbook, this week Happy Endings gives us a kind of flashback episode when Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Max (Adam Pally) met on The Real World: Sacramento. That’s right, it’s the return of old Brad and Jane (Eliza Coupe)!Now if you are not familiar with The Real World: Sacramento, that’s because it’s a fictional show, silly! Also that season never aired due to the fact that one of the cast members burned down the converted fire house (oh the irony).
Max is really excited about a new DVD release because it contains his first official coming out. Of course that’s not the revelation that sparks so much interest. First off, we have Brad’s initial impression of Jane, or as he calls her Kerkobitch (ZING!) But seriously, that sign-up sheet is a good idea. Now the first time we met old Brad and old Jane was all the way back in season two and we know that Brad was much more relaxed than the Brad we have come to know and love (or obsess about *cough*). It’s great to see Wayans Jr. and Coupe revisit their old selves and see how their love first blossomed…by mistake. Now I know I often fawn over Brad, but he is especially charming in this episode. I especially love his reaction to all the wonderful things that were discovered by mistake. I, too, love the smell of playdough, but not the taste. (Editor’s Note: Wayans Jr has subsequently taken out a restraining order against yellowwait)
The second revelation is Penny’s (Casey Wilson) true feelings for Dave (Zachary Knighton). This touches on the love triangle between Penny, Dave and Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) and also continues the struggling romance between Alex and Dave as we learn that Dave has yet to move in his stuff four weeks after moving into the new apartment. Totally weird. It’s nice to see the show actually following through with a storyline. Unlike last year when the Alex/Dave romance was alluded to sporadically throughout the season, so far S3 has done a great job at continuing this story. It’s done a great job of getting us involved and making us care about what happens. I realize Happy Endings is about being outrageous and funny, but one of its weaknesses is its lack of meaningful storylines that gets viewers invested. This is being nicely addressed with the Alex and Dave romance.
The big reveal for Max is actually anticlimactic. In good ol’Max fashion, he stuffs his face before his admission and is misheard saying “I’m Greg.” Classic Max, but unfortunately not that funny. What I do enjoy are the scenes of old Max and old Penny dating. Their kiss (pictured above) is at once horrifying and hilarious. You do kind of feel bad for Penny, if only because of that truly awful hair.
Speaking of horrifying hair: Dave’s 90s ‘do is like a bad version of the David Spade (voila: a gallery of atrociousness). Unfortunately he doesn’t fare any better on his journey to find clams. Neither do we – the viewer – since this is neither entertaining, nor funny. I get what the writers are trying to do, but it doesn’t work for me. The whole 1/16th Navaho just doesn’t make me laugh, and feels way too obvious. I will admit that the interaction with the clam seller is amusing, however. Other than that Dave gets the short end of the stick this week (much like the Navaho people…oh, maybe that’s what Happy Endings is trying to show us. Very deep…)
- The sex swing gag is pretty funny. I love that Alex is sitting in it at the end, eating dinner. Looked comfy…not that I would ever… (this got awkward, didn’t it?)
- Alex’s eyes-open nap face is seriously freaky and weird.
- Dave’s Navajo name, much like his storyline, is weak.
- Wouldn’t it have been great to see what drove the roommate to burn down the fire house? I personally feel like it could’ve been Max. As much as I love him, that man would drive me to burn down something, too. What a pig, leaving his dirty dishes like that!
- Am I the only one that thinks Amy looks like Kristen Bell? I seriously thought she was guest starring…nearly lost my sh*t.
Best lines of the night:
- Old Max: “Today’s the day my friends are coming to visit and I’m super excited. Especially ’cause my girlfriend Penny is coming, and we have a very sexual relationship. We are like two..rabbits…just….doing it all the time. There’s so much sex, and…uhhh….it’s all hetero.”
- Penny: “No, what I said on the Real World was nothing. And it was 2002, it was such a crazy time. We were all still reeling from events surrounding the film Vanilla Sky. I mean, what is reality?”
- Alex: “I am so tired of people using Vanilla Sky to defend everything.”
- Alex: “Guess a lot of people are learning stuff about people based on stuff that they’ve heard in the past. Or should I say the stuff is out of the stuff bag.”
What did you think? Did you love seeing the gang when they first met? Were you horrified by all their hair? Was Dave’s storyline even remotely funny to you? Are you hoping for some more flashback episodes? Sound off below.
Happy Endings airs Tuesdays at 9pm EST on ABC