I’m not a big TV watcher these days. Even the shows I dig-“How I Met Your Mother,” “Modern Family,” “Always Sunny,” “Archer”-I catch sporadically. It’s a far cry from the days when I made sure I was parked in front of the TV for “The Cosby Show” and “A Different World.” Of course, the world is different, and the sense of urgency to watch a show as it airs no longer exists, thanks to DVR, Netflix and Hulu.
Right now, the only show I’ve bene making a point to watch religiously is ABC’s “Happy Endings.” Having shifted to Tuesdays at 9 PM for its’ third season, the sitcom about 6 friends in Chicago has turned into one of the goofiest, most fun shows on TV. The cast members have an unbelievable chemistry, and unlike, say…”Friends” (another show about 6 co-ed pals in a major city,) it’s set in a believable context (the characters aren’t living beyond their means with no discernible income, there are actual minorities playing main characters, etc…)
Folks are starting to catch up with the show, which is fantastic because it deserves your attention. I initially began watching because of Eliza Coupe, who played the tough-as-nails Denise on “Scrubs” during that show’s final years and now plays uber-fussy Jane. I fell in love with the show thanks to Damon Wayans Jr., who plays Jane’s husband Brad, and Adam Pally, whose Max character made my heart sing by being gay yet not being a dramatic, show-tune belting queen like every other gay character on TV. Although the show’s writers have queened him up a little bit in episodes since (much to my consternation) Max is still the one gay character on TV I could see myself having a beer with.
The remaining characters-Zachary Knighton’s Dave and Elisha Cuthbert’s super-dizzy Alex-have grown on me over the show’s run. Cuthbert, in particular-does ditzy pretty well and has a knack for physical comedy. Oh yeah, and there’s Casey Wilson’s Penny, who has deftly managed to walk the fine line between endearing and annoying from the very first episode. Still, “Happy Endings” is a true ensemble-type show, and the best moments are when the gang is cutting up collectively, whether they’re dressed up as Jackson Five marionettes for Halloween or goofing on Penny’s fall down a flight of stairs (resulting in Wilson doing the entire episode in an upper-body cast.) As the show continues to pick up steam, I’m hoping for Emmy nominations and much mainstream media coverage. Of course, that might also signal the show’s jumping of the shark, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Meantime, there aren’t many better things you could be doing on a Tuesday night than watching network TV’s best sitcom.