recaps / television

Weekly Sitcom Recap: Ruining Normal People’s Lives

Sunday’s episodes of Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B– were previously un-aired episodes from past seasons, so while totally worthy of watching, I’m not going to include them in my weekly round-up. Watch them anyway, in-order episodes are for sissies!

In fact, it’s just been announced that ABC is now reneging on their double dumping of episodes and is pulling both shows from the Sunday lineup, meaning there will be even more un-aired episodes to scrounge for later on. It’s looking more and more likely that both shows will be cancelled, as they’ve been shuffled around and pretty much beaten up by the network from birth. In a perfect world TBS would pick them up to go along with Cougar Town, but I’m not sure we’ve reached my dream of niche cable channels ruling scripted television yet.

Womp, sad day. But let’s get on to the funny, shall we?

What was on this past week:

Sunday, January 13th: Happy Endings “Kickball 2: The Kickening” [unaired episode, season 2 finale]
Don’t Trust the B– “Mean Girls” [unaired episode, 3rd after pilot]

Tuesday, January 8th: Don’t Trust the B– “Dating Games”, Happy Endings “The Ex Factor”, New Girl “A Father’s Love”

Best Non-Plot Related Moment: New Girl “A Father’s Love”: Jess, Winston and Schmidt play “feel cup” with Nick who’s really really bad at it and it’s the best. What these crazy kids do when they don’t have A, B or C plots to embark upon always amazes me.

Best Running Joke: Happy Endings “The Ex Factor”: The extreme to which Happy Endings pushes the fact that its cast are completely self-involved weirdos never really fails me. It’s wonderfully meta to basically point out that they’re sitcom characters but act like they’re the normal ones. And if not normal, then definitely more fun, which is true. This episode featured Penny’s boyfriend asking her to hang out with his friends, to which she doesn’t understand. And when they’re normal people she really doesn’t understand. Meanwhile Max, Alex and Dave set out on an adventure to find Max’s new roommate, Chase, when he doesn’t come home one night. Failing to put together the obvious, they hardcore sitcom-screwball-sleuth the hell out of their B plot and effectively ruin Mark-Paul Gosselaars life in doing so. Turns out he was married and renting out the space as a sex pad and the trio outed him. Despite everything, they maintain that he’s the coolest person ever and see nothing wrong with the situation.

Best One Liner: Happy Endings “The Ex Factor”: Penny: “Last week Max pretended to be a psychic and assisted the police with a murder investigation. With his help they apprehended several innocent people.” Nice shout out to Psych AND crazy off-air antics that clearly occur all the time because they’re all just insanely awesome and get to live in sitcom meta world. Can I go to there?tumblr_mgq70aoXwP1qj56zwo3_250

Funniest Moment: New Girl “A Father’s Love”: Nick’s father makes a surprise visit and his first reaction is to “angry fix” the sink. Schmidt is obviously used to such outlets of frustrated manliness and asks him to stop angry fixing the sink. Naturally, Nick yells and denies it. Classic Nick Miller. Comic gold.

 

Best Pairing of the Week: New Girl “A Father’s Love”: Nick. and. Jess. I. Am. Going. To. Kill. You. Both. If. You. Don’t. Make. Out. SOON. Seriously, these two. So incredibly hysterical together, but then they gotta go learning personal and insightful things about each other and then they gotta have a meaningful moment and make eye contact and basically admit they’re in love but they still have NO IDEA. It’s actually so frustratingly filled with sexual tension I like love it but also want to throw things at their stupid faces.

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So Wrong it’s Right: Don’t Trust the B– “Dating Games”: Just like Happy Endings, this show thrives on the completely self-involved antics of its cast to a hyper-intensified level. This week saw June have to compete in James van der Beek’s fake dating reality show game just to get a shot at a nice guy she met so that Chloe wouldn’t sleep with him first and make him un-dateable. Nice-guy Daniel is completely used as he becomes a pawn in the game – James even kidnaps his great-aunt! – but the best best best twist was that their fourth wall rehashing voice over was all to a cop who wanted to know how Daniel’s Aunt had disappeared once again! Ha! They literally told him the most inane, insidery, vapid story about their fake dating game while Daniel screams from behind the glass, “Tell me where she is you monsters!!!”

Best Plotline: Happy Endings “The Ex Factor”: When Jane’s ex comes to town and Brad finds out her ex is a girl, he’s immediately living in a straight-guy-loves-lesbians world. That is, until it’s revealed that the two had been in love, then jealousy kictumblr_mgpcrtWemk1qepuwto1_500ks in. Brad’s intense love for all things Jane causes him to practice his “shups” (pushups) and make bar graphs illustrating how much Jane loves him, but also invite one of his exes to a very uncomfortable get together in which Brad and Jane try to make the other extremely jealous. Turns out their exes end up making out with each other (lesbiannnnns) but the best part of this storyline is that a) it solidified that Brad and Jane are the greatest married couple of all time and that b) Jane is totally bisexual. This fact makes her an even more awesome character because it totally goes along with her take charge attitude and her type-A neurotic personality coupled with a naughty side.  She rattles off a list of non gender specific names and tells Brad which ones were boys or girls. A funny, touching and progressive storyline that’s totally in character. Ugh, this show. It’s perfect guys.

Best Episode of the Week: Happy Endings “The Ex Factor”: I almost went with New Girl. It was super close, but my sadness that Happy Endings may be meeting its untimely end soon won out. Its A, B and C stories were all fantastic this week, and the C story even weaved its way into A and B. Brad and Jane dealt with their exes while Max, Alex and Dave embarked on a ridiculous mission to find the long-lost Chase. Meanwhile Penny struggles to interact with normal people and successfully convinces her boyfriend that her friends are way more fun. Pretty great stuff all around. 

Scooooore:

Happy Endings “The Ex Factor”: 4 pts.
New Girl
A Father’s Love”: 3 pts.
Don’t Trust the B– “Dating Games”: 1 pt.

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