Review: 'Happy Endings' - 'Code War': Not on your (work) wife
The return of Max's high school girlfriend has ripple effects through the group
I'll get to the rest of the Wednesday comedies I watched in a little bit, but I'm enjoying "Happy Endings" so much these days that I feel it deserves its own space when I have the time to do so. A review of last night's episode coming up just as soon as I demonstrate that I'm no stranger to the three-hole punch...
"Code War" was the second episode this season to guest star a former "Perfect Couples" castmember - David Walton played the gay guy who was into Alex on Halloween, and Hayes MacArthur was the kinky HR rep last night - and while we wait for Kyle Bornheimer to play one of Penny's boyfriends and for Christine Woods to get into a fight with Max, I can't help once again appreciating this show's transformation from what I considered to be the least of last season's "interconnected couples hang out and act goofy" sitcoms to one of TV's funniest comedies.
There are weeks where the show splits its ensemble into three couples, each in a storyline bearing little connection to the others, but "Code War" was more ambitious. The arrival of Max's high school girlfriend Angie(*) turned into a multi-pronged plot that involved Max and Dave beefing, Alex(**) crushing on Max and Penny being irrationally jealous of Angie. That worked out in a very satisfying way, because then scenes didn't have to be about the one story or joke, but could bounce around from people making fun of Dave's new perm ("You look like Keri Russell after she ruined 'Felicity'") to Alex desperately trying to rub Max's chest hair. (And then the way Max killed the crush was hilarious.) The episode just felt more densely-packed as a result, and the show has been around long enough that there are now subtle recurring gags, like Dave being incredibly awkward while appearing on camera for the meat-related podcast.
(*) Played by the underrated Riki Lindhome, aka one half of the hilarious Garfunkel and Oates. Her partner Kate Micucci has a recurring role on "Raising Hope," and it's well past time Lindhome has regular TV employment. Maybe someone can put her and Christine Woods (who turned out to be the best part of "Perfect Couples") in a show together for next season?
(**) I take back what I said at the start of the season about Alex and Dave being obvious weak links. I don't know that either character is as inherently funny as the other four, but the show has figured out how to put them in funny situations (like Dave in his underwear preparing meat and rocking out to Indigo Girls). Well done, show.
Brad and Jane's quest for work spouses wasn't as connected to the rest of the action, but when you have Eliza Coupe being that terrible at flirting (and then the payoff with Brad being turned on
off by how she puts her fingers in her mouth), it really doesn't matter. For as good as "Happy Endings" is at mixing up the combos, Coupe and Damon Wayans Jr. are perfect together.
I miss "Cougar Town." I want "Cougar Town" back ASAP - though I'm enjoying the actors' random cameos across primetime (like Busy Philipps being at the coffee stand in this episode) - and am annoyed that ABC hasn't announced a premiere date yet. But "Happy Endings" has turned out to be a more-than-worthy replacement, and I'd love to see a mid-season schedule that has the two partnered together. That would be an hour of joy.
What did everybody else think?
News From Our Partners
- Fiery 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Scene Hurt The Most: Ouch! How Far Will 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Boldly Go At Box Office? 'Star Trek Into Darkness': The Secret Behind The Mystery Villain
- Weekly Ketchup: Will Smith to Star in Wild Bunch Remake? Critics Consensus: Star Trek Into Darkness is Certified Fresh Red Carpet Roundup: Star Trek Into Darkness Edition
- The Telefile - The Most Heinous Person on Reality TV This Week The Telefile - Modern Family: The Best Lines of the Night The Telefile - Fall TV 2013: What's On When
- The Wrap Up: Remember 'The Office' With the Ultimate Blooper Reel The Sims 3: Island Paradise's Producer Walkthrough Shows Us the Finer Points of Tropical Life 'Man of Steel' Featurette: Reinventing Superman
- What to Watch This Weekend: The Season Finales of Nikita, Doctor Who, The Simpsons, and Family Guy The Office Series Finale Review: That'll Do, Show. That'll Do. Syfy Renews Warehouse 13 for a Fifth and Final Season
- Beyonce Pregnant Again? Sources Confirm 'Epic' Star Is Carrying Baby No. 2 'Hangover 3' Red Band Trailer: Take a Walk Down a NSFW Memory Lane (VIDEO) Why 'Man of Steel' Didn't Use 'Superman' in the Title
- Cannes Film Festival: Cannes 2013, Day Three: Cheers for the young stars of The Selfish Giant, jeers for the new films by Hirokazu Kore-eda and Arnaud Desplechin Hear This: Destroy This Place shows how press releases can get it right Watch This: With Beavis And Butt-head Do America, Mike Judge skewered the idiocy of cinematic adventures
- Kendall Schmidt of Big Time Rush Loses $7,000 Worth of Gifts for Fans [Video] Kanye West to Drop New Album 'Yeezus' on June 18 Justin Bieber + Selena Gomez Will Sit Together at 2013 Billboard Music Awards
Promising pilots, puzzling scheduling moves and moreSunday, May 19, 2013
The Doctor uncovers Clara's secret and comes face-to-face with a surprising figureSaturday, May 18, 2013
Dan and Alan also discuss the recent finales of 'Survivor' and 'The Amazing Race'Friday, May 17, 2013
Dwight gets married and the staff revisits the documentary in a lovely farewellThursday, May 16, 2013