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Happy Endings: Season 1

134 customer reviews

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(Sep 20, 2011)
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Product Description

Take six twentysomething Chicago friends, add cocktails and hormones, shake, and, you've got Happy Endings, the hilarious, edgy new comedy that asks: when a couple splits, who gets to keep the friends? Dave (Zachary Knighton, TV's FlashForward) finds fulfillment (sort of) manning a food truck after losing his hot fiancee Alex (Elisha Cuthbert, TV's 24) at the altar. Alex's type-A sister Jane (Eliza Coupe, TV's Scrubs) is almost happily married to horndog Brad (Damon Wayans Jr., TV's The Underground). Dave's roommate Max (Adam Pally) is a gay, sports-loving slob, and Penny (Casey Wilson, TV's SNL) is on the prowl for a good man...or men. The laughs are nonstop as they do what tightly-knit friends do best: hang out, have fun, debate the meaning of life, hook up, break up, and do it all over again!

"It's like Friends, only different." That's the gist of how fans have described this quick-witted, funny, and unexpectedly intelligent sitcom on numerous message boards. It's also quite apt and a nice compliment for a show that stumbled down a rickety, wayward path as an ABC midseason replacement in April 2011, getting green-lit just a month later for a full second season on the fall roster. Happy Endings presents a gang of six friends (!) working through that awkward about-to-turn-, turning-, just-turned-30 phase where they can't fit in with the hipsters, but fear the idea of letting go and getting older. The winning ensemble cast play with or against each other in various groupings while the show makes good-natured fun of their foolishness in clinging to hipsterish speech, style, manners, and dress. A recurring example of being caught in some sort of cultural middle is their intentionally moronic use of "I know, right?" or just "Right?" as a comeback that sounds even wronger than it does coming from people who talk that way with authentic sincerity. The premise laid out in the pilot has Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) playing runaway bride to Dave (Zachary Knighton), who is stranded at the altar while their best friends (!) Penny (Casey Wilson--bubbly and boy-crazy), Max (Adam Pally--gay but not swishy), and Brad and Jane (Damon Wayans Jr. and Eliza Coupe---married) look on in bewilderment. The conflict that's the glue and the meat of the 12 ensuing episodes is figuring out if they can all stay friends (!) without anyone having to choose sides. It turns out they can, hence the title. With one camera, no laugh track, and sets that pretend to place them in Chicago, the troupe of six tease, torment, support, and are generally there for each other thanks to snappy scripts packed with running, recurring, and throwaway gags.

Though there's nothing groundbreaking in setup or style, the cast brings a high level of accountability by making their individual characters real and giving their group dynamic a gloss of believable unreality. It fulfills the best measure of any TV show by positively answering the question, "Do I want to spend my valuable time with these people?" They're smart, but also shallow and dopey as demanded by the quick pace of jokes that are crammed together with well-timed precision. Are Dave and Alex deep down still in love? Is there anything that can honestly rattle Brad and Jane's soul-mate devotion? Will Penny ever find a socially or age-appropriate boyfriend? And by the same token, will Max find a boyfriend who can appreciate his slothful attitude and the completely non-gay cut of his jib? There's ample room for more fleshing out on all these themes. The 13 episodes in this DVD set are presented in their originally intended order, which was not the case when ABC jammed back-to-back episodes over six weeks in the spring season. (The special features are skimpy--a couple of Banana Republic tie-in promos, a faux-hipster interview, deleted scenes, and outtakes.) There's a little bit of overall arc, but each installment pretty much stands on its own, with favorites being the one where Penny makes best friends with an über-stereotypical gay guy (Stephen Guarino, playing it hysterically over the top); the one where a long-lost college buddy gets married, but follows his wife's freak-out about Alex being a wedding jinx; the one where Jane shows off her creepy competitiveness in a martial arts class; and the one where Brad's father visits for some medical tests and shows a new-found love for everyone except Brad. The underlying theme of the Dave and Alex situation often fades into the background, popping up just enough to add romantic tension when needed. Though many people compare the show favorably to Friends, there are just as many who will give thanks that it really is different. Both camps can coexist and be happy that Happy Endings has not come to an end. --Ted Fry

Special Features

Banana Republic Style Preview: The Girls of Happy Endings
Banana Republic Style Preview: The Guys of Happy Endings
Mike Relm Remix
I'm in a Great Place Right Now
The Wedding Prep Scene
Mark Douglas Parody Theme Song
Mark Douglas Interview with Adam Pally and Casey Wilson

Product Details

  • Actors: Zachary Knighton, Elisha Cuthbert, Damon Wayans Jr.
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ABC
  • DVD Release Date: September 20, 2011
  • Run Time: 276 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003UD7J62
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,902 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Happy Endings: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 20, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched Happy Endings on Hulu after it premiered because I had heard vaguely of it - and it was a good decision. What sounded like a hard-to-continue concept, Alex(Elisha Cuthbert) leaves her fiance Dave (Zachary Knighton) at the alter and the fallout as their long-time friends try to avoid choosing "sides," actually worked here. The supporting cast of friends include married couple Jane and Brad (Eliza Coupe and Damon Wayans Jr.), perpetually single Penny (Casey Wilson), and Max (Adam Pally, a breath of fresh air in that he plays a gay character whose main source of comedy is not that he's "the gay guy").

A word of warning, ABC aired a few episodes OBVIOUSLY out of order. The show appears to dismiss the problem where Alex left Dave at the alter rather briskly and then we see them trying to stay friends and move on - and what's odd is the group's easy chemistry and the fun writing mean you don't mind too much. Later, though, you'll see a pair of episodes that show Alex and Dave fighting and struggling to come to terms with the end of their relationship before recognizing that they can eventually still be friends. These were clearly meant to air second and third. If you watch them in this order, the friendship will probably seem more organic than the quick fix of the second episode as aired.

Other than this hiccup, this first season is fun and light. Cuthbert and Knighton play their relationship perfectly - they have years of history and still like each other as people, but play those awkward moments where one starts to move on romantically quite poignantly. The transition is never made to look easy.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Papa Dixon on July 22, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Like the previous reviewer, I thought for the longest time that I was the only one watching this hilarious show, despite great efforts to pass the good word along. "Happy Endings" is a completely underrated comedy gem that has me and my friends laughing out loud several times an episode! It's like "Friends," only way goofier and more modern. Needless to say, I am SO happy that ABC was smart enough to pick this show up for a second season!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Greenwaldt on September 8, 2011
Format: DVD
I watched the pilot episode of this show when it first aired out of curiosity. I wasn't expecting much, but it ended up being surprisingly not bad so I decided to stick with it. It didn't take long before I was hooked. I looked forward to Wednesday nights just so I could get another dose of it. This show is so funny and enjoyable. The cast is great, especially Adam Pally and Casey Wilson, who play really well off each other. I am so glad ABC renewed this for a second season. While it already has a small following I'm hoping it can catch on with even more viewers in Season 2. Give this show a chance! Just don't give up on it right away if you don't instantly love it. It gets better and better.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David. on August 6, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When I first watched this show, I thought it was mediocre at best. Then at about episode four, I started to love it. It takes a lot for a show to literally make me "lol", but this show does it.

The show is about a group of six friends living their life in Chicago. The main storyline running through the first season, revolved around Dave and Alex. In the first episode, Dave and Alex are set to be married but she ends up leaving him at the altar for a past fling that comes in at the last minute on rollerblades, confessing his undying love for her. Thus the group is forced to figure out how to handle the situation because they're all still best friends. During all of this, we also get little side story arcs from some of the other characters and to be honest, they are the funnier ones.

You have Max who is not your stereotypical gay guy (which is quite refreshing to say the least) and he is probably the most hilarious character on the show. He has the best lines. His best friend, Penny, is also quite hilarious and she is desperate and single. This leads to one of my favorite episodes of the first season in which Penny dates a hipster. Hilarity ensues.

Next up, you have Brad and Jane. They are the only married ones of the bunch. Brad is your token metrosexual (who is more gay than Max) and Jane is your typical control freak. It's fun to see how Jane handles the groups problems and exactly how far she'll go to prove that she will win at anything. Their relationship with one another is quite funny.

What makes the show great is that all the characters are believable. We all have someone in our set of friends that matches up with at least one of the characters on the show. The cast has great chemistry together and it shows. I'm so glad it was renewed for a second season, because more people need to give it a chance. It's well written, modern, and hilarious.

Definitely worth a purchase!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wampeer on August 21, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This show is effing hilarious. The first episode I was really iffy about but by the end of the second episode I was literally laughing out loud. As the season progresses you get attached to all the characters and love them even more. They are unique characters that play sooo well off of eachother. My favorite character is Penny or Max. Max is definitely an a-typical gay guy and it's refreshing. Give it a try, it's TOTES HILAR!
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