Space Ramblings

Happy Endings

Happy Endings is Friends refracted through Modern Family, a single sitcom turned multicamera, a gay man and a black man thrown in for diversity, and most of the comedy cut out. Only in a comedy starved environment could Happy Endings be anointed as a great comedy. It’s not. Occasionally it’s a sharp one. And sometimes even smart. But that’s buried underneath all the pandering.

Happy Endings does one thing well and that’s write twenty something women on the cusp of growing up. It’s something you don’t see much on TV. But it does everything else badly. Happy Endings writes men as badly. Which is a problem because that’s half its cast. Its male lead is a one dimensional manchild. And the ensemble is filled out with a gay man and a black man. The show is so concerned that you realize that one is gay and the other is black, that those are the first words out of their mouths. Seriously. Maybe there was some reason why audiences needed to be told a character was gay instead of just showing it, but did they really need to be told that a black man is black. Maybe the writers did, because on the page the character is a complete blank.

Again Happy Endings writes the female side well. Better than most shows on network TV. And that’s something. Had the show stuck to it without the three guys and three girls ensemble format, it might have worked. But networks fear losing the male audience too much to let something like that happen. So for the occasional pointed comment and realization by a female character, the male characters go through sitcom antics. It’s a contrast and not a good one.

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