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The Best Comedies of 2012: 6 – Happy Endings

December 19th, 2012 by Sheila Dichoso

(The ten best comedies of 2012 will be revealed on Hulu’s homepage each weekday of this week. To view the rest of the list, click here.)

6 – Happy Endings

There was a time when I used to make fun of my co-worker for raving about a show called “Happy Endings.” Now, I can’t get enough of it.

How could a “Friends” rip-off about urban twenty-somethings be interesting, edgy, or relatable at all on a family channel like ABC? And it had the worst title in TV history. Wait, no. We’ll give that to “The Mob Doctor.”

Anyway, this is the best show that America isn’t watching. It’s as if “How I Met Your Mother” and “30 Rock” had a bastard baby that came out of the womb quoting “Frasier” and dressed like Josh Brolin in Goonies. The little show that could is already in its third season, yet it still remains an undiscovered gem. Yet why do we adore it so much?

Reason #1: We get it.

Even though it’s the same reason as to why it probably won’t work in 10 years, this is exactly why it works now. Like “Community” and “30 Rock,” it’s self-referential and it never fails to make fun of itself.

In its third season, lovable cursing teddy bear Max (Adam Pally) and Brad (Damon Wayans, Jr.) were a Bar Mitzvah hype duo called Boyz II Menorah. After proclaiming she took control of her destiny, Jane (Eliza Coupe) quotes Vincent Chase’s cheesy closing line to his indie movie: “I am Queens Boulevard.” And in one of the highlights of this season, we find out that Max and Brad first met on “The Real World: Sacramento.”

Maybe the meta and the jokes and the puns are, at times, a little too heavy, which makes the jokes suffer a little. The references might be too obscure and said too quickly. But there’s no denying that the meta humor, pop culture references and quirks we pick up from our friends make this our language. We shorten words (Relaysh is relationship, ‘rari is Ferrari, kosh is kosher) and sometimes pronounce them in a really weird way. This show is the reason why I’m compelled to say roooph instead of “rough” all the time.

Reason #2: They go there. 

From Penny’s definition of a Whore’s Bath (“I had a one night stand and I didn’t have time to shower. Did I rub some dryer sheets on my pits and splash some water on my hush in the bathroom of an Au Bon Pain? Yes I did.”) to Brad’s grandmother’s affectionate nickname for Jane, Cocaine (“She’s skinny, white, the scourge of the black community.”), we’d say that “Happy Endings” has some balls.

Reason #3: You want to be friends with them.

There ain’t no Ross in the group, here: Each one is extremely likable and funny in his or her own right.

And the chemistry of the “Happy Endings” gang is palpable. So much, in fact, that it’s annoying.

These guys aren’t “Friends.” Dave, Alex, Brad, Jane, Penny, and Max: These guys are your friends. Because real friends will always let friends eat floor-bacon.—Sheila Dichoso