Happy Endings was hilarious—but not for the right reasons.“P&P Romance Factory” introduced us to Penny’s new boyfriend, played by guest star Nick Zano. And Dave had a personal crisis on his hands.

The Players:

  • Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
  • Writer: Leila Strachan
  • Cast: Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert, Zachary Knighton, Adam Pally, Damon Wayans Jr., Casey Wilson, Nick Zano, Rob Corddry, Patrick O’Sullivan, Robert Bagnell, Chelsey Crisp, Derek Magyar, John Daly, Brady Ellis

Episode Title: “P&P Romance Factory”

Penny’s prescription helmet prevents romance with a new guy. Jane tries to break into the dealership’s boys’ club, and enlists Brad’s help as her “trophy wife.”  Elsewhere, Dave and Max’s fist bumping issues dredge up past failures.

The Good:

  • Sangria Mouth: Dave thinks he invented the hand slap limerick “down low, too slow.” Alex was right: people only labor under these delusions when no one corrects their assumptions as kids—or if they’re a pretentious idiot. Dave’s misconception can be attributed to both. His sangria-fueled guilt spiral totally eclipsed the other—technically more important—parts of the story line. To his credit, Zachary Knighton plays the role with the right amount of smugness and naiveté to make Dave’s ridiculousness feel genuine. 
  • Spousal Abuse: Deep down, didn’t you always know Brad would make the perfect trophy wife?  The writers continued their foray into challenging gender roles as Jane tried to bond with the guys at work. Jane is an alpha female. Brad is a guy who’s not afraid to color coordinate and frost a cake. The highlights were Brad’s over the top trophy wife, along with snatching money from Jane’s hand. Rob Corddry plays the Car Czar with ease, and his delivery is just as good as the regulars. We hope to see more of him in the future.  

The So-So:

  • Hardhat Picnic: The funniest part of Penny’s helmet problem wasn’t her many attempts to hide it. Although, the Segway tour, moped safety course, and midday meal at the construction site did show a great deal of effort. It was the moment she tried to take advice from Alex. Aside from that and paying tribute to Casey Wilson’s panache for physical comedy, the plots only purpose was to introduce us her new boyfriend. Their coupling didn’t feel particularly special or noteworthy, even if he is, “so cyute.”  It’s just nice to know Penny won’t have to wallow in the desperate-single-girl-character-development-basement any longer.

The Bad:

  • Turkey Hands: Try as we might, we couldn’t get behind Max’s handshake hoopla. The only thing that came close to amusing was his fifth grade stand-up comedy set. Considering half of those jokes were based on ‘90s era comedy (“Little girls be sharing, little girls be sharing.”) that Max has mocked before, that’s not saying much. He’s too good a character to waste on some paltry plot.

The Quotable:

  • “What question mark is question mark that question mark?”
  • “Uh oh, you did it Brad, you found her hobby: making bad versions of things that you could just easily buy in a store.”
  • “Yeah, quaint. Isn’t that the space between a gal’s goal and her penalty box?”
  • “I have helmet. Helmet doesn’t have me.”
  • “Kerkovitch getting loose with the spousal abuse. Hey, let me ask you something; is there a ten inch whore here?  Because that was low blow.”
  • “And thanks for the scotch. That was the second best 18 year old I’ve had all week.”
  • “I don’t know what the two of you are up to. I think it’s amazing. I want no part of it.”

Overall:

Happy Endings has to wrestle the same problems as other sitcoms. They have to make sure everyone’s plot is entertaining and relevant. But “P&P Romance Factor” is a prime example of how they’re letting some characters fall through the cracks.

Rating: 7/10

Happy Endings airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

What did you think of this episode?