Following Sunday’s premiere, Happy Endings is back, again. “Ordinary Extraordinary Love” highlighted the plight of a pop star, her strained relationship and the search for a kindred spirit. Plus, Brad and Dave try to prove that they’re the masters of their domain. 

The Players:

  • Director: Michael A. Price
  • Writer: Daniel Chun
  • Cast: Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert, Zachary Knighton, Adam Pally, Damon Wayans Jr., Casey Wilson, Laura Catalina Ortiz, Stephen Guarino

Episode Title: “Ordinary Extraordinary Love”

Penny and Alex turn a pop star’s purchase into a press opportunity for Alex’s store. Elsewhere, Max has an identity crisis while Brad and Dave learn how to fix things around the house.

The Good:

  • Smash Mouth She Ain’t: Penny’s internal battle over liking Winnie’s music was the perfect illustration of the struggle to hate any pop star with overplayed and highly infectious music. Although Winnie isn’t real, her outburst should be the outline for the proper reaction to photographers ruining a private moment in a celebrity’s life. As usual, Penny and Alex play well off of each other, thanks to Penny’s tendency to be completely oblivious to obvious facts about herself.  This week, it was being unaware that her coworkers were mocking her openly. Only she would confuse the words spinster, absolute train wreck, and un-dateable with compliments. Anything that gives Alex the chance to seem brainy is a plus. It makes her random moments of vacant intelligence shine all the more.
  • Optimistic Red Velvet Walrus: While the idea behind Max’s plot was more than flawed, his search to find a proper gay group produced a few key moments. Watching him attempt to talk himself into heterosexuality was clever acting on Adam Pally’s part. Jane’s ability to detect others moves by feeling the wind was a revelation that made complete sense for her character. Learning everyone’s gay identity really tickled us. Who didn’t know Dave was a scruffy power bottom?
  • The Unsung Hero: Derrick folded more seamlessly into the gang than he did the entire second season. Being the ambassador to gay culture is the perfect role for him, and not for clichéd reasons. He and Jane have the same brand of acerbic wit. He was able to deliver a few great lines without being overshadowed by the alpha female and lazy gay we all love.

The So-So:

  • Fresh Eyes: Even though Brad and Dave’s attempt to fix a dimmer switch spawned from the most stereotypical women’s-purses-are-filled-with-useless-junk joke, it still felt like it could go somewhere. There were special moments sliced in-between their competition for male supremacy through inactivity. Their Man-Am games were kind of funny, but watching Jane set Brad straight was the only scene that really resonated with us. Just hamming it up on camera isn’t enough to win our affections anymore guys.

The Bad:

  • The Rewind: Last season, Max had one of the greatest sitcom relationships while dating Grant.  He progressed all the way to knowing he wants a family.  However, last night he struggled with meeting guys and finding a gay group to call his own. Max’s lazy attempt at dating felt genuine, but his fight to find his place in the gay world felt strange for someone who already made so many strides in that direction. By the same token, Penny’s boyfriend was missing from the episode for the second night in a row, just as Dave and Alex’s relationship was mercifully ignored. While the latter is something we hope to avoid, the only way the show will grow is if they develop these story arcs. 

The Quotable:

  • “I love how cool you are with Jane being the bread winner and you staying home. It is like post-gender city, population progress.” –Jane
  • Brad: “You just stole my beer.” Max: Oh I’m sorry, I thought you bought it for me and set it over there.”
  • “Well boo I am off to the therapist. I think we’re finally going to get the bottom of her control issues.” –Jane
  • “Real men don’t call the guy. Real men am the guy.” –Brad
  • “God, you women wouldn’t know a real man if he came up and slapped you in the face. I meant that in a figure of speech kind of way and not a domestic violence kind of way.” –Jane
  • “Is Val Kilmer my spirit animal?” –Dave
  • “I just have one of those faces that say, ‘Where are you eating’, because my mouth is in my face and that’s what my mouth is saying.” –Alex
  • “Please don’t sing, I hate music that is not mine.” –Winnie
  • “You’re like Anne Hathaway’s accents: You’re all over the place.” –Derrick
  • “Just to clarify, Young Grasshopper isn’t your category because you don’t have the legs and you’re old bitch.” –Derrick
  • “I guess no one will ever love me.  Now I know how webisodes feel.” –Max

Overall:

“Ordinary Extraordinary Love” wasn’t an all around success, but it certainly wasn’t a failure. Thanks to Jane’s alpha female and Penny antics with Alex, it was fairly enjoyable. But the episodes need to transition into a focus on the future. They’ll have to double down on the moments that count, and not the fluff of week to week hilarity.

Rating: 7/10

Happy Endings airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC.

What did you think of this episode?