The joke that Dave wears a lot of V-necks has been one of his best recurring gags on Happy Endings – and he doesn’t have too many, unlike basically everyone else. But I’m worried the show kinda ruined it with this episode, which turned his V-neck obsession into a Hoarders/Intervention spoof to very silly results. Silly even for this show, and this show is plenty silly.
My main problem, really, is that spoofing those overwrought reality shows is a little overdone – Intervention isn’t really a thing anymore, and even Hoarders barely counts. Sure, the task was handed to Max and Alex, easily the show’s most plausible candidates for such behavior, but most of their scenes were pretty flat spoofs, which isn’t what I expect from this show. I did, however, enjoy Steve Agee’s guest spot in the TV show Alex and Max were watching as the guy who’s addicted to eating books that his girlfriend hoards.
Plus, we had the return of Seth Morris as easily the show’s best recurring character, the demented madman Scottie, who keeps calling Dave “Doug” and comes to the realization that he’s addicted to Vicodin. And Dave’s ultimate realization that he loves V-necks because they helped him escape being bullied as a kid was a sweet capper. I just wish they had let Alex and Max spin more out of control. A plot this silly can’t also be boring.
Here I am, ragging on Happy Endings for spoofing Hoarders and Intervention, but I couldn’t have been happier at Brad’s spin on Jackass, called Blackass, which seemed to revolve around him, Brandon Johnson, and a couple other guys (they even had a black Wee Man) repeatedly falling into a pit of mousetraps. Well, really just Brad. It’s nice to see the show re-use Johnson though, even for a brief appearance like that – any attempt at world-building is something I appreciate.
The Brad/Jane story was probably the strongest of the night, effectively utilizing Brad’s adorable childishness and Jane’s adorable control-freakery (which, really, you could also call childishness). Brad reverts to his old, dreadlock-having, Sugar Ray-loving, turkey dog-eating college self, once he realizes all the changes Jane enacted once they got together. The Blackass sequence was the funniest of the night, but his inability to take baths (because in college, his bathtub was full of 311 CDs) was a nice little detail.
All of Brad’s former loves in life fit very well with his character too, who’s a big, nerdy old softie – of course he likes Sugar Ray, that’s exactly the kind of shitty band he’d be into. The revelation of Jane’s former self, who often barfed outside tents at Korn concerts and dressed like a Gwen Stefani action figure, fit perfectly as well. Especially Korn, for some reason.
Their plot ended nicely as well – Jane realizes she didn’t change Brad so much, they just kinda grew up together, getting about as sweet as the show allows itself to be. It also served as a nice companion piece to Penny’s plot, in which she attempts to change new boyfriend Jeff (Ryan Hansen, yay!), at Jane’s behest, rather than change herself for a man.
Her aggressive agenda pays off – he sheds his soul patch, his futon and his Chicago Blackhawks “hockey costume,” but he’s quickly snapped up by his old flame who could never accomplish such change. Penny’s love misery can be tiresomely repetitive at times, but I didn’t mind it so much here because I feel Jane was mostly responsible.
Still, even for a lightweight Happy Endings, this one had tons of laughs. There was Alex’s confusion at what a baker’s dozen was, followed by her excitedly ordering 13 plays of “No Scrubs” at the bar. Phil LaMarr, who’s pretty much always a strong off-the-bench guest star for any show, was amusingly exasperated by Max and Alex’s antics. Actually, Alex had a lot of the choice lines this time around – now that the writers know to play her as an endearing dummy, Cuthbert is working wonders with stuff like “I wish my last name was a cookie” when she hears the name Alyssa Milano.
Brad wishes he could have been on Jackass. “I got staples! And I got so much butts!”
Another Alex-is-a-dummy gem: “That’s four Vs. That’s almost five!”
Or: “How were your quote unquote errands, David?” “If that’s even your real name.” “Why don’t you take your coat off?” “If that’s even a real coat.”
“I forgot how hard you rocked those Gwen Stefani cholo eyebrows.”