Simply ‘Happy’

November 29, 2011

I like my comedy to be different, especially on television. Whether it’s the dark, absurdest observations of “Louie,” the themed episodes of “Community” or the nested structure of “How I Met Your Mother,” I give more credit to shows that generate humor in unconventional ways.

So when “Happy Endings,” a single-camera sitcom about six Chicago 30-somethings, premiered in April, I wrote it off as another “Friends” clone doomed for cancellation. But after ABC unexpectedly picked up the low-rated series for a second season, a friend persuaded me to give it a shot. A week later, I had a new favorite show.

“Happy Endings” (Wed., 9:30 p.m.) mixes what I like — pop culture riffs, quick punch lines and goofy physical comedy — with a refreshingly straight-forward approach. There’s no need to Google obscure references or follow complex plot twists. It’s quirk free of gimmick, which isn’t to say the show doesn’t get weird. See: Max (Adam Pally) and Penny’s (Casey Wilson) Baby Björn Halloween costume, shown.

In an era when the best comedies push the boundaries of story-telling, the sheer simplicity of “Happy Endings” makes it stand out.

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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Katherine Boyle · November 29, 2011