Any sitcom will tell you that a show is only as strong as its characters. I guess that’s what makes Happy Endings such a great show. It’s not just the storylines which, frankly, were not that cyute (Alex style) this week. Honestly, Happy Endings has had some great moments in its short history, but it’s rare that the memorable moments are directly tied to the storyline at hand. At least, that’s the case with this episode, or the main storyline, at least.

Source: ABC

Most of “Ordinary Extraordinary Love” is about Alex’s chance at leaching on to fame when a pop star buys a dress at Xela, her ah-mah-zingly named boutique. Penny sees an opportunity to capitalize on the publicity and tries to work her PR magic to cash in on the unpaid publicity. Honestly, the highlight of this storyline has to do with Penny more than it does Alex. When Alex fails to recognize the singer, Penny’s rendition of her most famous song is… well, it’s classic Penny: loud, boisterous, and overly dramatic. The way she trashes the pop star, pretending like she doesn’t like the song, even though she knows all the words. We’ve all been there. Hell, it’s my current relationship with just about every Taylor Swift song on the radio. However, the storyline is brought down by the very un-Happy Endings conclusion. I mean, if I wanted a moral at the end of my story, I’d just stick to Veggie Tales. I get the whole “celebrities deserve their privacy too” thing, but it just didn’t do anything for me.

The best storyline of the episode belongs to Max, Jane, and the always welcome addition, Derrick. Not only was this the funniest subplot, it had a little bit too much truth to it. The gay subculture is full of ridiculous classifications. For instance, I am evidently a muscle pup… I took a quiz. I don’t know what it means, but yeah, evidently that’s me. Max’s whole thing about having no source of identification does a lot to flesh out the character, but without bogging the audience down with exposition. It may be an overshare, but it was one of those storylines that I could see a lot of myself in, so I enjoyed that story being told. Plus, at least this is my experience, gay culture is still so new to the American mainstream that most folks are afraid to make fun of it. Happy Endings does so in a respectful manner but, yeah, it’s nice that somebody finally acknowledges the ludicrousness of the whole scene. Ultimately, Happy Endings falls into the whole moral lecture again with this one, but the idea of “just make your own scene” is kind of endearing. Idealistic as hell, but endearing too…

Brad and Dave don’t get a whole lot of screentime this episode as they do everything in their power to re-assert their masculinity, but the moments they do have are pretty great. Jane’s perceived emasculation of Brad is one of those passing jokes that definitely got a couple of chuckles. Ultimately, it’s a pretty throwaway storyline, but it’s good for the padding that it offers and the few jokes (stud-finder jokes and all) that come from it.

“Ordinary Extraordinary Love” isn’t the best showcase of the series, but it isn’t terrible either. Most of the plots are pretty forgettable, aside from the Max one, but none of them hurt the show’s credibility. It’s definitely an episode worth watching, but not as laugh-out-loud funny as the series usually is, probably thanks to the tacked on Lifetime movie-of-the-week lessons.

What did you think of this week’s episode?

Calhoun

Calhoun Kersten is unofficially over-educated and unemployable. he is currently finishing up his Masters thesis on horror films from DePaul University, but now resides in Hell on earth aka Los Angeles. When he’s not writing, he enjoys being a grown man who still watches Arthur on PBS, singing along loudly to Three 6 Mafia, and spending time with his dog, Karl Marx.