Well, well, well, it looks like my theory about Happy Endings holiday specials was right. Okay, well, the word “theory” kinda implies that some sort of intellectual discourse occurred, although conspiracy theories are still called theories, no matter how ridiculous they are… wait, where was I? Oh, right, Happy Endings Valentine’s Day special. At least, it would’ve been if ABC hadn’t screwed up the whole season scheduling. ABC, if you’re listening, I swear, I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed. Anyways, it’s nice to see that this whole Penny engagement nonsense wasn’t all for show because it actually delivered one of the funniest episodes this season, with its follow-up “Our Best Friend’s Wedding.”

To be honest, I knew I was in love as soon as the words “group hang” were uttered. This season every one has felt a little disconnected so when “Our Best Friend’s Wedding” gave us the opportunity to see Brad, Jane, Dave, Alex, Penny, and Max all in the same locash (that’s Penny speak for “location”), I was all for it. Okay, yes, for the perpetually single and bitter such as myself, a wedding expo is less than ideal. I mean, would I ever go to one? Well, I guess that would depend on who’s stupid enough to marry me… sorry, that felt a little too group therapy for me, I swear I’ll cut it out. But seriously, the setting of this episode was pretty much my everything.

Dave and Alex are again saddled with one another, only this time the couple actually seems to be in on the joke. When Jane splits the teams up, Alex’s less than enthusiastic reaction to being paired with Dave was probably one of the finer points of their storyline. The show just doesn’t seem to know what to do with the two of them together so their constant state of chaos throughout this episode is a relief from their domestic complacence that has dominated this season. I wasn’t thrilled that in his moment of crisis, Dave confides in Penny, since it felt like a return to their ill-fated love triangle, but Happy Endings reined it in. In the end, Dave’s gesture of giving Alex the wedding she wanted, while incredibly misguided (seriously, has no one on this show heard of compromise?!?) it made for a tender moment between the two. Still, Alex’s attempts to drive Dave crazy with bad wedding ideas made up for the overly emotional elements.

Source: ABC

Still, Dave and Alex weren’t the only ones saddled with sentimental schlock. In case you couldn’t tell from any of the previous sentences or write-ups, this Penny and Pete wedding thing is… happening. For better or worse, it’s happening. The couple runs into a problem when Pete confides that he wants to elope. Jane and Penny lure him into the wedding expo, and thankfully outof that rasta beret, to prove that a wedding is worth having. The fact that the two couldn’t get on the same page speaks volumes about their relationship (Like, um… heller, don’t get married?) but let’s pretend I can look past that. Again, compromise could have worked, but no, they needed to find a way to drive Penny into Dave’s arms, so they went full-on freak out. Okay, “freak out” has a bit of a negative connotation, but Jane fighting another wedding planner and getting clothes-lined by a security guard is the stuff of comedic genius. Still, before all that “feelings” stuff, there are some excellent moments where Jane and penny riff off one another. Their wedding pitches, from the latex paint to the A-Ha music video, were priceless. Seriously, I have been singing “Take On Me” all night. While Pete is more of a burden than anything else, Jane and Penny keep it light with their banter and quick wit.

Thankfully, with a show like Happy Endingsthere is enough wit to go around. Max and Brad are tasked with posing as a gay couple to get free wedding swag, but when Max actually has a shot, Brad isn’t willing to walk away from what they fake have; a fake eternal love. Honestly, I knew I was in love when Max referred to Brad as his “Harvey Chocolate Milk” but from there, it just got better. Max and Brad have such amazing comedic timing as it is, but we’ve never seen them like this before. Maybe it’s the fact that I frequently think of marriage as a sham and they spend the whole half-hour mocking the institution? Whatever it is, something about it worked.

Source: ABC

The two were constantly in sync, right down to their final moments running away from the gays. I can’t say I blame Max for bailing on Brad when he had that Hot Guy giving him the turn-around. No, seriously, that dude? Only credited as “Hot Guy.” Still, as great as the two were together, I loved Brad’s confusion over the different definitions of “pounding.” Was it an easy joke? Sure… but that doesn’t make it any less funny.

“Our Best Friend’s Wedding” is definitely one of the funniest episodes this season had to offer. It’s weird to think about, considering it came from such a loathsome event as Pete’s proposal. Still, like I said earlier, I was hoping for something good to come out of a bad thing and look what we got. While its burdened with some maudlin moments, “Our Best Friend’s Wedding” is a stellar display of the comedic power of this incredible ensemble.

What did you think of last night’s episode?


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.