Happy Endings returned for a one-off charity special “Pandemmy” zoom filmed episode event followed by a live Q&A hosted by TV Guide’s Damian Holbrook.
The episode helped raise money, currently over $24,000, for Color of Change and José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen organizations, supporting Black Lives Matter and COVID-19 relief efforts. They were able to assemble many of the writers from the original series to help out with the episode, and the jokes were spot on for each character. We still got over the top Max. We got crass and controlling Jane. We got fun and goofy Brad. We got blissfully uninformed and tryhard Dave. We got neurotic Penny. We got scatterbrain Alex, though this time she was politically in the know to the surprise of everyone.
Happy Endings was an ABC comedy about a group of friends living in Chicago. After leaving her fiance at the altar, Dave and Alex have to figure out how their friend group will move forward. Eventually, the series shifted away from this plot point, and became more about the group and their dysfunctional yet hilarious struggles as adults. The special reunited the entire cast, Damon Wayans, Jr. (Brad), Eliza Coupe (Jane), Elisha Cuthbert (Alex), Zachary Knighton (Dave), Adam Pally (Max), and Casey Wilson (Penny), for a cannot miss hilarious episode. Also included for the Q&A was the show’s creator, David Caspe.
In the episode, the gang is reunited on Zoom and discuss where they are currently in life. Max is house sitting, consuming a lot of edible weed. Jane is in the middle of cleaning her house while Brad is in Florida, stuck there when the stay at home orders went into effect. Alex is a COVID denier who surprises everyone by actually knowing what is going on, despite having the absolute wrong take on the situation. Dave has just returned from a social media distancing retreat and has no clue that there is a pandemic happening. Penny has brought them all together to brag about her new Doctor boyfriend. Over the course of the episode, they make tons of quick jokes, harping on each other playfully, all in the voices of their characters as if the show never went off the air.
We see that Brad has been lying about his true whereabouts, leading to some raunchy background zoom noises with Jane. We see that Dave was about to open a restaurant with the untimely name “COVID 19”. Alex wants everything to open up again because her store is empty. Max is very high. Penny gets her heart broken, like many times before. This all leads to Max and Penny deciding to get married in the presence of all of their friends. In the end, we are treated with a big surprise twist for one character, and even get a surprise cameo appearance to everyone’s delight.
The special episode followed a traditional Zoom meeting amongst friends, going off on tirades, giving each other side eyes, and even a moment where they all flash back in their heads as they would have on a traditional TV series! In one of the funniest Dave bits ever, he goes off on a tangent about the movie Parasite which had me cracking up. During the Q&A we find out that everyone agrees that it was some of Zachary’s best Dave work.
For the Q&A portion of the special event, they covered a wide range of topics. One discussion included the entire cast’s favorite moments on the show. They discussed awkward moments and behind the scenes moments. At many points they joked about not remembering being on the show when they couldn’t remember bits from the series. Damon discussed his “New Girl” situation where he filmed the pilot for New Girl but returned to Happy Endings when it surprisingly got renewed for season 2. He eventually returned to New Girl once Happy Endings was cancelled by ABC. They mentioned how they all stayed in touch following the series’ cancellation and you could tell they all get along outside of the show based on their interactions. There was one awkward moment where Adam Pally was asked about being a gay icon, but it overall was a fun panel with lots of fun insight that made me laugh a lot.
During the Q&A they discussed the possibility of continuing the show in some form. They said they were down to do more, as long as they could work out the network intricacies of getting it all approved. Whether in the form of a follow up series or a movie, they would all agree to do it. It is a shame that the series did not find a new home following their untimely cancellation by ABC following Season 3. They attempted to find a new home but came up short. While there have been rumblings over the years of movement, nothing has happened, until this special came about. It was initially pitched as a charity table read. It then turned into a cold opening leading into the table read. Finally, it ended up being a full-blown special zoom episode with everyone in character.
May the powers that be PLEASE find a way to bring this hilarious cast and series back together so we can enjoy many more laughs and episodes (or a movie) of Happy Endings!
You can watch the special episode and Q&A here.
Plus, you can binge the entire series on Hulu.