Happy Endings has never been shy about using the impressive improv skills of its cast; that’s one of the show’s strengths. Heading into season 3, there is a level of confidence and familiarity that should allow them to mine the improv well for even greater laughs. Unfortunately they went to the well a bit too often in the season premiere.
Right from the start, a layer of almost frantic hysteria pervades “Cazsh Dummy Spillionaires”. It’s almost like the cast was so freaking excited to be together again, they were barely restraining themselves from bouncing off the walls. The jokes come fast and thick, and don’t always land well, resulting in a mish-mash of storylines that never quite coalesce. I’m still scratching my head over the near cruelty of the Penny/Max storyline and the over-the-top Jane/Brad storyline – particularly since the latter are usually so in sync. Fortunately, the second episode of the season returns to the more sophisticated craziness that makes Happy Endings such a joy to watch. Where the payoffs in the premiere fall flat, the payoffs in next week’s “Sabado Free-Gante” are a soaring success. Especially the Penny/Jane storyline. Man, that was a thing of beauty.
Tune in tonight for the Happy Endings season 3 premiere at 9/8c on ABC.