Two episodes! And they are even airing in the right order! What did I do to deserve this delicious treat? Oh right, have to cope with the fact that they've effectively killed Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. The mere idea of a life without James van der Beek on my TV? That's a high price to pay, but at least "The Marry Prankster" and "Our Best Friend's Wedding" both hit it out of the park. And for me this had an even more anticipated "friend kissing friend" scene than the one on New Girl. Don't you people even try and deny that you've wanted to see Brad and Max make out. But it wasn't the liplock I'd been dreaming of, so now I just want more. Can next season (if there is one) somehow play with this romantic tension more? The only real quibble I have about these episodes is that now I have "Take on Me" stuck in my head from watching the A-ha'd video at the end.
Forgetting the oddness that was Sunday's episode, let's move on to this way better episode ("The Ex Factor") that not only seemed like it was aired in the right sequence (since Penny was dating Pete and Dave had moved out of Max's place) but it also featured the talents of one Mr. Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) as Max's new roommate, Chase, who had zero tolerance for the gang. In fact, this whole episode served to show just how bizarre this group of friends are by exposing them to more normal people. But what's the fun in "normal"? Let's get on with the weird! Also, bonus points for giving Miss Kim Bauer a chance to make a CTU reference. And speaking of weird, did anyone else catch Leslie from the current season of The Bachelor as one of Pete's friends?
As if the burning off of double episodes twice a week wasn't enough of a slap in the face to those of us still holding out hope we might get another season of this show, now ABC is airing episodes completely out of order and branding them as "new," and we're supposed to just happily play along. They're doing the same thing with Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23 as well. It's really annoying, especially since in the "KickBall 2: The Kickening" episode of Happy Endings, Penny didn't know how to pronounce Xela, when she spent last week promoting it, and Dave and Alex clearly aren't together as they are both still living in their old houses. A quick Google search tells me that this episode was filmed for last season, and maybe even aired in the UK last spring (if you trust the internet). While I can still watch reruns of Friends out of order, and think that a lot of these episodes can stand alone, as a Happy Endings fan, I would like a little bit of a sense of continuity if I'm watching a show in first-run. It makes it hard to really engage in an episode when you know that Penny flirting with a hot football player amounts to nothing. It would be like if Monica and Chandler were married, and yet NBC showed a "new" episode where she's hooking up with Tom Selleck. Anyway, clearly none of TPTB are concerned about my feelings on how this show should be shown, so on to the North Side Kickball classic.
Like I mentioned the other day, I'm pretty sure this double whammy of episodes is a plan to kill this show dead. That's a really sad thought. It bums me out so much that I have a hard time watching this show now. It's sort of like Community that way. Dreading its demise makes me depressed and that makes it harder to just sit back and enjoy the laughs of "Ordinary Extraordinary Love" and watching Max try and find his specific gay community. Maybe I'm just in a weird place. Anyway, this episode was stronger than the one that aired on Sunday, but still felt a little off. A lot of good zingers, but not an episode that will stick out in my brain as one that was really laugh-out-loud funny. That said, I may be inclined to put that infectiously poppy song on my iPod if it is available.
It might have been the bizarre post-Revenge timeslot (because there's never a better time for goofy comedy than right after a show about duplicitous people trying to murder each other) or it might have just been that the episode was thematically weird, but "Fowl Play/Date" didn't really make me laugh the way this show normally does. When you're rooting for the guy at the diner who told the group to shut the hell up, there are problems. Sure, there were a few great lines sprinkled in, but the whole thing was weird, kind of like when shows do a post-Super Bowl episode and all you can think is, I'm not in the mood for quirky at this time of night. It would be fine if this was just a one-off thing they were trying, but now that ABC is running two episodes a week (this late-Sunday night one, and the normal Tuesday timeslot) for the next several weeks... it really just seems like a good way to kill a show. Anyway, here's what worked... and what didn't.
Well, to be honest, the plot and the setup of this episode was pretty dumb... and didn't make a hell of a lot of sense. Everything magically hinged on Jane getting carded at the bar they go to all the time. And on the waiter somehow noticing her ID was fake, and then everyone finding out that she'd been lying about her birthday being July 16 to cover up that she was actually born on Christmas. And her sister Alex not remembering when her real birthday was (okay, it's Alex; that we can kind of buy). And then there was the subplot about Dave helping Penny find a gift, but waiting until like Christmas Day to do it. And then where did these Arcade Fire tickets just magically appear from? But, despite those quibbles, "No-Ho-Ho" was still very well executed and filled with the typically delightful sight gags and clever dialogue that this show regularly delivers. So in the spirit of Christmas, we won't dwell too long on the small stuff, especially when there's a host of people covering their eyes with washcloths because they got pepper-sprayed trying to throw a surprise party for Jane.
Penny makes lists of people's faults so that when they split up, she'll feel better about it. Maybe we should start doing it with this show... on the off chance it ever falls into How I Met Your Mother horribleness down the road. But it was hard to find much fault with "To Serb With Love." Even the corny Serbian jokes were fine because, really, how often do you hear Serbian humor on American television? The one gripe we have is why Alex's dad (Christopher McDonald) seems to give Dave so much grief about having to pay for the botched wedding, when Alex was the one that ditched Dave. But someone's got to be the scapegoat, and at least it allowed Alex's mom (Julie Hagerty) to try to use eunuch as a verb to describe what happened to Dave.
Lots of visual humor in "P & P Romance Factory", which isn't a bad thing. We'll never tire of Casey Wilson pratfalls -- all the subsequent gifs make our Tumblr really happy. But on the down side, there were less laugh-out-loud lines. Still, we welcomed the return of Rob Corddry as the Car Czar, and learned the art of a turkey handshake.
"More Like Stanksgiving" might have been the funniest Thanksgiving TV feast we've seen since that time Monica on Friends got a turkey stuck on her head. And not just because of the food and Dave's Navajo sojurn, or the references to the writer-filled band the Rock Bottom Remainders, but also for introducing the fantastic, previously unseen season of The Real World: Sacramento. Please let there be more episodes of this hidden gem out there. In the meantime, here's the true story of what happened when six not-so strangers were picked to have Thanksgiving together in a sex swing:
"Boys II Menorah" had a lot of Dave and Alex relationship drama, and yet it was still pretty fantastic. It also had the second reference this week to someone not intelligent eating a candle (in this case Alex; in HIMYM's case, Nick), which is something we'd never have imagined was a thing. But before we go do steps 1-50 on how to make our bar mitzvahs less lame (even the secret steps), we've found each character's best and worst moments:
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