Philosophising about the 'S'-word: Watch… and learn
Happy Endings is an American sitcom television series that ran on ABC from April 13, 2011 to May 3, 2013. The single-camera ensemble comedy originally aired as a mid-season replacement with a one-hour premiere of two back-to-back episodes starting at 9:30 pm ET/PT. In the weeks that followed, the show continued to air back-to-back episodes that began airing at 10:00 pm ET/PT.
The show was created by David Caspe (Marry Me), who along with Jonathan Groff (previously a showrunner on Scrubs) served as the show’s executive producers and showrunners.
Happy Endings follows the dysfunctional adventures of six best friends living in Chicago: “crazy-in-love” married couple, businessman overachiever Brad (Damon Wayans, Jr., New Girl) and his neurotic perfectionist wife Jane (Eliza Coupe, Scrubs); ditzy Alex (Elisha Cuthbert, 24), a happy-go-lucky boutique owner and Jane’s younger sister; daydreamer Dave (Zachary Knighton, FlashForward, Weird Loners), an aspiring restaurateur and food truck owner who used to be engaged to Alex; slacker manchild Max (Adam Pally, The Mindy Project), who struggles with trying to hold a job and maintaining a consistent relationship; and serial dating single girl Penny (Casey Wilson, The Hotwives of Orlando, Marry Me, One Mississippi), who fears she’s forever doomed for spinsterhood and on an eternal search for Mr. Right.
The series first begins with the six friends dealing with their group dynamic drastically changing after the breakup of the couple that first brought them all together: Dave and Alex. This leaves the rest of the group (Max, Brad, Jane, and Penny) in the awkward position of either trying to stay together as friends or having to choose sides. Dave and Alex decide to stay friends, but there are many more complications down the road.
While the initial “complications following Alex and Dave’s breakup” premise was the focal point in the earlier episodes, this premise was mostly abandoned as the series went on, as the focus became more about the group dynamic of six best friends, in a similar vein of “friends hanging out” ensemble comedies like Friends and How I Met Your Mother. Typically, each episode featured two plot lines, in which varying combinations of the six characters find themselves involved.
On May 10, 2013, Happy Endings was canceled by ABC after three seasons. ABC’s erratic scheduling of the third season, resulting in the season’s lower ratings and subsequent cancellation afterwards, has been called one of the “worst TV decisions” of the 2012–13 television season by Vulture.