‘Happy Endings’ – ‘The Kerkovich Way’: Penny Hartz’s day off

Senior Television Writer
03.08.12 36 Comments


A quick review of last night’s “Happy Endings” coming up just as soon as I krump away this guilt…

“The Kerkovich Way” didn’t feel quite as perfectly-executed as last week’s episode. The Penny/Max B-story just felt like an excuse for lots of Chicago/John Hughes movie references, some of which were actual jokes (Richard Edson turning out to be a real garage attendant), but plenty of others just references for the sake of it. (If I don’t let “Breaking In” slide for using references as a crutch when they don’t have a gag, I can’t let this show slide, either.) Parts of it worked, but other parts didn’t.

But the A-story, with Jane turning supervillain to wipe Dave and Brad’s memories of Dave and Alex’s one-night stand? That was overflowing with hilarity, whether it was Dave dismantling Alex’s mannequin in an attempt to demonstrate his impressive bra removal technique, Dave comparing him and Alex to “Marty McFly and his mother”(*), Alex krumping through the entire commercial break (we can add “Elisha Cuthbert dancing” to “Elisha Cuthbert eating” in the Never Not Funny category), the flashback to the origin of the Kerkovich Way, all the way through Brad guilting her into a year-plus of listening to the Steve Martin banjo album.

(*) Now that is a case of a reference that’s also a joke. You need to know the plot of “Back to the Future” to appreciate it, but the line does more than say, “Hey, remember that thing you loved watching when you grew up?” We want you to associate that love with what you’re watching now!

Because “Don’t Trust the (Bitch) in Apartment 23” is taking over this timeslot in April, there are going to be nights like last night where “Happy Endings” is the only one of ABC’s Wednesday comedies that’s new.And I’m guessing its ratings are going to be notably lower on those nights without a new “Modern Family” as a lead-in. Hopefully, ABC doesn’t judge the show too harshly for its performance on these kinds of nights when it comes time for upfronts.

What did everybody else think?

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