Happy Endings Is The Friends Of Our Generation

I grew up watching Friends during my impressionable teen years. I found each and every one of the friends hilarious and charming in their own way. While I watch the show now and acknowledge that there are more than a few issues with their lifestyles (mainly money-related), I still enjoy it. It’s still a quality show full of incredibly memorable moments. Moments that still make me say, “pivot, pivot” whenever I’m moving furniture around. Even if pivoting isn’t at all required.

Ever since Friends went off the air in 2004, people have mourned the loss of a similar comedy. But unbeknownst to so many of us, one arrived stealthily in the spring of 2011. It’s called Happy Endings and it’s one of the most underrated comedies on TV right now. Because it came in as a mid-season replacement, it never quite got the hype or promotion that I think it deserved. But over the past year or so, it’s gained some popularity and some new fans — including me.


I rarely laugh aloud because I’m one of those horrible people who just breathes heavily when they’re entertained. However Happy Endings makes me laugh aloud. That means it’s really funny.

Just like Friends, it’s about a group of 20-somethings (maybe even 30-somethings) living in a city and spending the majority of their free time together.  Even when it makes no sense. Only in TV shows do groups of friends find it so easy to coordinate plans together every single week. It’s truly amazing. I’d love to know their secret, because i’m currently on about 46 different email chains where we’re attempting to make dinner plans 6-8 weeks in advance…and still we can’t find a night that works for everyone.

The characters — Jane, Alex, Dave, Max, Brad, Penny — are all normal people living normal lives. Sure there are romances mixed in and bad dates and awkward moments, but for the most part the show’s about those moments in life when nothing really happens. There are no complicated story arcs or major moments of character development, just a lot of silly moments strung together.

If you think that sounds stupid, you’re thinking wrong. Because just like with Friends, these small moments and these inside jokes are what make you want to be there. Unlike so many other comedies where you’d never want to befriend the main characters, you do want to befriend these six people.

After a season of watching, you start to feel like you know them. And I even catch myself lately thinking of an inside joke I have and being like “who is that with?” — only to realize it’s not with real people. It’s from the characters on Happy Endings. While I know this means I watch too much TV, I also know it means that I’m watching the right shows.

It’s not like I’m bringing up classic Teen Mom lines at brunch and being like remember when one of our friends had a baby? Who was that?

While this show won’t replace Rachel, Ross, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe and Joey in your hearts, it will add some new friends and some new funny lines and some new moments. Moments that belong in the ’10s and not the ’90s — and moments that come laugh track free. Because gosh, doesn’t that noise drive you crazy now that we’re so modern?!

And best of all, most of these characters have jobs that explain how they afford their awesome apartments, no inheritance from grandma involved at all.

(Photo: CouchTime Jill/GIFS: You Have Failed Me/What Should Betches Call Me/Left Phalange/Kate Elizabeth/I Hate My Roommates Boyfriend)

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    • Elissa

      I have got to start watching this show!

    • Mila

      Happy endings are OK, everything is kind of there, but, for me, together, it just doesn’t result in mega funny show – plus I can watch reruns of Friends and have for years, I cannot watch the same HE episode twice….I’d say How I met your mother is the new Friends.

      • Jenni

        I could never get into HIMYM…and now so many fans seem to be hate-watching it.

    • http://twitter.com/KatieGarrity Katie Garrity

      I adore Happy Endings! YES YES YES

      • Jenni

        Happy Endings + Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23 is my new favorite combo! I can’t get enough!

    • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

      Sorry. The Big Bang Theory is the Friends of our generation. HIMYM is a close second. Happy Endings? Nope. It’s not real enough or funny enough. (To be fair, I only watched part of the first season).

      • Jenni

        Second season of the show got so much better. I gave up after the first few episodes and got back into this season because someone made me. Totally worth it.

      • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

        I’m sure it did get better…to be honest, I was amazed it was picked up for a second season, and the popularity must mean they’re doing something right. I still think it’s not our “Friends”. Friends was so great because they were so normal–you truly felt like they could be your neighbors. And they struggled through their twenties and thirties like normal people. I don’t see myself in Happy Endings, and I’d wager there are few people who can relate to it. I see myself in Robin struggling with career desires and love. I see myself in the Big Bang Theory (I have a lot of scientist friends). But the characters in Happy Endings just seem like whiny, over privileged people creating problems that aren’t really problems…which is why I stopped watching. But again, more power to people who like it. I just think for a show to be the “Friends” of our generation it needs to be more universal.

      • Jenni

        Maybe I have too many whiny friends then, because I definitely see people I know in it.

      • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

        And I’m sure a lot of people do..it’s wicked popular. I would still suggest that you go back to the first season of HIMYM and The Big Bang Theory and watch them and see what you think in comparison.

      • Jenni

        Now that all the winter finales are happening, I would actually have time to do that.

      • Vertumnus

        You gotta to watch it more than once. The Big Bang Theory was really funny the first couple of seasons but the writing has been mediocre lately. As far as Big Bang Theory being Friends of our generation, it’s a stretch. Happy Endings come closer to Friends than Big Bang Theory.

    • Holly

      So glad this show is gaining some recognition! It is absolutely ahmahzing! You’ve got to be open to quirky humor though. If you tend to like sitcoms by the book, this show isn’t for you.

    • Vertumnus

      Happy Endings came out around the same time as Fox’s New Girl. Kinda confuse me for second because Damon Wayans, Jr. was in both shows. Of course he ended up leaving New Girl for Happy Endings and was replaced by Lamorne Morris. When I first read the title I thought it was about some massage parlor that offers Happy Endings. Even now I wonder why they would pick a title like that. Anyway, I liked the show from the very beginning, some funny moments, some slapsticks and some true to life lessons. It’s a good show to just vegs out and laugh. If they last as long as friends, those guys are going to be Filthy Rich!. Oh, I like New Girl too or is it because of Zooey Deschanel? In any case, they’re both pretty decent TV shows.

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