ABC’s ‘Happy Endings’ – Not Just Another ‘Friends’ Ripoff

“Happy Endings” is the latest comedy offering from ABC, starring Elisha Cuthbert, Zachary Knighton and Eliza Coupe. The show centres around a group of six friends who have known each other since college, but their closeness is shaken when Alex (Cuthbert) leaves Dave (Knighton) at the altar on their wedding day. Will the group fall apart and be forced to choose sides, or will they manage to hold it together, for better or worse?

The pilot episode’s focus was on the aftermath of the wedding, and how Alex and Dave’s friends coped with the surprise split of the long-time couple. In the process, we got an excellent glimpse into the personalities of all of the characters.

First up, Alex the runaway bride and Dave the jilted groom. I was strangely reminded of “The Wedding Singer” on watching Zachary Knighton’s portrayal of Dave. He played the “depressed but pretending to be upbeat in front of his friends” part brilliantly. As a “Flashforward” fan, I was excited to see Knighton take on a comedy role and he didn’t disappoint. He was instantly likeable, though the same can’t be said about Elisha Cuthbert’s Alex just yet. Running away from her wedding after a guy on roller skates burst into the church confessing his love for her, even though she later made it clear that she wasn’t seeing him, made it really hard to take to her. Even though she eventually gave better reasons for having second thoughts, she just didn’t come across well. It’s very early days though.

I quickly fell in love with Penny (Casey Wilson), the unlucky in love girl who thinks she needs to lie about her age to get a date. For me, she is the most believable character on the show and the one with whom the female viewers will identify with the most. I am looking forward to seeing more of her quest to find a husband as the series progresses!

Other characters in the show are Alex’s sister Jane (Eliza Coupe), Jane’s husband Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.), and Dave’s gay friend Max (Adam Pally). Each one has a distinct personality, but I think Max might be the one to watch in terms of comedy potential, along with Wilson and Knighton.

It would be all too easy to compare “Happy Endings” to “Friends” simply because of the three girls, three guys setup. The truth is, it is more of a grown up version of the latter than a copy.

All in all, “Happy Endings” shows great promise. I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions, and I am really looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s definitely worth a watch, so tune in on Wednesday nights at 10/9c on ABC!