‘The new Friends’ is a tagline that gets applied to several new shows every season, but very few ever live up to those dizzy heights. Following a group of six friends in Chicago, Happy Endings doesn’t quite do it, but it could be the closest we’re ever going to get.
The series opens with quirky blonde Alex leaving childhood sweetheart Dave at the altar. The rest of the wedding party consists of Alex’s sister, down to earth Jane, and her husband Brad; Dave and Brad’s mutual best friend and central gay character Max and Alex’s bff, the delightfully off-beat and totally a-mah-zing Penny.
Max is everyones favourite gay character on TV right now, more realistic than anyone we’ve seen in eight seasons of Will & Grace. He’s not camp, needy, or overly buff. He’s the kind of gay I wish all my friends were more like. When he falls for the perfect guy towards the end of the second season, you’ll be cringing at Max trying to find his flaws and end it with Grant, but this show is full of surprises.
And there’s Penny. She should be the most annoying character with her habit of shortnening words (a-mah-zing!) and falling for a new Mr Wrong every single episode, but she’s a firm favourite. As established in one of the first episodes, she IS the stereotypical gay-best-friend. And her mother is Megan Mullally! What’s not to love?
There’s no annoying everlasting storylines (I’m thinking about Ross and Rachel’s are-they-aren’t-they relationship here), ridiculously massive apartments for people who appear to have no jobs or massive guest stars (Fred Savage excepted) but you’ll quickly come to consider the whole gang very dear friends.