Fourth-episode verdict: Happy Endings

The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of 2

In the US: Wednesdays, 10/9c, ABC

Since ABC is chucking these out at two a week, it’s time for a fourth-episode verdict on Happy Endings, the new rom-com in which Elisha Cuthbert dumps her boyfriend at the altar and all their friends have to pick sides. At least, that’s what the plot is in theory, but this is basically Friends for the 21st century.

Now, after a very promising beginning, the second episode was slightly less funny but still very promising: single girl about town Penny is dissatisfied with her non-stereotypical, slightly chubby, fashionless gay best friend, Max, so tries to get a Sex and the City-style stereotype upgrade instead.

However, episode three became a very odd affair, with a slightly ridiculous plot about a man living in the ceiling (don’t ask). Episode four was a return to form, with Max having to decide whether to come out to his parents, and featured a particularly funny end sketch, which I won’t spoil for you if you didn’t watch it.

So far, as you might have guessed, the gay character has proved the standout, with Elisha Cuthbert and the former fiancé getting reassuringly little to do. But Eliza Coupe’s OCD, Monica-equivalent, Jane, and her husband Brad (Damon Wayans Jr) have also proved to be worth the entry price. The acting’s still a bit shocking, but the scripts and characters are sound.

Given the rate ABC at which is burning these off, I don’t suspect the show is long for this world, but I’d love it to succeed since it is actually very funny. Fingers crossed, word of mouth will spread and people will start watching before it’s too late.

Carusometer rating: 2
Rob’s prediction: Will probably be cancelled by the end of the season, but it deserves to do better


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.