A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this relationship sitcom is targeting single and married adults in their late 20s and 30s with its social drinking and sexually charged jokes that, while age appropriate for its characters, may not be the best choice for teens. There isn't much in terms of visible hanky panky, but characters do kiss on camera. They also have one-night stands with strangers and occasionally make cheeky references to porn and threesomes. Audible language includes "bitch" and "bastard" in addition to sexually charged terms like "slut" and "gay" (which is used more than once as a comic-slur/pun by a gay character).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
It's not necessarily about HAPPY ENDINGS for longtime friends Dave (Zachary Knighton), Alex (Elisha Cuthbert), Jane (Eliza Coupe), Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.), Penny (Casey Wilson), and Max (Adam Pally) when Alex leaves Dave at the altar and takes off alone on their honeymoon, throwing their relationship -- and the group dynamic -- into a tailspin. But when Alex gets back to Chicago, the onetime lovers air their grievances and ultimately make peace as platonic friends.The only committed couple now is Alex's sister Jane and her husband, Brad, who support their single friends through the hilarity of dating.
Is it any good?
Early on, you get the feeling that Happy Endings is desperately trying to secure one for itself so that it won't join the sad line of similarly themed sitcoms that got canceled because they couldn’t find an audience. And, apparently, the show’s producers are betting it all on breakneck banter with awkwardly forced "slanguage" like "bro," "dude," "deets," and -- in a particularly cringe-worthy instance -- "Lake Mich." (We dare you to find a Chicagoan who actually calls it that.)
The intent of a chatty script, of course, is to keep things moving comedically. But the effect here is a hyper-realized world that, while undeniably witty, at times feels a bit frantic and forced. Thankfully, that doesn't keep the laughs from coming ... it just distracts you when they do.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the show's writing style, particularly in terms of how the characters communicate. How realistic are these characters and their problems, and how does that relate to the way they speak? Is the show trying too hard to be clever?
Does the drinking on the show seem realistic? What would be the real consequences of drinking like they do on the show?
Do you think this show has a message when it comes to love, relationships, and marriage? Who has the healthiest outlook when it comes to love?
Is this the type of show that would appeal to lots of people or a very specific group? Who's the target audience here? How can you tell?