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Happy Endings – Are Dave, Max & Alex the new Three’s Company?

What starts out as a white lie on Penny’s part to avoid an annoying childhood friend (guest star Mary Elizabeth Ellis) snowballs out of control as the whole gang is caught up. Meanwhile, Max and Dave’s lonely, jealous landlord (guest star Ben Falcone), looks for ways to evict them – until he takes a shine to Alex.

- Season 2, Episode 20 - "Big White Lies"

“Come and knock on our door…
We’ve been waiting for you…
Where the kisses are hers and hers and his,
Three’s company too.”

I can’t get the ultra-catchy Three’s Company theme song out of my head thanks to this week’s episode of Happy Endings titled “Big White Lies,” which put Max, Dave and Alex in hilarious “low-stakes classic ‘80s sitcom danger” when the guys’ nosy landlord (guest-star Ben Falcone from Bridesmaids) looks for ways to evict them because he’s jealous of their active love lives.

Dave: “Ally, you can’t stay here. Our landlord Darren’s already on us about having too many people sleep over.”
Alex: “But it’ll be like Three’s Company. I’ll be adorable Chrissy and Max can be hilarious Jack and you’ll be Janet.”
Dave (hand on his hip): “I’m not Janet.”
Max & Alex (together): “Classic Janet.”
Dave: “Guys, stop it. This is not Three’s Company.”
(Knock on the door)
Max: “Come and knock on our door.”
Landlord (shouting): “I know you’re in there.”
Dave (to Alex): “It’s our nosy landlord. Hide.”

I think this loveable trio just might have what it takes to be the new (maybe not as talented but they do make me laugh with their irreverent humor) Jack Tripper, Chrissy Snow and Janet Wood, but what do you think?

All Three’s Company jokes and references aside, the main focus of this episode centered around Penny telling very specific, extremely over-the-top white lies in order to avoid going to tea with an annoying childhood friend (played by It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Mary Elizabeth Ellis). Things predictably kept snowballing out of control, as one-by-one, the entire gang was forced to continue making up outlandish lies to cover for Penny, who just wanted to make herself seem like a nice person. What lengths would you be willing to go to in order to avoid hurting someone’s feelings and remaining above the status quo?

Apparently, nothing was off-limits for the Happy Endings crew to lie about, but I’m having trouble deciding just whose lie was the biggest. From Jane faking a pregnancy complete with a fake baby shower with professional seat-fillers paid to attend and “mingle festively,” to Alex faking a change in sexuality and attending the shower dressed like her favorite lesbian Ellen DeGeneres, to Dave pretending to be terminally ill, all of them succeeded in making me feel a little bit better about myself this week.

But the real star of the episode was neither guest star, though they were both used brilliantly, especially Falcone as the landlord locked in the weird, awkward salsa dance with Alex during the baby shower. The highlight of the night for me was definitely Max’s new invention and “culinary game-changer,” a.k.a. the Trash Stove™.

Max: “I just invented something awesome. Check it out: the trashcan stove, or as I call it, the trove. Look at this brisket, huh? It only took 18 hours to cook, hickory-smoked, falling off the bizzone and straight out of the trash. I’m going to call it a trisket.”

Words can’t even describe what I imagined their apartment must smell like after he cooked his “trisket” or nearly burned down the place with his fresh from-the-trashcan all-American favorite “trapple pie.” His commercial for the Trash Stove™ (patent-pending) during the ending credits was pure comedic gold:

Max: “Tired of preparing the same old foods the same old way at the same old consistent temperature? Well then, the Trash Stove™ is for you, but don’t just blatantly trust me. Ask my buddy, Dave.”
Dave: “Keep that thing away from me, dude.”
Max: “Trash Stove™: It’ll cook anything … goats, Chinese food, you name it. FDA patent-approval pending, but, hey, they haven’t said no. The Trash Stove™: Set it and forget it. … Don’t forget it. You gotta keep an eye on it or it will burn your house down. The Trash Stove.”

Oh, and I also agreed with something Alex said, though it was really just a casual statement and not anything anyone else may have noticed: One of the world’s greatest guys is, without a question, John Kransinki. He’s the only reason I began watching and continue to watch The Office. I love me some classic Jim Halpert office pranks.

Other stand-out quotes from the episode:
Jane: “You know what I want.”
Brad: “Say it … I want to hear you say it.”
Jane: “I want a porch, a big white porch with weathered shingles.”
Brad: “Aww, yeah and a dock. A dark pine dock that goes on forever.”
Alex: “Oh my God, just buy a lake house already so we can stop hearing about your big black dock.”
Penny: “Ow.”
Alex: “Oh, I get it. I was supposed to say big African-American dock. I’m sorry.”
Brad: “Yeah, better.”
Jane: “2012.”

Penny: “I was never a Girl Scout but to keep her from finding out, I bought and resold Samoas until the GS of A sent me a cease-and-desist letter.”

Penny: “She can never have a meaningless convo like a normal person. She just keeps asking questions like she actually cares.”
Brad: “Ugh, sounds like a monster.”

Penny: “It turns out filling an air mattress with water does not a waterbed make.”

Dave: “Our stupid landlord won’t fix the oven and he keeps perving out on my chicks.”

Penny: “The only people who can get away with being mean are rock stars or brain surgeons or Mr. Phil.”
Jane: “You mean Dr. Phil?”
Penny: “Come on, it’s a Ph.D. Everybody calm down.”

Max: “You know that I love low-stakes classic ‘80s sitcom danger.”

Alex: “I’m Ellen. I figure if I gotta be a lesbian, I might as well go straight to the top.”

Max: “That means Dave and I are going to be out on the streets. I’m going to have to find a trumpet and learn how to play it ‘til a local music producer finds and discovers my talent. Dave won’t have it so good. He’s going to be living his life on the rails … the cocaine rails. Unfortunately, he will also be living on a train making it extremely difficult to do cocaine ‘cause you’re bumping around.”


Photo Credit: ABC

One Response to “Happy Endings – Are Dave, Max & Alex the new Three’s Company?”

March 30, 2012 at 2:33 AM

I liked the Emily Thorne (revenge) reference as well

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