Happy Endings Recap: “Lying Around”

In last night’s episode of Happy Endings, as in practically every episode, Brad and Jane were once again an example of a married sitcom couple that doesn’t seem like it will end in a murder-suicide. She isn’t a horrible shrew! He isn’t border line mentally disabled! They are a beacon of normalcy…while still killed it. The chemistry in their fictional relationship is enough, in fact, to take what is a traditional sitcom trope (“We secretly want to alone time!”) and spin it into honeysuckle-scented gold. In order to avoid the non-stop peppy double entendres that come with a visit from Jane’s sorority sister Sarah, Brad fakes a work function and instead throws himself a hotel staycation, laughing it up with his new friend Sports Guy Brent Musburger. After Sarah bails on her visit (apparently her father’s intervention was sooooo important), Jane discovers Brad’s lie…only to lie right back to get a few days of Me Time. Once they reunite the secrets come out, and their dueling suspicious faces are pure gold. Is this what love is? Can it be like this, always?

Meanwhile, Dave is desperate to differentiate his Steak Me Home Tonight truck from the variety of street meats available to Chicagoans, first designing the Steak-tanic (containing a full illegal liter of garlic aioli), then shooting a commercial in which he has the flat affect of a sweat-drenched psychopath. Max cajoles Dave into letting him direct an on-air joint, which Dave allows despite the fact that Max’s only credentials are his stint as an extra on 8 Mile, plus he is wearing a turtleneck he found on the ground. “First of all, it’s a mock turtleneck and I found it in the garbage,” Max retorts. He manages to turn out a beautiful ad about family and Chicago and elderly Puerto Rican men playing checkers. Unfortunately, he forget to put in the name of Dave’s business OR that he sells steak sandwiches, though at least it inspired Zooey Deschanel’s ex from New Girl to reconnect with his father. And isn’t that what street food is all about?

As for the ladies, Penny and Alex both happen to find themselves with suitors, though Alex’s man Liam has the tendency to go all out during every single date. “He had a private dancer teach us the dance from ‘Private Dancer’,” she exclaims. Liam even brings in Fred Savage to provide commentary for The Princess Bride, which seems a lot less fun than you’d think. “You want someone to phone it in? Call Kirk Cameron,” he spits. Penny is immediately inflamed by Alex’s impressive dating life, her grilled-cheese-and-DVD-rental dates paling in comparison. “He’s picking me up in the Batmobile,” she brags about her man Keith. “He’s a bat exterminator and that’s what his company calls the van.” Luckily in addition to segues and gluten Penny has given up any connection with reality, so she makes Alex swap dudes with her. As if Penny could ever be satisfied. Alex doesn’t mind the trade, which makes sense seeing as how she usually can’t trust her own judgment. Sure, maybe entering that brisket-eating contest before going to her loan interview was a bad choice, but the real question is: did she win?

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