At first glance, it’s a Kmart version of Friends: it begins with one of the main characters running out on her wedding, the six main characters live in inexplicably nice apartments, and they somehow have time to see each other every living moment of every single day. They even correspond to the iconic characters from the ‘90s sitcom: uptight, control-freak Jane (Monica), laidback Brad (Chandler), ditzy, dim-witted Alex (Rachel, mainly because of the whole ‘Runaway Bride’ thing), self-professed ‘cool-guy’ Dave (Ross), perpetually-single-but-still-optimistic Penny (Phoebe), and lazy, sloppy Max (fat Joey).
Happy Endings borrowed the premise but took it to new heights. Without a laugh track, sitcoms can fall flat: flimsy jokes aren’t as funny when you’re not prompted to laugh like you’re in a Pavlovian experiment. But that was the show’s advantage over Friends – it packed the extra run-time with rapid-fire jokes, comparable to the tight writing of 30 Rock. The gang, despite being codependent and borderline sociopathic, was still loveable, due to the chemistry and comedic talent of the actors.
The show was sadly cancelled after three seasons due to low ratings, but it was a wacky, clever, hysterically funny masterpiece that was criminally underappreciated while it aired. So, in honour of a brilliant show gone too soon, grab your mates and do something mundane that quickly escalates into a web of ridiculous lies and insane schemes to cover up the mess you’ve made – it’s what the gang would’ve wanted.
9.5/10: Friends, but actually funny.