Happy Endings follows the dysfunctional adventures of six best friends living in Chicago: “crazy-in-love” married couple, businessman overachiever Brad (Damon Wayans, Jr.) and his neurotic perfectionist wife Jane (Eliza Coupe); ditzy Alex (Elisha Cuthbert), a happy-go-lucky boutique owner and Jane’s younger sister; daydreamer Dave (Zachary Knighton), an aspiring restaurateur and food truck owner who used to be engaged to Alex; slacker manchild Max (Adam Pally), who struggles with trying to hold a job and maintaining a consistent relationship; and serial dating single girl Penny (Casey Wilson), who fears she’s forever doomed for spinsterhood and on an eternal search for Mr. Right.
Happy Endings SeriesTV
The series first begins with the six friends dealing with their group dynamic drastically changing after the breakup of the couple that first brought them all together: Dave and Alex. This leaves the rest of the group (Max, Brad, Jane, and Penny) in the awkward position of either trying to stay together as friends or having to choose sides. Dave and Alex decide to stay friends, but there are many more complications down the road.
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While the initial “complications following Alex and Dave’s breakup” premise was the focal point in the earlier episodes, this premise was mostly abandoned as the series went on, as the focus became more about the group dynamic of six best friends, in a similar vein of “friends hanging out” ensemble comedies like Friends and How I Met Your Mother. Typically, each episode featured two plot lines, in which varying combinations of the six characters find themselves involved.
Stars Happy Endings
Eliza Coupe as Jane Kerkovich-Williams – Alex’s control freak older sister. She is married to Brad and wanted to start a family and live a “perfect suburban life”, prior to being freaked out over Alex and Dave’s break-up. She is very competitive and always likes to be in charge of everything. She is a perfectionist by nature and currently serves as head of the home owner’s association. Despite her Type-A attitude, Jane had a wild past in college, most notably going through a lesbian phase and donating an egg her freshman year so she could go to Cabo San Lucas and party. She and Brad are very affectionate in public, which often makes their friends uncomfortable. In season three, she takes a job working as a car salesperson, after dealership owner “The Car Czar” (Rob Corddry) is impressed with her negotiating skills.
Elisha Cuthbert in Happy Endings
Elisha Cuthbert as Alex Kerkovich – Jane’s ditzy younger sister and Dave’s ex-fiancée who left him at the altar on the day of their wedding. Alex is the youngest in the group of friends. Despite her reasons for originally calling off the wedding, Alex still feels very guilty about it. She enjoys going on double dates and “girls nights out” with her best friend Penny. She runs her own women’s clothing boutique called Xela (“Alex” backwards, pronounced “Shay-la”) in downtown Chicago. Though the shop occasionally experiences sudden upswings in popularity, she usually has no actual customers. As the group’s token dimwit, she often gets lost or confused during many of the gang’s jokes, though she is also known to show occasional signs of intelligence. In season two, she moves in with Penny after accidentally ruining her apartment with smoke damage. She often eats a lot, sometimes surprising the gang, even though she keeps in shape. In season three, she moves into a new apartment with Dave as they enter a new phase of their relationship.
Zachary Knighton as Dave Rose – The self-appointed “cool guy” of the gang, although none of his friends view him as such. Dave is Alex’s ex-fiancé, and was left at the altar when Alex had second thoughts. Still trying to figure his life out after the wedding, Dave followed his dreams of quitting his office job and is now self-employed with his own food truck business. After his break-up with Alex, he lived on Max’s couch. In season two, he’s claimed to have moved on from their break-up and still remains friends with Alex while they both attempt to date other people. Dave often goes out of his way to prove he’s the “cool guy” of the group, as he is often the butt of his friends’ jokes and ridiculed for his fashion choices, such as his love of v-neck shirts. Dave is also known to go overboard with embracing his 1/16th Navajo heritage. In season three, Dave and Alex have gotten back together and are trying to make their relationship work again.
Adam Pally as Max Blum – The gang’s freeloading, usually unemployed, and single friend known for his non-stereotypical qualities as a gay man – Max is slovenly, uncultured, lazy and does his best to avoid any responsibility for anything, Penny describes Max as a “straight dude who likes dudes”. He became best friends with Dave and Brad while in college, and also used Penny as a beard while he was still in the closet. He most enjoys sitting around his apartment playing video games, watching sports, and playing mean-spirited pranks on everyone else. Max is openly gay to all his friends, although he only came out to his parents recently, after many years of having Penny pose as his girlfriend when they’re in town. Max is fairly casual about relationships, more often settling for brief flings. His most notable relationship was with Grant (James Wolk), but they broke up when Max discovered that Grant would never want children. After Alex and Dave’s failed wedding, Max shared his apartment with newly-single Dave until the two reconciled. Max is a minister of a non-denominational Christian church (though he himself is Jewish), licensed to officiate weddings, although he technically wasn’t licensed when he did Brad and Jane’s wedding. Max is single and unemployed, but in season two he buys a vintage Limousine and attempts to start his own limo driving service. Full name is Maxima Herbert Blum.
Starring Happy Endings
Damon Wayans, Jr. as Brad Williams – Jane’s husband and best friend of Dave and Max. Brad and Jane first met in college, while appearing on the MTV reality show The Real World based in Sacramento, CA. Despite being a somewhat uptight businessman during the day, he is generally laid-back and likes to have fun and participate in any crazy adventures the gang gets into, particularly with Max and Dave. Brad and Jane are often overly affectionate towards each other in public, to the point where others are creeped out. Brad will often show his effeminate side around Jane, while trying to maintain a more “manly” demeanor around the rest of the gang, though he usually fails. At the end of season two, his department was cut, and he was briefly unemployed. He spent a brief amount of time working at a children’s gym called “Chuckles & Huggs”, before he was offered a new business job again.
Casey Wilson as Penny Hartz – The gang’s perpetually single friend, who worries she’ll never find the right guy. Her train wreck dating life is a constant joke among her friends, as she is seen dating someone new every week. Most of her boyfriends don’t last for long, as she usually manages to drive them off with her manic behavior. She has known Dave, Alex and Jane since childhood. Max has been her “gay BFF” since college, where they originally dated before realizing he was gay. She has shown occasional interest in Dave after her psychiatrist convinces her that she has unresolved feelings for him. Penny is a successful businesswoman who works in public relations and prides herself on being the most fashionable person in her office. Despite her unlucky love-life, she always tries to stay optimistic, often declaring that it’s “The Year of Penny”, the year where everything in her life will start to go right. She is known for her unique ways of speaking and pronouncing certain words (such as her favorite phrase, “a-mah-zing”) and has a habit of constantly abbreviating words (“abbreevs” as she calls them), much to the annoyance of her friends. Due to her accident-prone nature, she gives herself a concussion and has to shop for a helmet, which leads to her meeting Pete (Nick Zano), her first-ever successful steady boyfriend. After four months of dating, Pete proposed to Penny and she accepted. During a couples’ game night however, she called off their engagement when she realized they didn’t know each other well enough. Her full name is Penelope Aziz Hartz.
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