TITLE: HAPPY ENDINGS - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
DVD Release Date: September 20, 2011 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 13
Running Time: approx. 276 minutes
Running Time of Special Features: approx. 28 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English language; English subtitles
Special Features: 13 Deleted Scenes, Banana Republic Style Preview: The Girls of Happy Endings, Banana Republic Style Preview: The Guys of Happy Endings, Mike Relm Remix, Mark Douglas Parody Theme Song, Mark Douglas Interview with Adam Pally and Casey Wilson, and Outtakes.
One of the best new comedies of last season is now coming home to DVD! The complete first season with all 13 episodes is coming to DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on a 2-disc set. Take six twenty-something (is Penny really 30?) Chicago friends, add cocktails and hormones, shake and, you've got Happy Endings, the hilarious, edgy new comedy that asks: when a couple splits, who gets to keep the friends? Dave (Zachary Knighton, FlashForward) finds fulfillment (sort of) manning a food truck after losing his hot fiancée Alex (Elisha Cuthbert, 24) at the altar. Alex's type-A sister Jane (Eliza Coupe, Scrubs) is almost happily married to horn-dog Brad (Damon Wayans Jr., The Underground). Dave's roommate Max (Adam Pally) is a gay, sports-loving slob, and Penny (Casey Wilson, SNL) is on the prowl for a good man...or men. The laughs are nonstop as they do what tightly-knit friends do best: hang out, have fun, debate the meaning of life, hook up, break up, and do it all over again!
Created by David Caspe, the series stars Elisha Cuthbert as Alex Moore, Zachary Knighton as Dave Rose, Eliza Coupe as Jane Williams, Damon Wayans Jr. as Brad Williams, Adam Pally as Max Blum and Casey Wilson as Penny Hartz.
This series is just plain funny and entertaining. I liked the pilot but then the episodes after that were at another level. ABC aired the episodes out of order to try and get the best episodes to air first to try and lure viewers and get a following. That worked, because the show certainly got a following. This DVD has the episodes in production order, rather than ABC airdate order. It works for this series because ABC aired the actual second and third episodes, tenth and eleventh. Now we get to see them in the actual order. It didn’t really matter for any other episode, but these two episodes kind of flashback to the pilot. All six friends are superb in this series, as one-liners and memorable quotes and sayings started to spread: Gaycist. Hipsters. I get to put my cccar keys in your aaatic. There was even a bin Laden joke that had to be muted on ABC shortly after the killing of Osama bin Laden. Anyway, memorable episodes (in production order!) includes, “Pilot,” where Alex suddenly leaves Dave at the altar on the day of their wedding, putting their group of friends (Brad, Jane, Penny and Max) in an awkward position of having to choose sides and all these problems come to a head at Penny's 30th, err 26th, birthday party the following week. In “Dave of the Dead,” Dave quits his office job to start his own business, while Max and Jane compete in a series of challenges to determine who would survive a zombie apocalypse and Penny has trouble keeping up with her new hipster friends. In “Of Mice & Jazz-Kwon-Do,” Dave helps Alex with a mouse problem, while Penny regrets inviting overly-competitive Jane to her self-defense class and Brad tries to set Max up with a guy he knows from the office. In “Mein Coming Out,” Max's parents (Alan Rachins and Caroline Aaron) come to visit and his friends try to convince him to finally come out to them, but he is afraid of how they will react and on a blind date, Penny meets the man of her dreams and later discovers he happens to have a rather infamous last name! In “You’ve Got Male,” a big chain coffee store becomes Alex's competition, but things become complicated when Max finds out he's dating the store's owner (Max Greenfield) and Dave is thrilled when his favorite high school teacher Alan (Rob Huebel) is back in town, while Brad and Jane make a bet to see who can get a job by using either their charm or being prepared. In “Like Father, Like Gun,” after a health scare, Brad's uptight dad (Damon Wayans) now has a new lease on life and just wants to have fun, which Brad is having a difficult time dealing with and Penny starts to date an attractive Italian, but she can only speak his language when she's drunk, while Dave and Max have fun in their apartment with nerf dart guns. And on the season finale, “The Shershaw Redemption,” being invited to the wedding of old friend Shershaw (T.J. Miller) creates unexpected consequences and feelings among the group, while Brad and Jane discover unsettling news about their marital status and Alex agrees to act as Dave's wingman at the wedding.
Notable guest stars for this season include Damon Wayans, Michael Mosely, Nick Thune, Max Greenfield, T.J. Miller, Rob Huebel, Alan Rachins, Caroline Aaron and Bre Blair.
The episodes are obviously unedited, with runtimes around the 21-22 minutes range. Here are the runtimes of each episode, going in the correct production order:
1. “Pilot” - 21:42 (aired April 13, 2011)
2. “Bo Fight” - 21:08 (aired May 18, 2011)
3. “Barefoot Pedaler” - 21:06 (aired May 18, 2011)
4. “Dave of the Dead” - 20:53 (aired May 4, 2011)
5. “The Quicksand Girlfriend” - 21:32 (aired April 13, 2011)
6. “Why Can’t You Read Me?” - 21:35 (aired August 24, 2011)
7. “Of Mice & Jazz-Kwon-Do” - 21:24 (aired May 4, 2011)
8. “Mein Coming Out” - 21:09 (aired April 20, 2011)
9. “Your Couples Friends and Neighbors” - 21:10 (aired April 20, 2011)
10. “You’ve Got Male” - 21:38 (aired May 11, 2011)
11. “The Girl with the David Tattoo” - 21:00 (aired May 11, 2011)
12. “Like Father, Like Gun” - 21:26 (aired April 27, 2011)
13. “The Shershaw Redemption” - 21:27 (aired May 25, 2011)
The packaging has a thin outer box that holds a case inside. Both the box and case have the same artwork for the cover and back. The cover art is primarily in blue. The show logo is on the cover art, with The Complete First Season line in lowercase white lettering all the way on the top. Below the show logo we have a shot of the main cast sitting at what seems like a restaurant. Dave and Alex are standing on opposite sides. The back of the box and case have details on the series and set, along with special features and technical details. There are also four nice episodic photos and a nice group cast photo.
When we open the case, we see discs one and two on the left and right panels. There is also one insert promoting the second season premiere on ABC on Wednesday, Sept 28 at 9:30|8:30c. Disc artwork has a blue and red background with cast photos featuring all six friends. Both cast photos are different. Disc one holds episodes 1-7, while disc two holds episodes 8-13. Special features titles are listed on each disc as well. The panels have no artwork, it is plain black. Hopefully for the second season, we get more artwork.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu screen is very cool. We have different headshots of the six stars, starting with Alex (Elisha Cuthbert). We also at the same time have video clips playing on the bottom. It is nicely designed (see images). Background music from the series is playing on the main menu’s background. Anyway, on to the Main Menu, the options are Play All Episodes, Episode Selections, Subtitles, Special Features and Sneak Peeks. Special Features option lists the special features for the disc. Subtitles option gives us the options to have subtitles in English only. The Episode Selections option is very simple; it lists the episode number and title. And Sneak Peeks is only on disc two. This is a simple but efficient menu. I wish we had some screenshots on the episodes menu and perhaps background music on each submenu, but that is not a big deal.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio are excellent. The series aired in HD on ABC this past season, so why wouldn’t it be excellent? The DVD has the video in widescreen and a nice stereo sounding sound. Anything less would be a total disappointment for a current show on DVD. No complaints from me! I have a DVD player that upconverts to HD, so the quality is great. Each episode on this set has 5 chapter stops each, so you can jump to scenes faster. Elisha Cuthbert and the rest of the cast look very good. They are all good looking really. Take a look at a few images (from the Pilot and season finale):
The features are spread out on both discs. First up on disc one we have “Banana Republic Style Preview: The Girls of Happy Endings” (2:18). This looks like it was created for the series before the show premiered last April. Costume designer Keri Smith talks about dressing the good looking ladies and she goes into detail for each character. Then we have “Banana Republic Style Preview: The Guys of Happy Endings” (2:09). This is similar to the girls’ one, but this of course features the three guys. On disc one, we also have seven deleted scenes coming out to about 6 ½ minutes. They run 1:45, 1:17, 0:40, 0:22, 1:03, 0:32, and 0:42. It doesn’t list the episode titles, just scene titles. But if you’re a fan, you’ll know what episode the deleted scene is from. We also have “Outtakes” (4:12) from various episodes and this is of course funny and always nice to have on DVD. The cast seems to be having a lot of fun and they gel well with each other.
On disc two we have more special features. First up, we have the “Mike Relm Remix” (1:26). This shows us scenes from the series with a remix of some of the lines said by the cast. San Francisco's Mike Relm is best known for his audio and video mash-ups, in his live concerts and broadcast work. Then we have the “Mark Douglas Interview with Adam Pally & Casey Wilson” (5:01). This was also promo for when the series was getting ready to launch, so it wasn’t designed especially for this DVD. This is a fun interview though, as it is comical and also has an appearance from the remix guru Mike Relm. I hadn’t seen these before the series premiered, so it is new to me. Then we have another video that was made before the series premiered, “Mark Douglas Parody Theme Song” (1:17). This is pretty funny and was recorded right after the interview with Adam and Casey. It’s a catchy theme! And finally we have six more deleted scenes running approx. 5:15. They run 0:25, 0:50, 0:38, 1:19, 1:11, and 0:39.
“That bitch youuuuung!” This show has the funniest phrases and quotes! There is always something that is created and starts a trend on this show. Gaycist is a perfect example of one. Anyway, this DVD is good and I recommend you watch this series before the second season premieres on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 9:30|8:30c after Modern Family on ABC. It’s going to be a “Modern Happy Hour!” If you have not watched this show yet, you are missing out. If you need to catch-up, then buy this DVD because the episodes just get better and better. The special features weren’t too good because nothing was really specially made for the DVD. I wish we had interview featurettes made for the DVD and perhaps some audio commentaries. I think the deleted scenes were very good. The bloopers were funny and even those videos intended to promote the series before it premiered are good.
The cast is young, hip and funny. Elisha Cuthbert is stunning, while Casey Wilson and Adam Pally have unbelievable funny lines. The dialogue between Damon Wayans, Jr. and Eliza Coupe is priceless to watch. And we are rooting for Elisha and Zachary Knighton’s characters to get back together and that doesn’t have to mean for them to be married. Buy this DVD because you’ll have a happy ending after you finish watching all 13 episodes! Don’t get into a bro-off with anyone while watching, though!
"A Romantic Comedy"
WMV / MOV
"They're Getting Creative"
WMV / MOV
"This is Derek"
WMV / MOV
WMV / MOV
"Wasn't Expecting that"
WMV / MOV
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan on 09/17/11
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