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Happy Endings: Wait, Which Friends Clone Is That Again?

Happy Endings premieres tonight (ABC, 9:30), and it’s the fifth Friends-esque romance-oriented comedy to debut this season. (NBC is still sitting on Love Bites and Friends with Benefits, though, so it may well hit lucky number seven before the fall.) Happy is the liveliest of the bunch — though compared to the already-canceled Perfect Couples, that’s not saying much — and it’s the only one attempting any kind of edginess. Still, these shows all have an awful lot in common, which becomes clear in our handy breakdown chart.

  Happy Endings Better with You Mad Love Perfect Couples Traffic Light
Six Main Characters    
Jaded Married Couple Who Roll Eyes at Lovey-Dovey New Couple  
Single, Caddish Guy Pal      
Whipped Guy  
Intense, Controlling Woman  
Neurotic Single Gal      
Discussion or Planning of Weddings    
Ah, Parenthood      
Ah, Siblinghood  
Female Character With a Name Ending in "Y" or "IE" Penny Maddie Connie Amy Callie
Male Character With Traditional, One-Syllable Name Dave, Max, Brad Ben, Joel Ben Dave, Vance, Rex Mike
May As Well Be Filmed on the How I Met Your Mother Set      
Nowhere Near As Good As Its Lead-in
Photo: Courtesy of ABC