This is the first Happy Endings episode I can think of that didn’t really have a distinct b or c story, and frankly, it could have used one. If only the person working at the newsstand had been Claire Forlani! Alas, it was merely a teenage boy with long hair. As such, the entire episode revolved entirely around the gang’s reaction to Max’s hunky perfect boyfriend-of-two-weeks Grant. It turns out, Grant is so perfect, what with his ideal brow thickness and spot-on vest/tie combination, that normally chillaxed Max is losing his goddamn mind.
“At one point I called appetizers ‘mappetizers,’” he remembers with horror, explaining, “He’s different than the freaks you guys normally date!” After meeting him in person, the gang quickly falls for Grant, enchanted by his ability to fix a garbage disposal jammed with an entire chicken (“I can’t help it. I love the sound of bones crunching,” Alex cheerily explains. “I’m like a god; I can destroy life.”), his tendency to get shirtless and his personal mantra: para hoy! “I mean, living for today goes against all my instincts,” Jane squeals, but somehow Grant still inspired her to splurge on…a pack of new batteries. Has everybody gone insane?
Grant is so awesome; almost everyone is ready to declare him coolest guy in the group. Everyone except Dave, of course, who knows in his heart the identity of the true coolest. “The guy at the deli?” Penny muses. “Well, I guess he’s not really in our group.” Nay, clearly it is Dave, he of the indoor scarf and food truck that is technically a car filled with ovens. “My shirt is made completely of bug inks, and I’m proud of it,” he declares, slipping on his shades to do a little “David Caruso-ing.” Later Penny is shocked to find a shirtless Dave crouching in her living room, fixing a doorknob. “I was crouching, and you know how heat lowers,” he explains. Dave is by far the weakest of the Happy Endings characters, and this episode…well, I felt real pity for him. Pity, and a mild discomfort. Only a desperate man wears an indoor scarf.
Meanwhile, not dating a freak for once is Penny! Girl is currently smitten with Sean, a person who no one wants to hear about, ever. Despite the fact that Brad and Jane are allegedly desperate to find a couple to befriend (who isn’t boring or trying to sleep with them), they eventually blow off Penny and Sean for the dream lover friend that is Grant. “I used to think Michael Caine was perfect, until I meant Grant,” Brad swoons.
As is the way with all sitcoms, all this Grant love has convinced Max that it is only a mater of time before he gets dumped hardcore, thus convincing him that he is the one that must do the dumping. Luckily Alex is around to gently explain Max’s insanity to himself. “Do not use your dime-store psych…oh god, that’s exactly right,” he gasps. The whole thing comes to a head when the entire gang (plus Sean, whoever that is) crash Max’s breakup dinner with Grant. Here’s the thing: I love an episode that brings together all its threads at the end as much as the next person. However, when those threads are actually just part of the same larger thread, and that larger thread consists of everyone tersely screaming over each other? It’s a little unrelenting. As Cool Dave might have said, “Did I or did I not call for an across the board chillaxing?” I wish we could have had a plotline about Alex’s racist parrot again instead, just to give us some breathing room. Seriously though, where that parrot go? What he up to now?
Eventually Grant breaks down and reveals that he has been busting his ass trying to impress Max’s friends this entire time, but they are simply too much. Max realizes Grant isn’t perfect. Rather, Grant is in fact super-needy, a flaw which then allows Max to love him again. Sean reveals that he would totally love a “ménage a four” with Penny, Brad and Jane, who sadly must decline. And when no one watches, Dave does one cool trick on his new motorcycle (which hours earlier fell on top of him). At least we saw it, Dave. You sad, sad bastard.
Max: “This is no time for jokes, you guys, especially when I’m the fattest I’ve ever been. How could you let me out of the house looking this fat?”
Penny: “We didn’t have a choice!”
Brad: “It’s your body!”
Penny “But did I date Diddy? I’ll never tell! No.”
Dave: “It’s foosball. They’re all bicycle kicks.”