Halloween may be just around the corner (I was in a store the other day and they were playing Christmas carols. Ugh. Can't they just wait until Nov. 1?), but there are still a few shows that need to make their returns to the fall lineup. For ABC, they may have saved the best for last (sorry, I'm not counting the November premieres of "Last Man Standing" and "Malibu Country").
"Happy Endings" and "Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23" may be the alphabet net's most outrageous comedies, and teaming them up was ingenious. I did enjoy the convenience of back-to-back-to-back viewings/recordings of "Suburgatory," "Modern Family" and both "Happy" and "Don't Trust" (I can't stand "The Middle," sorry), but to be honest, it's the more mainstream, safer laughs of "Modern" that don't fit. But at the same time, I can't imagine the Emmy winner anywhere else but Wednesday nights at 9.
When "Happy" first premiered last year, it was wrongly compared to "Friends." Yes, there are six pals involved, but that's where the similarity ends. Wait, scratch that. You know how on "Friends," you could pair any of the characters off in different combinations, and they all oozed chemistry and, most importantly, made sense? Same goes for the "Happy" six.
Now entering its third season, the inside jokes, each character's quirks, and their frenzied, rapid-fire delivery hits our funny bones hard, and the show only gets wackier (but doesn't fall off the rails into over-the-top territory). My only complaint (though I'm sure many people are loving): Penny (Casey Wilson) liking Dave (Zachary Knighton), and maybe vice versa. Just ... no. I don't see it. That doesn't mean I necessarily believe that Dave and Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) are the end game, but I buy them as a couple so much more. And while Jane (Eliza Coupe) teeters on the fine line between funny and annoying, her marriage to Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.) grounds her. Oh, and as far as Max (Adam Pally) goes, he can do no wrong.
Moving on to "Don't Trust," there were early concerns that Chloe (Krysten Ritter) was too big a, well, B, but I never thought so. It was more aloofness and selfishness that drove her -- nothing malicious -- and Chloe and June (Dreama Walker) have grown believable as both roommates and friends. But it's James Van Der Beek who steals every scene he's in. I love how clueless he is, and his "Dancing With the Stars" storyline was awesome. He even makes stalker girl Robin (Liza Lapira) and Peeping Tom Eli (Michael Blaiklock) bearable.
Sadly, "Happy" and "Don't Trust" have a huge obstacle on their hands with their new timeslot. The two comedies are up against TV's more famous, bigger-eyed, not-quite-as-dark-haired-but-close funnywoman and the incomparable Mindy Kaling, and I'm not sure the "Happy" six or TV's biggest B stand a chance.
Thankfully, Canadians don't have to make this Sophie's Choice since Citytv carries all four shows, but City is keeping its Tuesday night Fox-y (with the exception of this week where -- thanks to a last-minute revision -- "The Mindy Project" will be pre-empted for one week by the return of "Don't Trust"; "Happy" premiered Sunday night) and airing the ABC shows before the network. Here's hoping ABC sees the light, throws "The Neighbors" to the wolves and both "Happy" and "Don't Trust" can split the difference and go back where they belong on Wednesday nights. Then maybe, all the comedies that night (yes, even "The Middle") can somehow partake in an awesome crossover event.
'Happy Endings' premieres Sunday, Oct. 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET on Citytv and Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC; 'Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23' premieres Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 9:30 p.m. ET on Citytv/ABC but returns to its regular Monday at 9:30 p.m. timeslot on Oct. 29.
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