Meet the Characters of HAPPY ENDINGS - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Meet the Characters of HAPPY ENDINGS

April 13, 2011 by  

This season, nearly every network has debuted a show featuring couples in different stages of their relationship and ABC gets its turn tonight with the series debut of HAPPY ENDINGS.

So what makes this series different? Despite the title, don’t think all these couples are happy together — the pilot begins with Dave (Zachary Knighton) getting left at the altar by his longtime girlfriend, Alex (Elisha Cuthbert). Give Me My Remote hit up the set to chat with series stars Knighton, Cuthbert, Eliza Coupe (Jane), Damon Wayans Jr. (Brad), Adam Pally (Max) and Casey Wilson (Penny) about their characters…


As the unlucky guy left standing at the alter after his fiancee ditched him for a dude on rollerskates, Dave spends the beginning portion of the pilot pouting until he’s prompted back into the dating scene when a friend tells him Alex went on their honeymoon with another guy. But Dave’s arc this season isn’t solely revolving around his breakup, according to Knighton.

“We sort of take one or two episodes on [the broken engagement] and then we move on and then it becomes about the crazy adventures they get themselves into,” he said. “There’s definitely that tension, but he’s definitely trying to move on with his life…I did think they’d dwell on the Alex stuff, but we have moved on.”

Sure enough, viewers will see that Dave isn’t lonely for long.

“My character has been dating a lot,” Knighton said. “We had Bre Blair [on the show], who I love and I’ve worked with before. She’s been kicking around for a while. She came on and she was a love interest of mine and we ended up making a sex tape, so my first network sex tape.”


Considering Alex leaves Dave at the altar, it would be easy to hate her immediately. But according to Cuthbert, the show will be exploring more of why Alex did what she did in the first couple of episodes of the series.

“We do spend at least three or four episodes finding a way to redeem my character and somewhat explain the confusion and why it all happened,” Cuthbert said. “I think people will like how I explain myself…but yeah, that was a big conversation between the creator, the writers and myself going, ‘Look, we gotta find a way to explain where she was coming from.’ You can’t just all assume the audience will go, ‘Oh great, she’s back in the group!’ And Dave and I have a lot of moments throughout the next few episodes as we try and figure out how that relationship is going to be and how we get there…you’re going to see the transition and the process for sure.”

“She’s a little frazzled in the opening pilot, but as I’ve gotten to play her it’s been a blast. There’s a lightness to her, this feeling that she never really puts too much thought into anything, she never overanalyzes stuff, she’s very light-hearted and a lot of fun to play. It’s been really fun so far. A lot different than I’m used to playing which is nice.”


Coupe plays Jane, Alex’s sister, but she revealed to us that she originally went after the role of Alex.

“Actually, I was going in for the Alex role and then I was testing for a bunch of other pilots and actually decided not to do it because I had too much on my plate, but then they were like, ‘They want to meet with you,’” Coupe recalled. “So then I went in for the Alex role in the meeting – just this general meeting – with all of them they were like, ‘We want to talk to you about the role of Jane,’ and I’m like, ‘No you don’t ‘cause I don’t want to talk about the role of Jane.’  But then I kind of fell in love with [the role] because she is my mother.”

So who is Jane?

“[Jane] wants everything to be perfect,” Couple said. “I’m married to Brad.  We’ve all been friends forever and because I want everything to be perfect, this whole idea of my sister’s beautiful, amazing wedding and our best friends and everyone’s going to be happy together and them breaking up is like my worst nightmare.  It drives me to drink.”

But more than drinking, the Dave-Alex breakup rattles Jane and makes her nervous about her own relationship with her husband, Brad.

“[Our relationship] gets a little rocked,” Coupe said. “We just had an episode where it’s very apparent that it did rattle me, but my character’s a little obsessive so if one thing goes wrong, ‘OK we’re breaking up now, oh my God.’ But I think it definitely rattles Jane, for sure.  But they’re solid.  They’re a great couple.”


Poor Brad, he’s really the sanest and most put-together person in this group of friends…something he is well aware of.

“He was friends with Dave first, like in college and he met – I guess – [Jane] through Dave,” Wayans Jr. said. “I’m not as emotionally open to play around.  I’d rather just have everybody always have good times, but everybody is always going through something and I usually try to come up with solutions for them, but they usually backfire on me because it’s the stuff I would do to help me and not necessarily my crazy friends.”

And from the way Wayans lays out the character, it seems like the crazy friends really cause the most conflict in Brad’s life.

“Brad is one of those guys who’s always had a job, he’s really good at working — like climbing the ladder comes easy to him,” he said. “His problem is dealing with his crazy friends.  He’s the most grounded out of everyone and keeps trying to figure out why he’s friends with everybody that’s crazy.”


When Dave becomes single, Max quickly becomes his roommate. As for his love life, he’s openly gay, but refreshingly, the series doesn’t make a huge deal about it.

“I think that that’s the point — I think you’re not supposed to know that Max is gay,” Pally said. “I think Max is just like anyone else, his sexual preference is just dudes. My friends who are gay, you’d never be able to pick them out of a lineup.”

According to Pally, Max’s sexual preference played no part in his decision to take the role.

“The fact that Max is gay, I didn’t even really think about it,” he said. “Max is funny. That to me is funny. I think you’d treat Max’s storylines the same way you would if he’s straight. There are definitely Max dating [story]lines and you play it the same way you’d play a heterosexual love story. I think that’s really real. I don’t like other shows where the gay character is The Gay Character and every storyline is, ‘ We’re going to pick out wallpaper patterns!’ Gay people are the same as straight people.”


As the resident single gal, Penny is a hopeless romantic. “Initially, I really loved the idea of a character who was looking for love but really positive and not super desperate or too harsh,” Wilson said. “I think a lot of the times, male writers will write a female character where you’re like, ‘I don’t recognize that at all.’ But I think she loves love and I think she puts herself out there too much, which I do too, so she she won’t accept no sometimes and she has questionable judgment, but I think she’s a good person and she just wants to find love.”

How bad is her questionable judgment? “She goes out with a guy who is perfect, but whose last name is Hitler,” Wilson said. “Her last name is Harts, so it’s Penny Harts Hitler if they get married. But she’s fine with it. She can look past a lot of things. And then sometimes — there’s this one episode where she’s doing laundry and she’s in a crazy laundry day outfit so this hipster gets into her because he thinks she’s a hipster, so she throws herself into the world of being a hipster. So she kind of shapeshifts with different kinds of guys. But she’s a good person, too, and if the feeling isn’t right, she breaks up with them.”

Will you be tuning in to the series premiere of HAPPY ENDINGS with back-to-back episodes starting at 9:30 PM on ABC?

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