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'Happyland' recap: Happy, schmappy

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “Never Break Character” | Aired Oct 14, 2014

hl1After last week, we were rescued from the dramatic irony wasteland when Lucy finally told, or rather blurted out, that she and Ian are siblings. The episode ended with Ian looking much like we felt when Elena told Lucy, in the same sort of way.

This week, we pick up moments after she dropped the bomb. As Lucy tries to explain to Ian, his rich-kid gene kicks in, and he immediately accuses Lucy of extortion, calling her mother “the queen of happy hour.” He thinks Lucy and Elena are after a payoff. After an indignant rant, Lucy storms off and runs into her mother—who is, at that moment, being evicted from their apartment by phone, despite the park passes she promises to the landlord’s mother.

As Lucy and Elena try to sort out their financial problems, Lucy admits to dreading character training, even hl2though passing would mean paying their rent. The next morning, when she tries to approach Ian during the training, he blows her off to make time with a cheesy mermaid in an obvious attempt to get back at her. Lucy, on the other hand, is only interested in fast-tracking her training, but is shut down by the instructor, who takes character training very seriously. Luckily she has Will and his loyal-as-a-puppy devotion to help her study.

When Will bails out of studying to be with Harper, Lucy has to enlist her mom’s help. They decide to hl4study in a crowded, noisy restaurant, naturally. While Dirty Dave defends princess feminism in the next booth over, and Ian fawns over the mermaid from class by the pool tables, Lucy frets about how her mother is going to survive without her. They are laying it on a little thick with the role-reversal bit, but I assume some big epiphany is coming for Elena, so I’m willing to bear with it as they constantly remind us how dependent she is on Lucy.

While Lucy studies, Harper and Will go on their surprise date, where Harper tries to make up to Will her hl5nasty behavior from the party last week. They start to make out in the haunted house, but instead stumble upon what looks like a homeless-person orgy. The mood is understandably stymied, and is further dampened when Will suggests they meet up with Lucy. Harper huffs and stomps off, and Will suggests punching himself in the face. I vote for Harper taking the punch, though.

Back in training, Lucy warns Ian of the mermaid’s “barnacles” (read: STDs). He continues to be a giant ass, still disbelieving what she told him. In a pretty predictable turn of events, Ian and Lucy are paired to improv the dance together, and after some mildly hostile banter, Ian drops her on the floor. This happens right in time for his brother, Theodore, to disdainfully shake his head at the scene and scold Lucy for not keeping Ian in line.

hl6When Lucy discovers her mother is no longer scheduled to play Princess Audriana, she goes to Theodore for answers, threatening to not help with Ian if he doesn’t keep Elena as the princess. Theodore agrees to keep Elena as Princess Audriana, but only if Ian passes his own character training, which nobody thinks he can. Worried about Lucy’s chances of passing and paying their rent to avoid eviction, Elena even goes to the training instructor, Jack, to try to get special treatment. It’s obvious their past is preventing him from doing her any favors, and I am predicting a love story between the two of them.

While both Ian and Lucy should be in their evaluations, Ian is stomping around, contemplating Lucy’s hl7bombshell. He even asks his brother if he thinks their dad could cheat. Theodore admits that their dad did cheat, but the testosterone is so thick in that scene, it’s hard to make out what else is said.

However, this bit of revelation is enough for Ian to soften toward Lucy—but Will, dressed as Ricky Raccoon, doesn’t fare as well. Ian baits him into an argument, and Ricky, er, Will, goes nuts on Prince Valor/Ian. Their instructor sees the whole thing. A slew of emotional confrontations ensues, resulting in Harper breaking up with Will and Lucy recounting the emotional story of their dad’s affair with her mom.

hl11Ian and Lucy pass their character tests, and a weird goodbye follows. It might just be me, but I swear that the writers want us to ship the brother and sister. Does it make me a terrible person that I want them together, and I sort of want Harper to fall down a well?

Now is as good a time as any to make some predictions. What do y’all see coming?

Happyland airs Tuesdays at 11/10C on MTV.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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