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'Happyland' recap: Happy-adjacent

Season 1 | Episode 4 | “Park Maintenance” | Aired Oct 21, 2014

In the final moments of last week’s show, Lucy discovered Harper getting hot and heavy with Ian Chandler. As Lucy stumbles away, stunned, we are left with this big ol’ bag of mixed emotions about what it means for Lucy and her feelings for Ian.

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 9.06.13 AMThis week, we pick up with Ian and Lucy in their new character roles, pretending to be madly in love, but looking more like “madly in awkward,” as Theodore puts it.  Theodore pushes for Lucy to “up the romance quotient” with Ian while they perform, but his creepy pimp vibe is hard to get past.

Lucy gives Harper an icy reception when they see each other at work, but Harper isScreen Shot 2014-10-21 at 9.06.42 AM clueless until Lucy confronts her with what she saw in the tunnels. Lucy acts like she’s upset about the effect it will have on Will, but we all know she’s really just jealous that her possible brother is making out with someone else. She tells Harper to make it right with Will, and she does so by breaking up with him.

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 9.07.14 AMWill has to do the walk of shame out of Happyland with the box of his belongings. Lucy tries to cheer him up by promising to talk to Harper about getting back together. He is reluctant to agree, but when his dreamy dad shows up to give him a little good-natured ribbing, we know we’re supposed to believe Will is going to be OK.

Elena, on the other hand, isn’t faring so well after having been demoted from princess to evil hagScreen Shot 2014-10-21 at 9.07.26 AM. While I can’t connect with her emotional struggle myself, I’m sure we’re supposed to find her sympathetic. Lucy tries to cheer her up, and proposes a girls’ night out, push-up bra and all.

It doesn’t take much convincing, but when they finally get out, they spot James Chandler, and Lucy pushes Elena toward “Monorail Tony,” played by the forever young Simon Rex. Tony has me cringing every time he Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 9.12.30 AMopens his mouth. He actually tells her she has a “dope backyard,” and he didn’t mean her lawn. Elena seems to like the blatant objectification and laughs at his sexual overtones, until he discovers she’s no longer a princess; then he bolts.

Lucy catches up with Harper and discovers she’s on a date with Ian. Lucy lectures, wags her finger, and disapproves, but it doesn’t phase Harper.  When Lucy and Ian get stuck at the topScreen Shot 2014-10-21 at 9.11.59 AM of the roller coaster, she tries to make him break things off with Harper, accusing him of sabotaging Will’s entire life. Lucy is a real drag, and Ian tells her as much. She doesn’t hold back on the guilt as she excuses herself to go hang out with Will.

Elena gets rid of the “princess popper,” Tony, just in time for James to come speak to her. He seems concerned about her recent demotion, but when he starts to flirt with her, an avalanche of weird story arcs plays out in my head. What would it mean for Lucy and Ian if their respective parents were together?

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 9.13.08 AMLucy, self-righteous as ever, goes to hang out with Will at his dad’s bar, and I am charmed by the father-son duo. Will cries into in his fry basket when Lucy breaks the news that Harper has moved on with Ian, but it is short-lived. In a bleak revelation, Will admits to Lucy that he is less sad about losing Harper than he is about losing his job at Happyland. When Will says he’ll never move away or go to college, and that he thought he would always have Happyland, a little piece of my soul dies. Sometimes, the cheesiness of the show overtakes me and I just can’t. I mean it; I just can’t.

Back at the apartment, Elena returns home, giddy, but Lucy won’t stand for it. SheScreen Shot 2014-10-21 at 9.13.26 AM scowls and scolds, and again slut-shames her own mom. Lucy is grumpy because everything is changing, but it seems like that is exactly what she’s wanted all along. Sometimes, Happyland can’t decide what it wants for its characters, and I find it a little exhausting.

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 9.14.12 AMLucy and Harper make up over the sneeze guard in the cafeteria, and Lucy seems like she’s coming to terms with the new romantic pairings, especially when Will miraculously gets rehired at the park as a security job. There’s a moment when it looks like Will might confess his feelings for Lucy, but they are interrupted by the rando from the party a few episodes ago, Noah. Will chickens out when Noah asks her out, and I could smell his dejection through the screen.

How long are you willing to put up with the pining and longing from Will? What about the will-they-or-won’t-they bit between him and Lucy? Are you rooting for this Noah guy?

Happyland airs Tuesdays at 11 p.m. 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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