Happy Endings (ABC)
Stars: Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert, Zachary Knighton, Adam Pally, Damon Wayans Jr., Casey Wilson
Status: The third season premieres October 23 at 9 p.m.
We know you all love The New Girl, but there's another quirky, 20-somethings ensemble sitcom on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. that's equally (if not more) deserving of your attention. ABC's surprise 2011 mid-season replacement hit has blossomed into a hilarious, fast, and furiously funny pop culture one-liner comedy machine.
Happy Endings is unquestionably a Friends-for-the-present, and so far it has risen to the challenge. Like Friends, the Chicago-set exploits of the six BFFs kicked things off with a failed wedding between two group members, with a premise centered on the gang's attempts to stay tight in lieu of that. Thankfully, all of that drama was put to the wayside so the series could focus on the essentials: namely the antics of six self-possessed people who commiserate in their self-possession.
The series has already spawned breakout performances from Adam Pally as slacker Max, the most non-stereotypical gay character on TV, and Damon Wayans Jr. as effete businessman Brad. In addition, it's mined great performances from typically non-comedic actors Zach Knighton and Elisha Cuthbert as the doomed, equally dim-witted couple at the group's center. If the rhythm-finding second season is any indicator, then the upcoming third should be a riot, ratings war be damned.