The creators of Happy Endings crafted an all-new episode featuring original cast members Elisha Cuthbert, Zachary Knighton, Damon Wayans Jr., Eliza Coupe, Adam Pally and Casey Wilson. After premiering it on Sony Pictures Television’s YouTube channel Monday, the cast and creator David Caspe participated in a Q&A during which they essentially volunteered to return to the show.
“We literally just did it for free on our computer,” Caspe said of the online episode, which also served as a benefit to raise money for World Central Kitchen and Color of Change. It had raised over $11,000 by the end of the episode, and over $14,000 by the end of the Q&A. Sony Pictures and the series’ team reportedly made additional donations.
Moderator Damian Holbrook wrapped the post-episode Q&A by asking the cast what it would take for them to return to the series, which ran on ABC for three seasons from 2011-2013. Negotiations between Sony Pictures TV and several outlets to continue the show did not result in a deal.
“Everybody wants to do it,” Caspe said, with the cast members affirming. “Everybody is sort of in a different place as far as getting everybody together, making it work business-wise for all these different companies. I know we’re all willing and want to do it. I know it’d be fun. Yeah, we want to do it, man. Anyone out there? I think we all want to do it.”
The new episode reunited the cast in a six-way Zoom call. Caspe acknowledged that shows like Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock paved the way. “A bunch of other people did it first so we thought maybe we could do it too,” he said.
Caspe said he reunited the Happy Endings writers room over Zoom and pitched the script. They initially planned to do a table read over Zoom, but once they started writing, they decided to present the show in character. Caspe also said it became easy to imagine where the Happy Endings gang was in 2020.
“The characters are, because of this cast, so clearly drawn, it came together quickly,” Caspe said.
The episode opens with Penny (Wilson) drinking wine out of a straw and Zooming with Max (Pally). Max is house-sitting and surviving on edibles, so he is already high when the episode begins. Jane (Coupe) joins in wearing mask, goggles, gloves and protective gear while spraying down her house with disinfectant. Alex (Cuthbert) accidentally joins the Zoom during a DJ session. Brad (Wayans) is stuck at a hotel in Florida where he was on business when the quarantine began.
Dave (Knighton) is unaware of the virus because he has been on a social media distancing retreat in Joshua Tree with Jared Leto and others.
Throughout the call, viewers learns that Alex is a COVID-19 denier, Dave is planning to open a restaurant next week and Penny is dating a doctor. The six-way dialogue manages to reference recent phenomena like Carole Baskin of Tiger King, Fyre Fest, the movie Parasite, the HBO series I Know This Much Is True and the celebrity “Imagine” video.
The show concludes with more character developments for Alex and Penny that Happy Endings could follow in a streaming season or film.
Although its not airing on broadcast, Sony still bleeped out F-words spoken by Coupe. “It felt great,” Coupe said. “[It’s a] great release for Jane. She needs to get those F-bombs out.”
A replay of the episode and Q&A are available on Sony Pictures Television’s YouTube channel.