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Happy Endings explore relationships
Happy Endings explore relationships

Late-night American comedy Happy Endings moves at such a fast pace it leaves its cast members exhausted.

"I want to go home and mellow out," said Zachary Knighton, whose character Dave was dumped at the altar by Alex at the start of season one.

"You get here and you get your script and think 'I can't believe I have to say all those words today'."

Knighton and the rest of the cast had just returned from a three-week break the day we met on location at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.

"We are not at war but it's a hard job; we're not on the front lines but we are on the front lines of comedy fighting the good fight," joked Casey Wilson, who plays Penny.

Plenty has changed since we left the characters at the end of season two, most notably, that Dave and Alex, played by Elisha Cuthbert, are back together.

"Zach and I were really excited about it because we hadn't really got to show viewers what it was like for these two to be together, so it was more material to tackle and have fun with," Cuthbert said.

"It is really great for Dave's character, particularly because you really get to see why he was with my character, how we are very similar in a lot of ways. It has been a lot of fun."

The reunion has, however, exposed how dumb both characters are.

"Dave has really become dumb this year, in the best possible way," Knighton said. "I know Alex has all of a sudden become a believer in weird things like cobras, mythical creatures and ghosts. She is really afraid of ghosts. And Dave is just a dumb-dumb. Passionate, misguided, so emotional and earnest - and dumb."

Hapless Penny started the season in full body plaster but even a protective helmet couldn't scare off her new boyfriend, Pete, who viewers first met last week.

"He's really, really cute, that's number one about Pete," Wilson said.

"He's very nice and seems to want to put up with Penny's quirks and says he loves how weird she is. So if anything, I think Penny should be so thankful she got this man. It's unbelievable; she should hold on to him."

This leaves Max as the single of the group, aka the new Penny.

Pop culture references about everything from Misery to Wang Chung abound, with many delivered by Adam Pally's Max.

"You had an episode where you said 'I think I'm going to exit through the gift shop' and I thought that was so great," Cuthbert said.

"That's such a cool and classic underground documentary about awesome (Banksy) art, it fitted so well in the scene and yet it had that secondary meaning to it which I just loved as well."

"That's something that sets us apart; other shows are afraid to do that, they want to make sure if the show is broadcast 20 years from now you'll get the references," Pally said.

"I think a testament to our show is it can be broadcast 20 years from now and the references, while being part of the joke, the show doesn't hinge on them."

Dave and Alex reuniting and Penny getting a boyfriend pose no threat to the show's uber-competitive married couple Jane and Brad, played by Eliza Coupe and Damon Wayans Jr.

Coupe and Wayans are also referred to as the show's "dirty couple" and lived up to their reputation, with most of what we spoke about unprintable.

"We shoot an X-rated show, they always have to have someone with a bathrobe, we take our clothes off and come in completely naked," Coupe said.

"I fight like a kid; they have to put my robe on me," Wayans added. "Earlier on I was running naked out of my trailer."

"He has figured out a way to be pixelated in real life so you don't even see it; he carries a pixelated thing in front of him," Coupe joked.