Happy Together Series Premiere Review: Premise Makes for a Strange Outcome

Happy Together premiered this past Monday and created quite a stir, knowing it was loosely based on executive producer Harry Styles’ own story. The sitcom stars Damon Wayans Jr. as Jake and Amber Stevens West as Claire, a young, married couple living a “basic” lifestyle. That is, until rock star Cooper James (Felix Mallard), presumably Harry Styles’ fictional counterpart, knocks on their door.

Struck by paparazzi and tabloids after Cooper’s break up with his girlfriend, he runs straight to his accountant’s house, Jake, for refuge. Over the course of the week, the three become unlikely friends under very weird circumstances. By the end of the first episode, Claire and Jake ultimately decide for Cooper to move into their household to get a taste of “normal” living. Although it sounds slightly more original than many of the other new sitcoms premiering this season, Happy Together’s scenario seems entirely unlikely and makes for a bizarre setup for a comedy series.

Damon Wayans Jr. and Amber Stevens West have such great chemistry onscreen. From the very beginning of the show, their presence and banter are relatable. However, throwing in Cooper James, though it’s the scenario of the entire series, throws off this dynamic. They’re now hellbent on proving they’re “the cool adults” downing shots left and right and overstating they’re just a few years older than James himself.

I don’t know too many artists personally, but how many would actually run to their accountant’s house versus a close friend? How close were Jake and Cooper prior to Cooper coming over to the couple’s house? It seems like an odd match. Certainly, they could have promoted Damon’s work position to something higher up? Tour manager, maybe? It felt all too odd for someone to run to an accountant it’s probably the most unrealistic aspect of the show is all I’m saying.

The pilot felt rushed for its 30-minute time slot. It felt as if it didn’t really give us a background of any of the characters other than a quick glimpse of their lifestyle, some of which included recording voicemails via landline phone (who even owns those anymore?) to receiving frequent visits from Claire’s retired parents who happen to enjoy alcohol. With small laughable moments, the characters’ story didn’t seem to stick. 

Very curious to see where the writers and producers decide to take the show over the course of the next few episodes. 

Happy Together airs every Monday at 8:30/7:30c on CBS. 



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