“One Big Happy” recap (1.2): The Hurt Closet


I have to say I was surprised by the comments on last week’s recap.  Except for a couple outliers on either end of the spectrum—who I presume are respectively Ellen’s biggest fan and Liz Feldman’s bitterest ex—the overwhelming response to One Big Happy’s premiere was a resounding “meh.” Which I get; I mean, that was my response, too. But I was shocked at how many commenters said they would give the show a couple more chances to knock their socks off, and if it failed, they’d just change the channel to one of 20 more shows with lesbian characters that air on Tuesday (deliberate exaggeration). It says a lot about how far we’ve come that we can afford to be picky.

But now I’m in the awkward and unfamiliar position of being out-criticed by my own readers. Because in spite of myself, I liked episode two of OBH.

We pick back up several weeks after episode one, effectively leap-frogging over any second thoughts the characters might have had about their decisions to get married/have a baby. (This show is determined to be LIGHT AND UNSTRESSFUL, GODDAMMIT. It’s the fascism of adult contemporary radio.) Now that everyone is secure in their panic babies and green card marriages, Prudence thinks it’s a good time to have all her stuff sent over from England.

There is a criminally unfunny bit about Pru’s “granny’s cock,” which turns out to be a ceramic rooster.


That moment seems as good an opportunity as any to address the OBH writers directly.

Dear OBH writers,

Write for the audience you want, not the one you are never going to lure away from Two and a Half Men reruns anyway.

Anyway, Lizzy graciously allows Prudence to keep all her stuff around, especially since it was Lizzy who “insisted” they all live together. Prudence asks if she can use the hall closet, BUT NO SHE CANNOT, for it is the sacred resting place of the possessions of Lizzy’s ex.

And that’s when the episode gets interesting for me. Lizzy and Erica broke up three years ago, when Erica slept with their Pilates instructor on Lizzy’s birthday. Despite being an empirically terrible person, Lizzy still hoards Erica’s workout clothes, tears up whenever “I Will Always Love You” comes on the radio, and regularly checks her relationship status on all extant forms of social media. So, typical lesbian breakup. Even Luke has spent enough time around the Saphically inclined to know that lesbians fall in love like teenagers get tattoos: We put no thought into the decision, cry the entire time, and then are stuck with them for the rest of our lives. Much as it’s an easy joke for anyone who ever watched The L Word, it makes me happy we can add a novel stereotype about ourselves, since cats, flannel, and U-Hauls are all a bit played out. Prudence says she had no idea Lizzy was such an avoider, since it doesn’t really jive with the rest of her Type-A personality.

Lizzy: What? No, I’m not an avoider. I would just rather talk about more pressing issues, like: how bout those supervolcanos? One of those mothers goes off, none of this means nothin.

  1. That was my first real laugh of the episode.
  2. I totally concur and worry about this constantly.

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