This week’s episode of Happy Endings got an interesting note on one of the many blogs of the Center for American Progress. It comments on short sentences related to the housing crisis and leaves out what I see as being their bigger political commentary of the episode: the vision boards. Elize Coupe’s character, Jane, depicts the vision board as something in which you put all your aspirations and the universe makes it happen. Notably absent is any mention of working for your goals and that is exactly where the humor of the episode comes from.
Casey Wilson’s character, Penny, decides to make one vision board for herself while Adam Pally’s character, Max, makes his vision board while making a mockery of the process. Jane decides to prove to Penny that vision boards work and starts working to create the Penny’s vision board elements. When Penny finds that out she creates a second vision board with more outrageous elements so that Jane would have a harder time crafting those desires.
This interaction can be read as a commentary on the political culture of entitlement that is being currently display at Zuccotti Park, McPherson Square, the Greek protests over austerity measures and so on. Penny’s vision board would be the basket of goods that the State promises to its citizens at an apparent price tag of being free. When Penny realizes that these goods are being supplied to her for free and being paid by Jane, she demands more and more until Jane admits her wrongdoing. That is the behavior that is created by an entitlement culture. Individuals start to ask the State for things that are on their own vision board, be it 30-hour work week, socialist society, student loans bailouts, camping where is illegal to camp and so on.
The show caries this classic liberal message of hard work and difference assimilation, in that aspect I agree with Alyssa Rosenberg. The fact that Max is homosexual and Damon Wayans Jr’s Brad is African-American does not restrict the character’s personality to either characteristic, quite the opposite. The show utilizes those characteristics to show individuals that are confident enough about themselves to joke about it and it is done with great success. All in all, it is a great show.