Picture this: It’s a typical Saturday night spent on the couch catching up on the latest episode of you and your significant other’s favorite television show when out of nowhere someone rings the doorbell not once… not twice… but a gazillion times, frantically wanting to be let in. Not accustomed to anything other than cuddling and Netflix on Saturday nights you slowly walk to the door, finding worldwide pop sensation, Cooper James, on your doorstep in need or somewhere to crash after a highly sensationalized and messy breakup. This is the opening to the premiere of Harry Styles produced sitcom, Happy Together, that takes inspiration from Harry Styles’ own year and a half living in the attic of Ben Winston, the brain behind some of One Direction’s music videos.
Happy Together follows thirty-something black married couple, Jake (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Claire (Amber Stevens West), as their ordinary suburban lives are dramatically altered by the unexpected arrival of Jake’s accounting client, Cooper James (Felix Mallard), who is in need of somewhere to stay. With a charming and famous pop star in their home, Jake and Claire are rightfully stumped on how to adjust to life with Cooper. For them, typical Saturday nights include watching television, unloading the dishwasher, and creating couple voicemails together, as for Cooper, typical Saturday night include attending luxurious celebrity parties and outings.
However, Jake, Claire, and Cooper soon learn to balance each other out and find solace in each other’s highly different lives and personalities. For Jake and Claire, Cooper is a breath of fresh air and adds an element of fun in their lives that they never thought they needed. For Cooper, his stay with Jake and Claire reminds him of his old peaceful life in Australia which is stark in contrast to his current stressful and transparent life in Hollywood limelight.
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Everything comes to head one night when Jake, Claire, and Cooper go out to the club and end up truly letting loose and having fun, something Jake and Claire haven’t done in what seems like ages. The next morning, however, pictures of Claire and Cooper dancing (with Jake cropped out) are plastered all over social media and the tabloids, with Claire being falsely labelled as Cooper’s new mysterious older woman. Annoyed with their privacy being invaded (between the tabloids and Claire’s parents staying over uninvited to obsess over Cooper), Claire and Jake convince Cooper to mend things with his movie star ex-girlfriend, Sierra (Peyton List.) About a week or so after Cooper moves out, Jake and Claire stumble upon a paparazzi video of Cooper looking miserable during an outing with his girlfriend. Jake and Claire then decide that it would benefit them and Cooper if Cooper came back to live with them. They end up showing up at Cooper’s girlfriend, Sierra’s apartment, and offering Cooper the opportunity to move back in with them, something Cooper is delighted to hear and takes them up on immediately. The episode ends with Cooper, Jake, and Claire sitting on the couch creating a new voicemail jingle that includes all three them.
Beyond this show being a sitcom, Happy Together, on a more analytical note presents an unsatisfied married couple whose desperate to relive their younger and more fun years and a super famous boy (based off of Harry Styles) who is in desperate need of a break from the constant stress of stardom. Together, the three end up balancing each other out with Cooper adding excitement to Jake and Claire’s lives and Jake and Claire allowing Cooper to let his hair down, creating a special bond between them that is more than just a on-the-whim roommate situation. Leading up to Happy Together‘s premiere, many fans of Harry Styles did not want to watch the show because they felt like some of the trailers painted the main character as a womanizer, however the show proves that Cooper James is his own person and only merely based off of Harry Styles.
With constant punchlines detailing the boring lives of Jake and Claire pre-Cooper, and Felix Mallard’s believable portrayal of charming Australian teen heartthrob, Cooper James, Happy Together is a heartwarming sitcom that teaches us all that sometimes the people so different from us can end up helping us become the best versions of ourselves.
Image: IB Times