One Big Happy: A New Definition of Family

F. Scott Schafer/NBC
F. Scott Schafer/NBC

Before we dive into this wondrous fun-filled-farmers-market of an episode, we need to acknowledge the fact that Elisha Cuthbert can pull off overalls better than any individual should be able to. I’m not jealous…I’m very jealous.

This week’s episode of One Big Happy, “Flight Risk,” explored Luke’s new split-responsibility of living with two women, one of whom is his wife, and the other who is his best friend — that happens to be pregnant with his child. That’s not exactly your run of the mill roommate drama.

Luke, Prudence, and Lizzy went on a “Sunday Funday” trip to the farmers’ market. While this was exactly Lizzy’s kind of trip (see the wonderful gif of her dancing below which captures exactly what I mean), Prudence felt like their lives could be a bit more exciting. I don’t know about you, but Lizzy’s fanny pack was prettttty wild by itself.


Prudence has been feeling restless. She wanted adventure and fun. She wants to skydive and jump off cliffs. And Luke wants to do whatever Prudence wants to ensure that she’s happy in their marriage…and Lizzy doesn’t want him to die while doing so. By the end of the episode, they all agreed that they needed to find a middle ground for their group activities, and Lizzy needed to let Prudence get to know her new husband.

Besides the fact that I’m pretty sure I have convinced myself that I need a pair of overalls for the summer, there is another takeaway from this episode. Let me explain. Luke and Lizzy are your average bromance on a sitcom. They are the duo that have known each other for a lengthy period of time – 30 years to be exact. The foundation of their relationship, while adorable, is nothing new. It’s a trope.

However, what is new —and yep, I’m bringing it right back to her sexuality, because I can — is that Lizzy is a lesbian and her best friend is a man. If she were straight, the trope would play out as planned. Lizzy and Luke would end up together, they would raise their child, and they would live happily ever after — in that trope. Now, that can’t happen. Lizzy will not do that. They will forever be two separate families merging as one. When have we seen this before? Oh, that’s right. We haven’t.

I want nothing more than to see this show do well. I know a lot about the portrayal of lesbians on television — I have been researching this for a little over a year now — and I can say that I really, really, really want this show to succeed. I want it to change the course of television. Lesbians as lead characters? Let’s make this happen. At this moment the only thing pulling down One Big Happy is its tropes. There is not a single reason why this show can’t move past them and succeed.

Overheard at the accent wall:

  • “Good news: My morning sickness is finally over. Even better news: I had a great dream about me and Beyonce.” — Evverryone, including Lizzy, loves Beyonce.
  •  “I’ve never seen anybody grind to easy listening before.” — Prudence is amazed at Lizzy’s ability to dance to any kind of music (and be completely adorable and amazing at it).
  • “Purple cauliflower brings all the boys to the yard.” — Lizzy’s excitement over the farmers market knows no bounds.
  • “Oh just wait. We haven’t even gotten into the lettuces yet, this is just the tip — yep, I’m gonna say it — of the iceberg.” — Lizzy explains their plans for the day. Also, puns are always relevant to life.
  • “To sum it up, if Prudence wasn’t so obsessed with her thrill seeking, Luke and I would have a classic ‘Sunday Funday’ and I wouldn’t be stuck eating store bought carrots like a common whore!” — Lizzy hilariously explains her issue about leaving the farmers’ market.
  • “Technically lesbians can, they just don’t want to.” — Luke corrects Marcus saying that Lizzy could sleep with him, but she doesn’t want to — while also creating a new tagline for being a lesbian.
  • “You’re creating your own definition of family.” — Prudence tells Luke and Lizzy that what they’re doing is brave and sums up the series as a whole.

Are you enjoying One Big Happy as much as we are? Do you think it can avoid falling into the old, played out tropes? Sound off in the comments section below.

One Big Happy airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBC.