It's been a long time since I created a Hottie Awards list, but I think it couldn't be more perfect to return to that column now, as Happy Endings has broken up its betrothed but maybe not quite beloved couple, Penny (Casey Wilson) and Pete (Nick Zano).
Sidebar: Now that Pete is out of the picture I can say how I really feel about him without insulting the writers: he was freakin' dull and not nearly good enough for Penny. He was vanilla, even with his weird goatee and reggae obsession, and his friends were even worse. He was cute, and he was very easy-going, but where's the excitement in that? If they would have gotten married, he would have dragged her down to dullsville, too, or worse: she would have lost her mind trying so hard to make things interesting, we'd find her rocking in a corner, wide-eyed but staring at nothing, mumbling "suh kewt" at a clearly not at all cute thing he just did. All of that seems to be on purpose now, to show why they weren't right for each other and why she had no choice but to break it off before she got in too deep-- but I admit, I was worried for a bit there!
But anyway... Penny is single again, and that's all that really matters. After her break-up-- being the one to actually call things off, for once, and call something so serious and seemingly all she ever wanted off to boot-- Penny still spiraled with her play and thinking she was the relationship jinx, much like their old friend Shershow's fiance thought Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) was the wedding jinx. Penny will undoubtedly rebound (and we already know one expected bad boyfriend of the week coming up with be Rob Corddry's Car Czar), and I have quite a few handsome faces I'd like to see added to the list.
Sidebar 2: Yes, I know Happy Endings has wrapped for the season and with only four episodes left to air, the focus isn't all on Penny anyway. But if and when a fourth season comes around-- and it better!-- these guys should turn up. Because even if you want to see Penny and Dave (Zachary Knighton) eventually happen, they're just not ready yet. It took Monica and Chandler a few seasons to recognize their compatibility on Friends, too, you know!
So, David Caspe, Jonathan Groff, and the rest of the @HappyWrites staff, I present to you some potential castings for Penny's new beaus (with a few ideas for them) so you can get to crafting creative characters a.s.a.p. And you know what? If you are planning to push a Penny/Dave thing up, then these guys could also work for Max. I'm not picky, as long as I get to see their pretty and talented faces on my favorite show sometime soon!
Adan Canto - I hate to rip off Will & Grace-- or type-cast an actor-- but for some reason, I just see him coming in as someone who Penny and Max both meet in Rosalita's and can't tell which one of them he's hitting on, so they both compete for his attention. I don't know, maybe it's the accent that throws them!
Mark Deklin - He's played so many strong businessmen (from Lonestar to GCB), and he looks so great in a suit, maybe he's a new guy in Penny's office who she takes notice of. Or maybe he even takes notice of her first. It's so rare that she's not the pursuer in a relationship, giving her a slight fish-out-of-water moment is ripe with all kinds of comedy.
Kevin Faiola - Though you probably have seen him in every commercial ever right now, from cars to chain restaurants, he's also the self-proclaimed #1 DILF on TV (as Kevin Hamilton on MTV's Awkward). He could easily transition that into something on your comedy, playing a Hot Young Dad. Penny seems to think she's great with kids, so maybe she decides insta-family is the way to go.
Andra Fuller - Though he has been nominated for his groundbreaking dramatic work as closeted rap star Kal on The L.A. Complex, he has a charming smile and a wicked sense of humor, too, that would lend itself well to your quippy set.
Taylor Kitsch - I mean, I really just want Tim Riggins back on my TV! But look at his sweet face... How could you resist!?
These are just a few, but if you ask me to, I can create a list of hundreds. I'm available for all your writing-- and casting-- assistant needs!