Subscribe to Bitch—an award-winning, 80 page feminist magazine. Image Map

Pop Pedestal: Brad Williams and Jane Kerkovich-Williams from Happy Endings

Welcome back to Pop Pedestal, the series where we pay tribute to pop culture personalities we admire. Up today are Jane and Brad, married couple extraordinaire from ABC's Happy Endings.

Brad, a black man, and Jane, a white woman, sit on a couch. Jane is wearing a bacon costume.
True love means not making fun of your wife for wearing a bacon costume.

Pedestal Profile: Jane (Eliza Coupe) and Brad (Damon Wayans, Jr.) are the happily married couple in their group of sitcom single friends. Though married life on sitcoms is usually portrayed as either a joyless prison or a vehicle for scene-stealing, precocious toddlers, the childfree Jane and Brad manage have their own identities and friends as well as a fun-seeming, egalitarian, loving relationship.

Admirable Qualities: Brad and Jane are a great match for one another. While Jane is super organized and competitive, Brad is laid back. Together, they balance one another out and have tons of awesome sex. (Seriously, they talk about their sex life all the time and include references to drawers of toys, new positions, and role playing. AND they're married on TV! Who knew?!)

One of the best parts of Jane and Brad (Jad? Brane? Nah.) is how supportive of one another they are, even though they are on a sitcom and thus constantly finding themselves in ridiculous scenarios. In one of my favorite scenes from this season, Brad buys a shirt dress because "daddy likes a deep tuck." While Jane is put off at first when Brad drops his pants to reveal a goofy-looking extra-long polo shirt, she tells him that he "makes it work" and ends up finding it sexy (of course, because seriously everything is sexy with these two horndogs). Silly, sure, but it's a moment where she could have easily mocked him and she chose to play along instead. And when Jane wants to go on a misguided stakeout, Brad puts on his sunglasses and jumps in the car with her. Brane FTW!

screen shot of an animated gif where Brad's pants fall down to reveal that he is wearing a long polo shirt

JANE: Let's get you out of those pants… and into that dress. Okay, how did you not know that that was a dress?
BRAD: I had my suspicions, but the price was right and daddy likes a deep tuck.
JANE: God, you make it work.
BRAD: I'll make you work.

Another great thing about watching Brad and Jane is that they don't get hung up on traditional gender roles. Both of them work full time (Brad as an investment banker and Jane as something where she dresses business-y and gives presentations—seriously I have no idea what she does, it is a total TV job), and Jane usually steers the relationship because she's the most decisive. Brad loves romantic comedies and making up songs, Jane competes (and wins) a ruthlessness competition to see which of her friends is the most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, and they both love improv comedy and yoga (and they do them together!).

Oh, and did I mention that these two love to GET IT ON? Check out this video of Daman Wayans, Jr. and Eliza Coupe sharing the secret of Brad and Jane's relationship (spoiler alert: it's sex).

Their influence: Beyond this Happy Endings Tumblr, Jane and Brad tributes online seem to be in short supply. Why, Internet?! This couple is awesome and totally worthy of your weird mashups and collages.

That's not all: Brad and Jane are, of course, an interracial couple, which is a rare and refreshing addition to the network TV lineup. However, I agree with Alyssa Rosenberg that while they don't pretend to live in a postracial society by any means (both Jane and Brad have made comments about race on the show before) more could be done to address race on Happy Endings, and I'd love to see Brad and Jane take that on. (They do discuss it a little bit in this interview, but only to say that they don't think race matters much to their characters.) Something to hope for in season three, perhaps?

Think of them when: Think of Jane and Brad when your partner has a wacky idea that you know probably won't work. Brad and Jane would support the other person anyway and then have sex with them to cheer them up after, and you can too!

Previously: Reggie Rocket, Toph Bei Fong

Want more from Bitch? Good news! Our quarterly magazine, Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, is packed with 80+ pages of feminist analysis, reviews, illustrations, and more. Subscribe today

Subscribe to Bitch


Comments

1 comment has been made. Post a comment.

I love Jane and Brad. I love

I love Jane and Brad. I love their interracial love AND I love gay Max Bloom.