Fox’s brainless sitcom, “Til Death,” a comedy about “love, death, and marriage,” starring Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), has a lot of positive things to say about the institution of matrimony today. None of them, however, are contained in the pilot’s drab depiction of neighboring suburban couples nagging and sniping at each other over the husband’s right to install a pool table in the dining room. Nor are they in the wan closing scene, which concludes that love means having someone to drive you to the hospital.
No, the upbeat news from “Til Death” is that since “The Honeymooners,” which clearly inspired this show, series like Paul Reiser’s ’90s hit “Mad About You” or the more recent “The King of Queens” have recognized there’s more to satire in how couples try to work with, rather than around, each other. Televised marital relations, in other words, have come a long way.
That said, Garrett does a fair impression of Jackie Gleason’s knowing oaf, dedicated to enlightening Norton-ish newlywed Eddie Kaye Thomas (“American Pie”) about the facts of married life. But his insights, over Thomas’s protests about the value of communication and mutual respect, are little more evolved than Ralph Cramden’s of 50 years ago, and, despite that, lack even Ralph’s “Bang! Zoom!”