For a couple of years, the ABC and a few choice critics were trying to tell us that the sitcom, Happy Endings was worth watching. It wasn’t. While witty banter will make for a good scene every now and then, a sitcom can’t survive on witty banter alone and for the most part, that is all Happy Endings was. That and loose morals. Giving the audience more than just a hint of plot is so much more with it. With that said, Casey Wilson may have been the best thing from that show. Her timing and facial expressions are spot on. It is surely those qualities is why NBC decided to pick up her latest venture, Marry Me.
David Caspe, writer for Happy Endings is back at work here with director Seth Gordon, director of The Goldbergs. Marry Me actually has a lot of potential to work, but if the pilot episode is any indication for the future, it won’t. Here’s the deal, Annie (Wilson) and Jake (Ken Marino) have been dating for six years. You would think that the two would get married by this point, and so do they, sort of. The premiere begins with the couple just coming back from a two week paradise vacation and Annie was hoping that Jake would have popped the question on the trip. What she didn’t know before she goes off on her 15-minute tirade is that Jake was planning to do just that and then celebrate with friends and family who have been hiding around her apartment. This is fairly funny scene. So is the flashback on how the two met and the proposal redo that Annie springs on Jake at his office. But they are more than just a set up for more clever banter.
To the casual observer, Annie and Jake seem perfect for each other. But the show continues in this vein of frantic bantering without taking a breath except for the occasional bad jokes from other cast members. Like the friend who waited so long in the closet to come jump out and say “surprise” that she wet herself in the closet. I’m sorry, but “humor” like this isn’t funny. It’s just gross and distasteful.
The other problem with this show is that is doesn’t seem to know what show it is going to be. On one hand, it feels like an old-fashioned romantic comedy. Annie doesn’t want her and Jake to live together before they get married, but she doesn’t have a problem with him sleeping over at her place or taking two week long vacations with each other. As a person who still believes that men and women shouldn’t “shack up” but understand that not everyone feels that way, I don’t understand this logic. Wouldn’t a sitcom about a couple dating for six years while abstaining from sex be funnier? Of course then the title would be, “Marry Me…PLEASE!” Instead we get another pair of really likeable characters in a plot-light story. And a lot of banter.
Marry Me airs on Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. on NBC.