Thursday, October 16, 2014

NBC's: "Marry Me"

by Kelsey Barritt, Writing Intern

Like any relationship (or television show), Marry Me will require time, care, and effort to reach anything near perfection. Show-runners, writers, and directors should eventually work the kinks out. The new NBC sitcom has potential to be among the most charismatic shows of the year. Created by David Caspe, it chronicles the life of the happy, high-strung couple, Jake and Annie (Casey Wilson and Ken Marino). The clever comedy satisfies with its contemporary style, and sparks interest through irresistible charm.

A show that appears to be quirky and fresh begins the pilot in the most cliche way possible: a proposal. Viewers likely let out a sigh of early surrender when Annie hysterically nags her boyfriend, of six years, about not popping the question. Little does she know, he is behind her on one knee. Annie continues to embarrass herself, which appears to be a preview of her usual antics. The kickoff to the pilot is all too conventional and just a tad too stereotypical. Many silly women with their minds on marriage constantly consume character depth on television. The show should give viewers more credit in that respect; an outdated setup like that no longer does the trick. But after that horrifying moment of a proposal gone wrong, the show salvages itself.

Similar to Caspe’s other creation, Happy Endings, the true comedy is embedded throughout the entire experience, rather than the scripted predicaments. Caspe wedges the best jokes into a quick, witty conversation. The actors capture hilarious moments in just a few sparkling inserts. Genius reveals itself in the pure randomness of it all. The offbeat humor shines, especially through Wilson, who masters vivacious yet odd characters like Annie. The premises of episodes won’t likely matter much. Or at least they won’t for a while. Annie and Jake’s banter is more than satisfactory for thirty minutes. 

The supporting characters are a part of those kinks mentioned earlier. Dennah and Gill (Sarah Wright and John Gemberling) are already irritating. Currently, they fill space, and with little personality. Gill makes jokes that real world people would never make. It adds a level of inauthenticity to the show. Wright also fails to shine, probably because of her too common high maintenance best friend character. Been there, done that; it’s time to let that character go.

The possibility of repetition is especially worrisome. The dust of the engagement will settle. The road ahead does not offer many options because of the show’s narrow premise.  A couple gets engaged. They plan a wedding. They get married. Watching all of the obstacles of an engagement becomes mundane. But it’s much better than giving more attention to those awful supporting characters.

Pilots are always difficult; Marry Me deserves some slack. After all, Caspe began his last sitcom in the second most cliché way possible: a bride leaving her groom at the alter. Clearly Caspe struggles with beginnings, but his endings are happy. (editor’s note: HAHAHAHAHAHAAHA! I see what you did there) This pilot oozes potential. Viewers love Jake and Annie. They represent so many real life thoughts, guilty pleasures, and unfortunate moments that feel so real. Caspe displays characters’ inner monologues and relates them to our own. This show will either have an amazing run or be a quick blip in comedy history. It will be interesting to see which side wins in this episodic tug-o-war between limitless charm and wit, and a very limited structure. 


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