FX rolls out two new relationship comedies Thursday night, and both are worthwhile and funny. One immediately grabbed me ("You're the Worst"), and the other ("Married") has me interested, but not hooked … yet.
FX rolls out two new relationship comedies Thursday night, and both are worthwhile and funny. One immediately grabbed me (“You’re the Worst”), and the other (“Married”) has me interested, but not hooked … yet.
While “Married” may need some time to find its footing, I’m willing to give that because of the excellent cast and some well-done, if too sporadic, moments from the first four episodes.
“Married” stars Nat Faxon and Judy Greer as Russ and Lina, a husband and wife (and parents of three girls) who love each other, but have some issues. Rounding out the cast are Russ and Lina’s friends, Jess (a fantastic Jenny Slate) and AJ (the also stellar Bret Gelman), who also have marriage issues. “Married” is essentially a cynically positive take on the idea of spending the rest of your life with one person.
The pilot of “Married” is by far the worst episode, which is a shame because it’ll be everyone’s introduction. If you find any likable stuff there — or even downright dislike it like I did on first viewing — stick around. The second and third episodes are quite good.
The main reason I’m giving “Married” leeway is its utterly great cast. Greer never disappoints and comes through admirably here. Faxon is fine, but the writing for his character is where I’m most skeptical. Russ is made out to be kind of a heel, but he usually gets a redemptive moment with Greer’s Lina. It’s too inconsistent.
The leads may not be at their peak yet, but Slate’s Jess and Gelman’s AJ are simply great. Slate recently flourished doing both comedy and drama in the fantastic indie “The Obvious Child,” and showcases similar skills in “Married.” Gelman’s despondent divorcee is a simple trope, but he adds some delightful characteristics.
“Married” is far from perfect so far and really isn’t that great. But there are seeds, and especially performances, that point to a bright future. If first-time showrunner Andrew Gurland is able to weed the bad from the good, “Married” could become a strong series.
Photo courtesy FX