NBC produced a half hour preview of its new fall season that was hosted by the stars of their new sitcom “Marry Me“. During that preview they introduce themselves as the stars of “NBC’s new hit comedy ‘Marry Me'”. That’s a pet peeve of mine. People who don’t understand the meaning of the word “hit”. It makes me want to hit them (different meaning of the word “hit”). How can the shell be a hit if it hasn’t even aired yet? So the show already had one strike against it going into it. Having already fallen in love with the new couple comedy “A to Z” I went into this one with a huge chip on my shoulder.
The entire first episode was essentially a single joke, the consequences of which plays out over the entire episode. It’s one of the most clichéd gimmicks in all of sitcomiry (okay so I made up that word). In the opening scene Annie and Jake have just come back from a romantic vacation in Mexico and she goes off on a rant complaining that Jake did not propose to her during this romantic getaway. In the rent she reveals that they been dating for six years, she’s 32 years old and her eggs are dying, and he needs to get off his ass and propose to her. As she is ranting and running around the apartment she has her back turned to him and doesn’t see that he’s down on one knee with a ring in his hand trying to tell her to turn around and look at him. She continues to ignore him and then goes on to ranting about family and friends who make fun of them because they’re not yet engaged. Along the way she says all sorts of nasty things about those family and friends. After she FINALLY turns around to see him ready to propose then all of those family and friends who she has just trashed (including his mother) pop out from behind their hiding places to say “surprise”. They’ve heard everything. So it’s all of the extremely clichéd situations of every situation comedy you ever seen all rolled into one scene. As silly as it was I have to give them credit for pulling off the biggest one of those I’ve ever seen.
After everyone leaves, they decide that that was not their official proposal because he didn’t want to have to tell that horrible story of how the proposal went for the rest of his life. He promises to re-propose in a few days and then that will be the official one. She then decides that the only way to “fix this” is for her to propose to him. So she goes to his place of employment to propose to him in front of all his colleagues and along the way reveals that they had just spent a week in Mexico. However he had told his boss he needed off work because his father was sick. This gets him fired from his job so now she’s real and another proposal story.
We then get to see some flashbacks of how they met and various events along the way. The flashback gimmick works pretty well and is not a distraction. In fact in this case it makes a little more interesting. By the end of the episode they do get officially engaged. It remains to be seen how much of the story is told “present-day” and how much in flashback.
There’s reasonably good chemistry between costars Casey Wilson and Ken Marino. She is also currently a very of the film Gone Girl but is better known for her role in the recently canceled ABC sitcom Happy Endings. He is relatively unknown but has appeared in the adult swim series Children’s Hospital. Some sitcoms rely more on the supporting cast then the main characters in order to succeed. This one includes Tim Meadows from SNL and Dan Bucatinsky from Web Therapy as Annie’s gay parents. JoBeth Williams plays Jake’s mother. They might add something interesting to the mix.
Compared to the other new romantic comedies this season “A to Z” and “Manhattan Love Story” this one is stronger on the comedy than the romance. As always the real test is “Did I laugh?” and be in place and I did. Given that I really like A to Z and that Manhattan Love Story is growing on me, this one might not make the cut on what I’m watching regularly. But it does show a little promise so I’m going to give it a rating of “Could Be Watchable”.