Stoic Jake and drama-queen Annie have been dating for years, but have never married. On their sixth anniversary as a couple, Annie explodes in a lengthy tirade about Jake’s unwillingness to commit, during which she insults his family and all his friends, unaware that Jake is on his knee ready to propose that very moment – and that his family and all their friends are in the room. Later, Annie tries to redeem herself by proposing to Jake at his workplace, thus causing him to lose his job. The two decide to hold off on their engagement until they can figure out exactly where they are as a couple – thus setting the stage for the series, which will explore their long, awkward, and very bumpy ride on the way to the altar…assuming they get there.
Once again demonstrating that the adage “write what you know” rules Hollywood, Marry Me is loosely based on the courtship of the show’s creator David Caspe (previously producer of the sitcom Happy Endings) and its star, Casey Wilson. The major difference separating Marry Me from a hundred other relationship comedies is the show’s allegedly clever writing, delivered at the speed of sound – a mixture of emotional diatribe, obscure allusion, and mean-spirited insult which results in dialogue totally unlike anything spoken by any real human being in the entire history of the universe, ever. The show’s nasty tone is demonstrated by the following exchange between Annie and Jake’s mother (who, during her tirade, Annie called a “bitch”):
Annie: “I only called you that because the easiest way to hurt a guy is to go after his mother. That’s the way I fight.”
mother: “I admire your strategy. That’s the way I always used to fight with Jake’s father. Though we were bitterly divorced and he died, I regret nothing.”
Other typical dialogue includes lines like, “You’re like my little exploding Challenger” and “We can’t get away from each other, like Paula Deen and the n-word,” and references to erections, sperm, urine, masturbation, and venereal disease. Profanity is also frequent, with the f-word used liberally, along with “s***,” “bitch,” “bastard,” “ass,” “titties,” and many others. During a Paley Center panel, Caspe confessed that “there will have to be LOTS of bleeps when it airs,” and boasted about the show’s “super-messy, dark, drag-out crazy fights” between Jake and Annie, admitting he wants the show to be “funny and uncomfortable at the same time.”
There is little doubt that Marry Me will be praised by other Hollywood writers and so-called TV critics for its “edgy” writing and supposedly “subversive” (read: smutty, mean-spirited, and inappropriate) humor; but most viewers at home will likely find the show’s nastiness, lack of realistic language, and smug tendency to pat itself on the back off-putting. Totally inappropriate for children and unappealing to many adults, Marry Me contains zero heart, zero warmth, zero sincerity – and 1000% snark.
Marry Me premieres Tuesday, October 14, at 9:00 p.m. on NBC.
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