by Julian Spivey
FX recently debuted a new Thursday night comedy block featuring new comedies “Married” and “You’re the Worst,” which both deal with relationships in different stages, and are both worth developing a relationship with.
“Married” started off a little slow for my taste in its first two episodes, but really came to life in its most recent episode “The Getaway,” with its dual storylines featuring the show’s leads and supporting cast both keeping my interest. The cast is led by the perfect duo of Nat Faxon and Judy Greer as married coupled Russ and Lina Bowman whose marriage has grown stale after having children. The relationship is at its worst when it comes to the married couple’s sex life, which the show seems to at times focus solely on to its detriment.
It’s a believable relationship for the most part, except when Lina pretty much gives Russ a “hall pass” to sleep around behind her back in the pilot, which is one of those Hollywood fantasies that simply doesn’t happen or come off as believable in the real world. Despite the show’s over-interest in Russ and Lina’s sex life or lack of the couple have a nice, funny chemistry thanks to the comedic talents of Faxon and Greer.
The supporting cast of “Married” is fairly strong as well featuring Brett Gelman and Jenny Slate as Russ’ close friends A.J. and Jess, who somehow seem more screwed up than Russ. Slate has gotten more screen time than Gelman early on, and walks the line between annoying and funny, but it just might take some time to get acquainted with her, as she starts to grow on me in the third episode. This is likely due to her chemistry with her much older husband, played by veteran funny man Paul Reiser (a personal favorite of mine), who hopefully has a recurring role.
The show’s basis in realistic relationships, save for the previously mentioned “hall pass” of episode one, it what makes it interesting even when there doesn’t seem to be enough laughs per episode.
“Married” airs on FX on Thursdays at 9 p.m.
Airing directly after “Married” at 9:30 p.m. is “You’re the Worst,” which I think has been the stronger of the two new comedies throughout both series’ first three episodes in both storyline and amount of laughs.
If you actually like the lead characters of “You’re the Worst” or identify with them in any way you might actually be the worst, but the characters of Jimmy, a selfishly insensitive British writer, and Gretchen, a cynical and poor decision making public relations worker, who hook up one night for casual sex and then kind of fall into this oddly beautiful relationship are extremely interesting and at times laugh out loud hilarious in their hideousness.
Chris Geere and Aya Cash are brilliant in their respective roles as Jimmy and Gretchen bringing out the wretchedness of both characters while also finding ways to make their characters endearing to not only each other, but the viewer.
It’s an incredibly messed up relationship the two have, but one that seems to be particularly believable in today’s world, even though that might be a negative sign for the real world.
“You’re the Worst” is focused almost solely on Jimmy and Gretchen, whereas “Married” has more of a supporting cast focus, but Desmin Borges’ performance as Jimmy’s PTSD suffering war vet roommate Edgar is good for laughs every time he’s on the screen. Meanwhile, Gretchen’s best friend, Lindsay, as played by Kether Donohue is instantly annoying every time she’s seen.
FX is on to something good with this duo of comedies featuring the highs and lows of relationships.