Friday, April 2, 2010

The Marriage Ref

What is Jerry Seinfeld thinking?

Now, don't get me wrong. Jerry Seinfeld is a comedy legend. He's one of my favorite comedians/writers of all time. His humor has changed the way comedy is presented. He focuses on the issues wrong with our daily lives--the mundane--and makes it hilarious. Then, regular people everywhere can connect with him on this stupid (yet brilliant) observations.

But, now Seinfeld has created a new show that is quite questionable. I was hesitant to begin watching it, but because it was Seinfeld's idea, I tuned in.

I think this is The Marriage Ref's biggest problem: It's a better IDEA than an actual, running, successful television show.

I mean, think about it: Married couples always have stupid fights. Maybe the only way to solve them is to have an actual ref to determine a winner. That would work as a funny bit, but it wouldn't work as well as a show, I am seeing.

The Marriage Ref tries to draw in people by throwing out as many celebrity names as possible--especially Seinfeld's. After Jay Leno's ten o'clock flop, they're looking for anything to take its place and survive. But this show isn't going to own up to that challenge. There's no way that America will hook into this show. It's lame, awkward, and it has no flow or direction.

They try to make it seem structured, but the show has awkward pauses. The celebrities seem scripted, as if they have pre-planned their quirky little phrases and ideas. They all laugh for long periods of time and cut each other off. It's very natural, but I still find myself feeling uncomfortable as they try to communicate about a very strange marriage situation (i.e. keeping a deceased dog as a stuffed pet). Then celebrities have to dispel their morals, and it can make us look at these celebrities in a good/bad light (i.e. Eva Longoria-Parker siding with psychotic women and showing her old-fashioned/crazy side). Yikes.

And, the host just isn't funny. He's a weird dude. He tries to make really funny jokes (which he laughs at), but he's just not a spotlight guy. And then HE is the one who is supposed to make the decision? I don't know about this. I don't trust or like this guy. Why would I want to listen to him? If Seinfeld was telling me something, I would listen to his judgment, but it seems like this host was just lifted off the street. Why do I listen to him? I don't care about him. I don't trust him. I don't value his opinion. F this guy.

I'm surprised that Seifeld is even leaning towards the reality TV angle. He's being sucked into what's popular. I'm even more surprised that married couples are more than willing to show America these humiliating fights they have between themselves. Oh, the whole thing is shameless, and that bothers me. It's just an awkward compilation of good ideas gone wrong, and they keep trying to make it work. I don't think it's going to work. But, if NBC is throwing away talent like Conan O'Brien, maybe this is considered, to them, a good, quality television program.

I tried sitting through two episodes, but I turned both off prematurely. I just can't sit through it. It's a struggle for me because I want to watch these awesome, respected celebrities (Larry David, Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Kelly Ripa), but they're just doing Seinfeld a favor. It's sad. I want Seinfeld to do something on the air, but this just isn't something that is respectable and/or interesting. He's better than this. He just needs to find his groove again.

And isn't this a flawed concept anyway? Isn't this just going to cause more fights? I don't think that declaring a winner is actually going to solve the fight, I think it's going to give either the husband or the wife the upper hand in the marriage. It's another card to use against the other one. It might even make the "loser" feel useless or worthless. I think the show will cause more therapy than less. I think it's a disaster waiting to happen to marriages. We'll see.

So, Seinfeld is still a great, great comedian, but his newest show is a joke. We'll let him have this flop. I only can hope that something more brilliant than this (which isn't setting the bar that high) can come. He's allowed to screw up; we all are. I just look forward to the next greatest project, but let's ditch this new show. It's short-lived anyway.

What do you think of The Marriage Ref?

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