Marry Me

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Marry Me TV Poster Image
Charming sitcom has language, sexual jokes, drinking.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Though the hijinks and characters are often silly and of heightened reality, they circle around moral concepts such as love, duty to one's family, loyalty, and friendship. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The show centers on a group of chums whom parents probably would like their progeny to emulate: gainfully employed, well-educated, healthy, close with family and friends. They do sometimes mock each other in sitcom fashion, though. 

Violence
Sex

Frequent references to sex, usually joking but rather blue, such as when a character mocks another for masturbating to a picture of a famous female amputee. 

Language

"F--k" is bleeped, but viewers will hear the occasional "hell" and "ass" as well as gendered curses such as "bitch." Other salty language includes a reference to men going out looking for sex that's connected with a female body part and references to masturbation, accidental pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and homosexuality. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters frequently drink on-screen to get through emotional moments or tough times; they may act silly or sloppy. There are joking references to drugs, as when one character says a small pocket on a shirt would be suitable for a "hot girl's cocaine." 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Marry Me is a sitcom about a fairly stable 30-something couple and their family and friends. There are frequent and very blue sex jokes, referencing casual sex, sexually transmitted diseases, and masturbation. There also are jokes about drugs (cocaine) and frequent scenes of characters drinking to deal with emotional moments or meeting in bars to drink to celebrate important events. Cursing is infrequent and usually mocking: "Turn the f--k around" (with the crucial word bleeped) or "Your mother is a bitch!" Overweight characters are sometimes insulted or insult themselves.

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What's the story?

Annie (Casey Wilson) and Jake (Ken Marino) have been dating for six years, and she's just dying to hear him say MARRY ME. But since Annie is such a never-ending maelstrom of chaos, Jake's not entirely sure he wants to commit. His first stab at a proposal involved an embarrassing public imbroglio during which Annie shouted out her most offensive and secret thoughts about Jake's Type-A mother (JoBeth Williams) and lumpen divorced best friend Gil (John Gemberling) as well as her own best friend Dennah (Sarah Wright Olson). At least she didn't rank out her two dads, Kevin One (Tim Meadows) and Kevin Two (Dan Bucatinsky), but the scene was typical of the tumult that seems to follow Annie around like bad luck. Will these two lovers fight their way through misunderstandings and hurt feelings to find their happily-ever-after? 

Is it any good?

A viewer's reaction upon being told to watch a mild and pleasant sitcom about an engaged couple might be to yawn. But combining sharp writing and crack comic acting as it does, Marry Me exhibits the sharp crackle of the bygone comedy NBC has been trying to remake for a decade or longer: Friends. But though Friends, so au courant in its times, has since grown dated with its references to Hootie and the Blowfish and navel piercing, Marry Me's writing is up-to-date, fresh, salty, and bracing.

Marino and Wilson are known for satirical fare, so the sharp-eyed viewer may question whether Wilson's frenetically emotional sitcommy arm-waving or Marino's regular-guy facial expressions have a tinge of mockery in them. Are these two in on the joke of doing a formulaic NBC sitcom about two pretty milquetoast sitcommy characters? If they are, then a sitcom this meta is the only possible approach to a Friends retread that would appeal to modern viewers. Smart thinking. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why sitcoms revolving around couples are a television staple. Name other shows that feature this setup. How is Marry Me similar to or different from these shows? 

  • What city do Jake and Annie live in? How can you tell? Do you think the city that the show is shot in is the same city the characters are supposed to inhabit? Why, or why not? Where are most television programs shot? Is it always the place they're set? 

  • Are the characters on this show poor, middle-class, or wealthy? How do the show's creators convey information about their characters' wealth without saying straight out how much money they have? 

TV details

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