Mini-review: Marriage 1×1 (FX)


In the US: Thursdays, 10pm ET, FX

Some comedies make you laugh. Some comedies are romantic. Some comedies make you think. Some comedies give you characters you can love.

So spare a thought for Marriage, one of two half-hour comedies dark and gritty FX is debuting this week on Thursday nights, because it does none of the above.

It is an absolute laugh-free zone, with characters you can’t even slightly care about, zero romance and whose deepest thought is that in marriages, you sometimes have to do things because your partner likes them.

It stars Nat Faxon (Happy Hour, Ben and Kate) and Judy Greer (Archer, Arrested Development, Mad Love) as a long-term married couple whose marriage has lost its spark, John Hodgman (The Daily Show) as Faxon’s best friend and Paul Reiser as the husband of one of Faxon’s friends.

Good cast, no? Well, maybe not Faxon, whose baby-man Ben annoyed the crap out of me, rather than endeared himself to me in Ben and Kate. But overall, people who have comedic chops.

Yet the entire script is just one neverending repetition of pretty much every relationship comedy you’ll have ever seen, played out by a cast of characters with the depth of a paddling pool.

Faxon stereotypically wants to have more sex than Greer, who’s too tired. Innovative!

So Faxon’s friends advise him to do things she likes and then she’ll want more. Novel!

Except he does it badly. Who saw that coming?

So she suggests jokingly he get a mistress. And he takes it seriously. Well you could knock me down with a feather!

Maybe all that would raise a laugh in a multi-camera studio comedy (barely), but in a single-camera comedy that also likes doing cringe comedy and where, despite being on cable, the height of sophistication is jokes about masturbation? Not a chance.

I don’t foresee a future for this Marriage, particularly since it follows the much, much better You’re The Worst. More on that in a moment.

But here’s a trailer so you can see what I’m on about. It contains the one funny joke in the show.


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.