Here at Normal headquarters we have a duty to sniff out fact from fiction, belly button lint from organic accessory, and social responsibility from entertainment. NBC’s The Marriage Ref , from executive producer Jerry Seinfeld, attempts to solve marital problems with a touch of levity and a dash of sarcasm.
In true network fashion…NBC decided to capitalize on the Olympic swell and air the pilot episode after the closing ceremony. The show continues tonight at its regularly scheduled time of 10/9 central Thursday nights. I guess they are trying to relive the ole glory days of Must See TV Thursdays from the Clinton era.
Only problem is that I, and millions of BRAVO TV fans, will have to choose from The Real Housewives series and comedic commentary from celebrities who haven’t exactly been pros in the marriage arena. I mean Alec Baldwin and Madonna are…well very talented, but advisers of relationships I’ll take a pass. Oh excuse me…phone ringing…conference call between Guy Ritchie, Kim Basinger, and A-Rod. Any whoo….
Guests aside, what I can say that is positive about the show is that it does provide an element of relief for couples. The past 18 months have been very challenging for millions of families and the American marriage has experienced the brunt of it. A little humor. A little… “Oh my gosh…no he di-d-nt” never hurt anybody. Critics will probably cite the eerie similarities between the Ref and any 1980’s NBC Baseball Blooper show (yes Marv Albert is actually a part of the Ref), Jerry Springer hi-jinks, and a mid-season fill-in for a network trying to reclaim some…any market share…did I mean the Jay Leno Show?
The featured couples, so far, have discussed stripper poles and the stuffing of pet dogs named The Fonz. I know it sounds a bit like the wacky neighbors down the street, but maybe that’s what we all need. Maybe we need to laugh together as a country and as couples. Maybe we need to set the laptop down, temper our texting addiction and share a bit of humor with the one who once made us laugh more than any other.
For the time being, I will give the show a pass on its usage of stereotypical men who only care about sex, pets, and hobbies. I will let it pass that each marital issue pertained to a husband’s desire to stand firm when looking ridiculously too proud for his britches. The Marriage Ref is, however, put on notice by the board of directors here at Normal headquarters to show the equality of stupidity and tomfoolery.
My guess is that The Marriage Ref will be around just long enough to wet our appetites. It’s appeal will wear off like the guy/gal you bring home that woo’s your family in the beginning only to disappoint shortly thereafter. Take it for what it is…don’t take it too seriously and you might have a bit o’ fun.
I only hope that this is the beginning of Seinfeld’s reemergence and not a tease. He is too talented to stay on the sidelines for much longer and probably a tad concerned that the next sitcom would die a sudden death when compared to the behemoth that was Seinfeld.
I’ll check the instant replay with The Marriage Ref here at Normal headquarters…you…well, sit back, relax and breathe a sigh of relief…I mean now you can choose between Palin on FOX and Seinfeld on NBC…ahh life IS back to Normal.
All the Best!