Thursday, March 4, 2010

Throwing the Penalty Flag on "Marriage Ref"

You've probably seen the commercials for the new show on NBC, "Marriage Ref". Debuting last week, it had a celebrity guests Kelly Ripa and Stephen Baldwin. And if you watched it, I'm guessing you either saw one minute of it and changed the channel, or were glued to your set in disbelief as TV personalities painfully blew their career into smithereens in just 30 minutes.

Actually that's pretty harsh. But then again, maybe not; the reviews it received were pretty abysmal:
Z on TV
Entertainment Weekly
NYT blog

Only ABC seemed to give the program a clean bill of health.

If you haven't watched the show, it's mostly self-explanatory from the million commercial promos that have been run continuously during the Olympics: one couple, a fight, cue light-hearted, comedic banter from Jerry and friends, and then the verdict on camera, live. You have one host, who I don't know the name of, three celebrity panelists, one of which is always Jerry Seinfeld, and a woman on a computer...for checking facts. (Fun fact: dust around the house is mostly dead human skin cells...thanks computer lady)

Anyway, whatever could be wrong with a show, is wrong with this show. It has potential (a great and seemingly unique idea that probably only Seinfeld could conjure), and Seinfeld is amusing (along with Tina Fey who was the only bright spot tonight), but the fun ends there....

The are not funny. I don't know his name, but he should probably be fired and moved to the 2 am time slot past Carson Daly.

Computer lady...why are you on the show? What's your purpose? Very easy on the eyes, but I get that from Eva Longoria and Kelly Ripa.

Panelists...seriously, need some chemistry. There's nothing like three celebrities who aren't necessarily funny themselves put on the spot to make comedy out of some marriage fight. Keep Tina Fey. Lose Eva Longoria (JK, keep her on in a Vanna White role). Lose Kelly Ripa. Give me Steve Martin or Billy Crystal or Will Ferrell...a familiar face that I can laugh with, not at. And what's with the overlaughing? Seriously, are they compensating for the lack of funniness or they just think they're funny? Doesn't matter, makes it awkward.

Couples...probably the only bright spot. They've picked some pretty interesting couples, and some pretty funny spats. Can't complain here.

What should be done:

1. Fire host, re-re-hire Conan O'Brien as host. Major WIN for NBC.
2. Get Jerry a good supporting cast.
3. Fire computer lady.
4. Get rid of bad scriptedness. Hire Conan's writers back instead.

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