Television Reviews

Will Christians Be Smitten by Marry Me?

Will Christians Be Smitten by <i>Marry Me?</i>

Marriage can be a touchy subject for Christians. Given the steady rise of cohabitation over the years, not to mention the mounting support for same-sex marriage, the Church has become understandably thin-skinned toward anything that may cast traditional marriage in a bad light. This is unfortunate, since any husband and wife can tell you there’s a wealth of humor to be found in matrimony. NBC hopes to mine this natural comedy with Marry Me, a new series about the ups and downs couples face before trading rings. So far the show has proven funny, charismatic, and surprisingly poignant, but is it really the picture of marriage Christians are looking for?                      

Marry Me opens with high-strung Annie (Casey Wilson, Happy Endings) and laid-back Jake (Ken Marino, Veronica Mars) celebrating their anniversary – their six year anniversary to be exact. The two have been in a deeply committed relationship for years but have never found the time to actually get married. After a series of botched wedding proposals leave the couple wondering if they’re really meant to be, they encounter a number of “signs” that prove they were indeed made for one another. With friends and family all growing impatient, the newly engaged couple finally begin their walk to the alter. It’s a journey that promises to be anything but smooth.

The first things viewers should appreciate about Marry Me is that it’s funny on a number of levels. Wilson and Marino aren’t just great at delivering the show’s ridiculous dialogue, they’re also some of the best physical comedians in the business. When Annie gets upset about the state of her relationship with Jake, she grabs a knife for effect, or mimes leaving in a spectacularly over-the-top fashion. When Jake encounters a friend’s buffoonery, he freezes with a perfect deer-in-headlights impersonation. These dramatic touches help Marry Me stand out from other Rom-Com’s.

Making things better are the storylines. For all their exaggeration, Annie and Jake encounter many of the typical problems faced by newlyweds: How to deal with children, how to find your own space while living together, how to relate to other, more experienced couples, etc. Watching them flail through these new challenges is something young newlyweds will find both hilarious and relatable. It’s a clever way of finding humor in real life struggles. Regrettably, this comedy comes with a cost, and it’s one some Christians might be unwilling to pay.

For all the laughter, Marry Me does contains some elements Christians certainly won’t approve of. Annie, for example, has two gay fathers and is good friends with a promiscuous lesbian. Meanwhile, one of Jakes friends is celebrating his recent divorce by engaging in as much hedonistic behavior as possible. Lastly, there is the glaring fact that, even though Annie and Jake make a wonderful couple, they are still not married. Would it really be so bad if the show cataloged their adventures after they exchanged vows?

All in all, Marry Me proves to be a mixed bag for the Christian viewer. There is plenty to laugh at, and even some valuable lessons to boot. However, proponents of Biblical marriage might want to find a better advocate to watch.

*Published 10/30/2014

**Watch Marry Me Tuesdays on NBC