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Go Together Like A Ball and Chain

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FX has not had nearly the kind of success with comedy that has had with drama. Sure, there has been the brilliant comedy Louie and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and the wonderfully daring animated series Archer, but for the most parts they have dialed the level of extreme to the level of strange with so many of their comedies, such as Wilfred and The League, now playing on their spinoff network FXX. So I was a little reluctant to engage with their most recent comedy Married, even though it is full of comedians that I admire. And the reactions to it have been... diverse. Entertainment Weekly considers it a wonderful show, while USA Today regards it as positively vile and revolting. Having now watched three episodes, I am inclined to think that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Nat Faxon and Judy Greer play a couple who have been married long enough to have three children, and for them to believe that sex has become sort of forgotten territory, to the point where the wife seems to be encouraging the husband to have an affair. Faxon, in a role vastly different from the one we saw in Ben and Kate, doesn't seem to have the energy to go through with an affair. In the pilot, he tried to have one with the woman who gave him a wax, but was repeatedly pulled away by family concerns--- such as the funeral of a goldfish. He keeps playing around that area in the last few episodes, but doesn't seem to have the follow-through, despite the encouragement of his single friends, especially those played by Jenny Slate & Paul Reiser (who I'm glad to see working, even if its here)
Couplehood seems to be an area that is best either avoided or ignored. In the three episodes I've seen so far, those who are married constantly seem to desire the single life, even though the single people are often as miserable as the ones in couples. In an engaging subplot, Jenny Slate's character got involved with a neighbor in a joking sexting relationship that quickly got out of hand when the man's wife found out--- and demanded that she show him how to sext herself, ending with a plan for rendezvous. The straying husband never showed --- but only because he saw his wife before she saw him, and he ran for the hills. The grass always seems to be greener on the other side--- no matter where the other side is.
Married is an odd beast, and I can't help but be reminded of the couples that we see in the work of Judd Apatow, like This is 40 and Knocked Up. The couple seems to care about each other, but they just don't seem to have the energy for other options. There are laughs to be found here, for sure, but a lot of them are far more painful. However, that is par for the course for being with someone. It's got some funny actors and some decent writing; I'm just not sure whether or not I have the wherewithal to stay with this couple through the banality of married life, even when it's often amusing.

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