TV Club: Married: “Thanksgiving”

In Married, creator Andrew Gurland is attempting such a wearily optimistic portrait of married life that the show becomes unclassifiable. A sitcom in form, it regularly delves into its characters’ dissatisfaction with their lives with devastating effectiveness. As a half-hour drama, it often trucks in traditional sitcom physical comedy and farce with unlikely success. Tonally, when it works, Married pulls off the neat trick of blending absurdity and ennui into something like profundity, all in a 21-minute episode of television.

“Thanksgiving” doesn’t work. Kicking off the second season, Married is out of balance. The drama flirts with emotion but glances off. And the comedy barely seems to be there at all. In the show’s best episodes (“The Playdate,” “Halloween”), Russ and Lina Bowman’s comic struggles come from a resigned partnership in absurdity. Nat Faxon and Judy Greer were inspired choices as leads—best known for broader comedy …

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