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TV preview: FX brings two new comedies to summer viewing

By Rob Owen
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/09/16/26/V8KC7.Em.138.jpeg|316
    BYRON J COHEN - FX
    “You're the Worst” "Pilot" Aya Cash as Gretchen and Chris Geere as Jimmy.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/09/16/27/y7vg4.Em.138.jpeg|210
    - FX
    Nat Faxon as Russ and Judy Greer as Lina in “Married.”

With two new shows, “Married” (10 p.m. July 17) and “You’re the Worst” (10:30 p.m. July 17), FX embraces the downbeat ethos of its critical hit “Louie.” Call it the “Louie”-fication of FX, especially when it comes to “Married,” a comedy to slit your wrists by.

That’s not to say “Married” is a bad show. There are some terrifically funny lines and it’s intellectually funny, but not often ha-ha funny and the situations are dark and depressing.

Longtime married couple Russ (Nat Faxon, “Ben and Kate”) and Lina (Judy Greer, “Arrested Development”) tolerate one another but don’t have much joy in their “miserably married” lives.

Lina reads vampire novels to sate her desire for romance and refuses her husband’s sexual overtures. In the premiere episode she gives him permission to seek sex outside their marriage, which he attempts half-heartedly and with complicating consequences.

Lina comes off as a cold scold and Russ seems like a well-meaning but namby-pamby doofus.

“Married” is at its funniest when Russ’ friends Bernie (John Hodgman, “The Daily Show”) and Jess (Jenny Slate, “Obvious Child”) are on screen.

Bernie tells Russ he can rekindle romance with Lina if he’ll just “find out what she’s into, no matter how stupid it is. It’s called being sensitive.”

Weirdly, both “Married” and “You’re the Worst” feature characters snorting cocaine and male characters who masturbate in front of their female partners. (Maybe comedy writers need to get out of their L.A. bubbles.)

If “Married” is defined by its hopelessness, at least the funnier, more anarchic “You’re the Worst” tips the scales toward hopefulness.

“Worst” begins with Jimmy (Chris Geere) causing a ruckus at his ex-girlfriend’s wedding.

“Sometimes you just want to be there for the beginning of a disaster so later when the house is in flames you can say, yep, I was there when they installed the faulty wiring,” Jimmy tells the bride.

At the wedding he meets equally cynical, self-destructive Gretchen (Aya Cash), and the two embark on a one-night-stand that improbably turns into some sort of longer-term relationship.

They’re both terrible people in a myriad ways, and yet they really seem to connect, which allows “You’re the Worst” to evince an acidic sweetness through its bleakness.

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