Movieline Calls The Marriage Ref's 4 Biggest Penalties
Jerry Seinfeld's The Marriage Ref, a "reality" series where celebrities judge commoners' marital disputes and declare a winner, debuted last night on NBC. Movieline's own Louis Virtel and Julie Miller witnessed this and survived. Here's the transcript from their commiseration.
Louis: Oh my God, there's an emergency.
Louis: I am going to kill everyone associated with The Marriage Ref. WHAT IS THIS THING?!
Julie: Can we talk about this?
Louis: Let's pick like, 150 problems with it. Or ten or something. Fine, four. Then let's quit.
Julie: OK. Go!
Note: The two couples featured in the first episode offered the following issues: A husband's decision to stuff the dead family dog and display it in the home, and a husband's decision to buy a stripper pole for the living room.
Thoughts on the celebrity judges, including Alec Baldwin, Kelly Ripa, and creator Jerry Seinfeld
Julie: I would rather watch Dr. Drew counsel these couples than Alec Baldwin and Jerry Seinfeld -- who failed to make a single solid joke. I knew the show was tanking when Kelly Ripa was getting the most laughs.
Louis: What's weird to me is how they edit the couples' argument for simple Seinfeldian commentary, and then Jerry has nothing to say! Plus. Jerry, couldn't you have let the couples into the studio in the first 15 minutes? Watching them on tape is so cheap. So America's Funniest Home Videos.
Julie: I am embarrassed that Jerry Seinfeld's name was attached to this project. Kelly Ripa should never do primetime. Alec Baldwin should never do reality.
Louis: What a weird vanity project. Such a backfire.
A word on celebrity referees in general
Louis: Also, the fact that Alec Baldwin is here cannot be overlooked. Why are these volatile people giving advice? It's too much of a joke.
Julie: I don't care if that guy was choking his dogs and burying them in his front yard. I don't want to hear Alec Baldwin's opinion on it.
Louis: Right, can't they judge The Singing Bee, or whatever? Also, in the near future, Madonna will be a guest-judge. Madonna. I don't know if you know this about Madonna, but her famous moments in marriage include fielding Sean Penn's seething rage and entering a joyless existence with a moody director who will wear a red bracelet upon request. It's too much of a joke! I don't care that The Marriage Ref pretends to acknowledge at the start of the show that these people aren't actually qualified. They're not actually worth the trouble of booking at all.
Julie: And Marv Albert? How about if you have a show where recognizable personalities judge other peoples' marriages, you don't hire the guy who went on trial for assaulting the woman he was having a ten-year affair with.
Louis: Marv really did chew up the scenery though. HEHE. So scary.