Fixing The Marriage Ref for Season Two: A TVLine IM Discussion

Congratulations! We're stuck with it. The Marriage Ref has been renewed for a second season, along with NBC's other weird, uncomfortable series Minute to Win It and Who Do You Think You Are. The decision did not sit well with Movieline's TV scholars, who at one point used to enjoy Jerry Seinfeld and marriages. After the jump, Julie Miller and I diagnose The Marriage Ref's problems and vote for major changes in the series's second go-around.

Louis: Well, Julie, let's break down the biggest problems with The Marriage Ref. I'll start: The couples need to be in studio. Their via-satellite shtick is the lamest.

Julie: It could also work if the host and panelists actually flew to the couple's houses. That would at least provide the out-of-studio awkwardness that this show needs. And as a host replacement, I suggest Reege.

Louis: I love the idea of Reege as host. He's just the right mixture of zany and grounded and confident, and hnd makes the right joke when everything is just embarrassing. Tom Papa is named "Tom Papa" and has none of those qualities.

Julie: How many episodes do you think Jerry Seinfeld will actually appear on next season?

Louis: One, right? They'll get, like, J.K. Rowling and Jessica Seinfeld, and he'll do that one. And Jessica will have just written a book about cooking sexy meals out of leaves.

Julie: That's a safe bet. I also think the show would benefit from some actual stakes.

Louis: A grand prize or something?

Julie: Like the winning part of the couple gets a tropical vacation alone.

Louis: Cheeky.

Julie: Also, has the show featured a gay couple yet?

Louis: This ain't The Sinners' Agreement Ref, Julie.

Julie: Haha. Fair enough.

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  • sweetbiscuit says:

    If we get to choose a new host, I want Sagat from "The Aristocrats," not Sagat from "Full House"/"Home Videos."

  • HwoodHills says:

    I say you go with a "Very Special Marriage Ref" and have just two guest commentators...
    Alec and Kim.
    It'd be magical!

  • Louis Virtel says:

    Aristocrats Saget all the way. He only went halfway-Aristocrats for 1 Vs. 100. Looking forward to the realization of this dream deferred.

  • Citizen Bitch says:

    How about Jin and Sun from Lost? Or Monique? America loves sassy black women.
    Also, what are you thoughts about refs?

  • David says:

    Bravo pour cet excellent article. Merci beaucoup

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  • Bill says:

    What was wrong with Tom Papa? I found him hilarious all season. They already had a gay couple on the show too by the way. Why would a "serious version" of the show be suggested. It's supposed to be light and funny. Some of the best episodes were simply because of a great panel. They should focus on getting really great panels with chemistry.

  • andrew says:

    Dumbest thing i ever read. Tom Papa was great honestly what were you "TV scholars" expecting from the show? Its funny, varies every episode and can only get better.

  • Where could we go to have an extramarital affair? It seems to me that married ladies and married males looking to have affairs all go to the same wedded dating sites. I believe that its a great thing plus no one should have to remain loyal to a marriage they dislike very strongly.

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