Quick Take: The Marriage Ref, "Pilot"
"Is this a perfect system? Not even close." – Host Tom Papa. It doesn't matter as this new show works.
Review: The Marriage Ref, "Pilot"
(S0101) Jerry Seinfeld is a total pro. How do you know? Because everything he is involved in is well written, expertly paced, and meticulously honed. That's why at about the :10 second mark kicking off a brand new program called The Marriage Ref I felt pretty sure that I would enjoy the show (I turned out to be right): there's the Seinfeld stamp up and down this thing.
I like host Tom Papa as he has a good personality and the right mentality to keep a show like this jumping and moving. However, I can live without the opening monologue. Why not just get to the show part of the show in an episode that is just 30 minutes (perhaps this hearkens to Seinfeld's insistence that his own monologues be a staple of the now classic Seinfeld sitcom?).
The opening panel that "assists" the marriage ref for this episode is about as A List as they get for TV: Alec Baldwin, Kelly Ripa, and Jerry Seinfeld himself.
So I was set up to enjoy this show from the outset, and the cause was helped as the opening setup was extremely well cast: a couple in which the husband has taken it upon himself to send his beloved and decased dog, The Fonz, to a taxidermist. "This is my dream come true," the Long Island husband says, "and this is your nightmare." His hand gestures are expertly shown split screen with Ripa and Baldwin mimicking.
This show works as well as it does – at least for one episode – is because the concept is fresh but simple, the production tight as a drum, the host lively, and the panel engaging and entertaining.
Not bad, Jerry. You just may have struck "gold, Jerry, gold!" again.
More thoughts on The Marriage Ref pilot:
Video: The Marriage Ref, "Pilot"
The pilot available in full for now from Hulu:
Recap: The Marriage Ref, "Pilot"
Tom Papa and a celebrity panel are out to save America's marriages. This week: a man who wants to put a stripper pole in the bedroom and a husband who wants to stuff his beloved dead dog Fonzie in a shrine near the living room.
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