“Married” ends the same way it began: an extremely depressing portrait of love and marriage.
There of course are moments of genuine humor that just so happen to be a result of the melancholy, however. It’s kind of like a low-key “Married … With Children” in that way. A very, very, very low-key (yet less low brow) “Married … With Children.”
But throughout the entire season, Jenny Slate’s Jess has been the humorous shining light of the series, care-free in a way that none of her co-stars have the luxury of being. And she does it while perhaps being one of the more messed up characters on the show.
There’s just as much of an undercurrent of sadness with her, just like the rest of the characters: as her husband, Shep, points out, she’s has a thing for “damaged men … [they] remind her of her father.” It explains why she hangs out with AJ and Russ, after all, and why she married Shep.
She makes everything all about her, but at the same time, if things were all about her on this show, there would be a lot of laugh out loud moments.
Jess is the only character who could and did call out Lina for her part in her and Russ’ toxic marriage, even when she herself is in a pretty terrible marriage. As Lina points out, Shep eats dinner alone with the nanny every evening, after all.
But why should she bask in her misery like Lina and Russ? Or even like AJ, whose particular brand of sad-sack insanity has been entertainingly painful to watch this season?
Even while Russ at least strives for some sort of happiness, he never really has the drive to make happiness happen. Lina has seemingly given up on happiness altogether. AJ ends up in rehab, because he can’t help but dwell on things. Maybe they all could have done well to not be outwardly miserable, like Jess.
While the first season of “Married” ends with Russ and Lina’s marriage still somehow in the same rut it was at the beginning of the season — that’s how ruts work, you see — and without any confirmation of a second season, we can at least be thankful for what it did bring us:
More Jenny Slate on all of our televisions. And if Jess’s unqualified advice in the “Married” finale wasn’t enough, you can have Jenny’s as well from the “Tonight Show” clip below.
How did you enjoy the first season of “Married”? Do you want more?