THE SHOW "Marry Me"
WHEN | WHERE Tuesday night at 9 on NBC/4
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Annie (Casey Wilson) and Jake (Ken Marino) have been dating five years, but Jake has been dragging his heels on popping The Big Question. Annie is fed up: When they return home from a vacation, she blasts him for not proposing on the trip. She is unaware that Jake was about to propose when they returned and -- not to give too much away -- matters deteriorate from there. What do Annie's gay parents -- Kevin One (Tim Meadows) and Kevin Two (Dan Bucatinsky) -- or Jake's mom, Myrna (JoBeth Williams), think of his foot-dragging? They're just sick of hearing Annie complain about it. Ditto Annie's long-suffering pals, Dennah (Sarah Wright), Gil (John Gemberling) and Kay (Tymberlee Hill).
MY SAY "Marry Me" is my favorite new comedy of the 2014 season, which naturally means it will be soon canceled. Sorry, "Marry Me," that was not my intention, but you know how critical praise (of NBC comedies) goes: Kiss of death.
But doubters should hear me out. "Marry Me" is the rarest of commercial TV sitcoms in that it's actually funny, has two standout leads and a superb supporting cast (especially Meadows and Bucatinsky). The series was created by David Caspe ("Happy Endings") , who's married to Wilson, so maybe viewers can assume there's something personal in this courtship-gone-haywire tale. (If so, one can only guess what their married life is like.)
"Marry Me" is basically just a rom-com that takes the basic conventions of that threadworn genre and turns them inside out. That's been done before, certainly, but this still feels like something original has been added to the mix. Could that be Wilson -- a gifted comedian -- or (West Islip's very own and very funny) Marino? Could be . . . could be.
BOTTOM LINE Not for all tastes, maybe. But definitely mine. A winner.