The last few weeks of television have been relatively void of new programming, but with the Olympics ending, networks have to come back from their games-induced coma in hopes of revitalizing hypnotized viewers from the Olympic-funk.
NBC gave its coveted post-closing ceremony spot to a new show, “The Marriage Ref,” and though there seemed to be at least three promos an hour during Olympic coverage for this show, it couldn’t live up to the hype.
Saying NBC gave it a post-closing ceremony spot is technically wrong. They abruptly ended their coverage, though the ceremony was still continuing and aired “The Marriage Ref.” As weird as it may have been, I would have rather listened to Avril Lavigne and Nickelback perform than watch “The Marriage Ref” again.
“The Marriage Ref’s” big draw came from the fact that it was created by Jerry Seinfeld, who apparently is also infected by the “Seinfeld” curse. Even he can’t make it funny.
The show works like this: The referee, comedian Tom Papa, helps regular couples solve their fights, and he has a panel of celebrities to help him decide who the winner is.
On the premiere episode, the panel consisted of Kelly Ripa, Alec Baldwin and Seinfeld. They heard arguments from two couples – one arguing over keeping a dead stuffed dog in the house and the other over the husband installing a stripper pole.
The half-hour episode felt like an hour, and when it eventually takes its Thursday night hour-long spot in a post-Jay Leno apocalypse, that feeling will only get worse.
In the end, it didn’t really matter what the outcome was. When it comes to “The Marriage Ref,” no one wins. It’s one marriage I’d like a divorce from immediately.