In the first few episodes of Marry Me, the cast has been largely split up, mixing and matching pairings consisting of the central unit of Jake and Annie and their comings and goings with the secondary cast members. Thanks to well-timed inclement weather, the cast got to spend all of “Annicurser-Me” together, locked in a cage no les, which is apt for an episode about Jake and Annie’s friends effects on their relationship. As they should, Annie and Jake are given their own considerable storyline, but “Annicurser-Me” largely allowed each character to flow freely through plotlines, without being segregated by their own storyline as they have been throughout the first three episodes. It lead to an uneven episode that still maintained that ray of hope the beginning of the series may be rough going, only to lead to better things as it progresses.

Above all else, though, “Annicurser-Me” was abundantly sweet. Each episode has followed the specific pattern: a problem arises, Annie freaks out about her future with Jake, Jake placates her, Annie figures out she’s mature enough to handle what comes her way. To “Annicurser-Me’s” credit, the structure was the littlest bit more complicated than previous episodes, messing with the perspective and continuity to give the story an extra layer. But that basic structure of Annie’s customary loss of sanity, combined with Dennah’s show of shallowness and Gil’s absurdity is still firmly intact throughout “Annicurser-Me.”

Annie’s particular freak out revolves less around the curses that supposedly plague Annie and Jake, but her lack of trust in their relationship. It’s not just their date-versary that’s the problem, it’s them, Annie says, while Die Hard-ing their escape from their makeshift tornado shelter. Except the show is called Marry Me, and it does not exist without its central couple intact, so the chances that an abnormal outcome will arise from those specific set of circumstances is unlikely. No matter how many flashbacks there are, the outcome is still the same. Of course, Annie will come to the realization that her relationship is fine, and she and Jake will continue to be fine, leading each episode of their lives to end with a cloyingly sweet lesson to cap everything off. What’s strange about Marry Me complete lack of stakes is that the premise of the show—two people planning a wedding—has stakes built into it inherently. Yet, with the plot structure on repeat, there’s no real chance for any of these interactions to carry any weight concerning those eventual nuptials.

The basic nature of the plots so far does have their upside, allowing for maximum character interaction between the satellites that circulate around Annie and Jake. But I’m not particularly enamored with these people as of yet. That’s okay, as the series has the right to take some time to firm up who these characters are just yet, but they are beginning to grate. It’s not their cartoonish nature that is an issue. Happy Endings, the show that Marry Me won’t escape comparison of for some time, existed as caricatures of their tropes, but those tropes varied from the ultra Type A to the hot mess. In “Annicurser-Me,” all of the women appear to be the hot mess, or at least thoroughly clueless. I certainly don’t think this is some sort of demonstration of gender disparity and the men in the cast don’t have the same problem because they are presented as opposites. But as a group, working together, their sameness is the most apparent. They show a clear need to give these women characterization aside from their issues. There are allusions to characters hiding behind the neuroses and foibles, but it’s cloaked in constant upseak. Annie was particularly harsh this episode, defining the stability of her relationship in terms of beating a hot bisexual Asian to the ultimate prize that is Jake and reiterating her marriage craziness leading Jake to fake a soy allergy. There’s no real person hiding underneath, the cartoonish extends to her core.

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Yet, here we have three talented women, making characters who could very well be intolerable, inherently likable, even when they’re locked in confined spaces. Sarah Wright Olsen in particular is coming into her comedic own as Dennah, just as (and here comes that Happy Endings albatross again) just as Elisha Cuthbert was given the opportunity to prove herself beyond the hot blonde as Alex. There’s a talent in playing confidently stupid, and Olsen is able to fill that need quite nicely.

Stray observations:

  • How long until there’s a real Gil-Dennah hook up that goes beyond her attraction to authority figures?
  • Liam was a boring addition to the group. He didn’t add or detract from the episode and I was puzzled by the constant injury gag.
  • “Gil are you a doomsday prepper?” “We prefer survivalistas.”
  • “Your track record with dudes is not great. The helicopter DJ, the hologram denier, Lamar Odom.”
  • “He found Dilda Radner.” I still think you should have called it Dildo Baggins.”
  • “You and your stupid friends.” “Watch yourself.” “We’re not that great.”
  • “Sorry I’m late, traffic was a crazy bitch.”

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