The Marriage Ref is the worst show on television. That is not hyperbole, it is fact. It's a cheap, lazy pile of forced guffaws. Jerry Seinfeld standing in front of a stark white backdrop, reading aloud from Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus would be more entertaining and worthwhile. No one should watch The Marriage Ref.
Naturally, though, everyone is watching The Marriage Ref. The show got high ratings for its odious "preview" episode on Sunday, as well as the first official episode which aired last night. Sure, The Marriage Ref's high ratings could just be a function of its strong lead-ins (the closing ceremony of the Olympics, and an hour-long episode of The Office), or maybe everyone watched because they wanted to confirm that the show was indeed as horrible as it seemed (which is probably why you heard a loud, collective exhalation of "Yup, this is horrible!" around 10:09pm last night). But could it be something else? Is there something on the show that people actually want to see? I watched the following clip of last night's episode to investigate.
So, based on that clip, why are people watching The Marriage Ref?
—The siren call of Eva Longoria's discordant laugh-coughs.
—Tom Papa's amazing electric razor impression
—People like watching celebrities watch and laugh in splitscreen at the thing they're also watching. (Clearly every show should do this. Think about how great it would be to watch The Office in a splitscreen with Eva Longoria's laughing face!)
—There's nothing like a panel discussion
—Marriage! Wah-wah! [insert slide-whistle sound] Honk honk! [insert banana peel] You know?
—Immobility/loss of remote
—People just love hearing facts about dust.
If you or someone you know is watching The Marriage Ref, there is help. Simply stop watching The Marriage Ref before every other network copies it, and Natalie Morales gets her own spin-off called Facts About Dust N'Things.