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'Married' recap: Miserably in love

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “The Shower” | Aired July 24, 2014

The marketing campaign for Married describes it as a “half-hour comedy about being miserably in love.” Episode 2 is the perfect manifestation of that mission statement. Russ and Lina have kid problems, money problems and shower problems. AJ is going to an engagement party for his ex-wife. Jess is married to a sugar daddy who ran out of sugar. Purposefully, there isn’t a single happy marriage to be found on the show. Maybe that’s supposed to be a comment on society today, or maybe it’s supposed to make this show feel more “real,” but ultimately, it’s depressing.

The cold open throws us into the chaos of Lina’s typical morning. Trying to get her three girls to school involves an cacophonous choir of yelling and arguing and question-asking. In just the dissonance of their four arguing voices, we can feel how hectic life is for Lina and her kids. Her one moment of quiet relief is her morning shower, where the white noise of the rushing water allows her to have a peaceful moment alone. Then Russ tries to hop in with her. Cramped in the way-too-small shower together, Russ and Lina fight about sex, as usual. When their new puppy walks into the bathroom, Lina kicks Russ out and tells him to put the dog outside. But, in a hurry to get back to Lina, he forgets to close the gate in the backyard. The puppy gets injured, and Russ and Lina have another new problem to deal with: a $5,000 vet bill.


Russ asks AJ if he can borrow some money, but AJ has a condition. He wants Russ and Lina to go to his ex-wife’s engagement party with him (his therapist is making him go in order to get “closure” on the marriage). With no other option, Russ and Lina agree to go.

They arrive before AJ does and meet up with Jess, who is the life of the party, wearing her “slut dress” and snorting cocaine in a pristine, very expensive-looking bathroom. (Jenny Slate is, again, the best part of this show by far).

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While in the bathroom with Jess, Russ notices that the shower has four separate showerheads. He drags Lina in to see it and begs her to take a shower with him (the four showerheads would help so no one gets cold), but Lina refuses. Obviously. Because they’re at a fancy party thrown by their friend’s ex-wife. Russ’s semi-cute, mostly annoying puppy-dog attitude toward sex has already gone a little too far, and this is only the show’s second episode.

After Lina’s rejection, the couple parts ways. Russ goes with AJ to his old house and Lina tags along with Jess to a bar. Each pairing gets tangled up with some younger guys and girls. While Lina and Jess get drunk and flirt with Jess’s co-workers, Russ and AJ hang out with a couple of prostitutes AJ hired. The episode’s cheeriest moment is a montage of the two separate groups, set to rock music. It’s a bleak reminder of what it takes to make these characters happy, and sets up the sad realization that Russ and Lina truly don’t find any joy in being with each other. This episode is especially dark, even during the “happy” parts.

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Just like in the pilot, an external force stops Russ from taking things too far or cheating on his wife. He’s called away from AJ’s by his daughter, Ella. She needs to be picked up from a sleepover because she’s too scared to make it through the night. Before leaving, AJ hands Russ the money for his vet bill. Mission accomplished.

On their way home, Ella asks Russ, “Everything gets easier when you’re a grown-up, right?” Russ, of course, says yes. But after watching this episode, that lie is completely transparent.

Lina comes home drunk, with big plans to try reentering the workforce, but Russ is too tired to deal with her drunken shenanigans. They celebrate their success in getting the $5,000 by lying in bed and reminiscing about their good old days—specifically about having sex in a friend’s outdoor shower when they were younger. They pass out from exhaustion and drunkenness, with plans to vacation together at a villa someday. For now, all they can do is dream.

Married airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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