One assumes Liz Taylor was busy

Last night the Better Half and I watched most of The Office while waiting for Project Runway to start. The episode itself was amusing enough, though I think a lot of the air has leaked out of that show. However, what struck me as genuinely hilarious were the promos for The Marriage Ref, which premiered right afterward.

(Before I go any further with the main point of this post, can we just talk a little about last night's Project Runway? Not only was that some of the stupidest guest judging they've had yet [even dumber than surprisingly stupid Lauren Hutton], but they must have been smoking some serious crack before they decided who to eliminate. Thoughts are welcome in comments, and consider this a blanket spoiler alert.)

I didn't actually watch The Marriage Ref, and can't say I have much interest in doing so in the foreseeable future. I find shows that expect us to take the opinions of celebrities seriously irritating, and there are way too many good books languishing on my shelf. The set-up, for the unfamiliar, is that a panel of celebrities offer marriage advice to various couples. Therein lies the hilarity.

Some of the celebrity "experts" are, to my knowledge, happily married. (At least Tina Fey and Eva Longoria Parker are, right?) But many of the others are... not. Very famously not.

My incredulity increased the more clips they showed. Alec Baldwin? Larry David? Madonna? Would you take marriage advice from these people? A man whose relationships with his ex and daughter could be charitably described as fraught? A famous misanthrope, however "amicable" his divorce? A woman whose personal relationships have included a sexually ambiguous underwear model, a certifiably insane basketball player, one of Hollywood's most famous womanizers and Sean Penn?

I imagine that most famous people who've stayed married for a long time have done so largely by keeping their private lives private. (Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick spring to mind.) Presumably such good sense would keep them from touching a stinker like The Marriage Ref with a ten-foot pole. But even if NBC (which seems to be having some trouble in the judgement areas of the collective brain these days) couldn't land some notably well-adjusted celebrity couples, did they have to pick such laughably bad "experts"?


  1. Ah, Dan,

    You've forgotten the old adage: "Those who can, do; those who can't, make guest appearances on reality t.v"

  2. Their next reality show hit comes from a post at the world famous bleakonomy: a sexually ambiguous underwear model, a certifiably insane basketball player, one of Hollywood's most famous womanizers and Sean Penn. Together, doing something inane, next week on NBC.