In one episode of Comedy Central’s Broad City, the show’s characters are holed up in an apartment as a hurricane rages on outside. The episode involves a clogged toilet, Ilana deeming herself a “poop ninja,” an awkward game of truth or dare, and a flirtation gone wrong. As far as bottle episodes go, it’s a hilarious one filled with so-weird-it’s-funny interactions.
I bring this up because this week’s episode of Marry Me has a similar premise: Annie and Jake’s pals are over to celebrate the couple’s date-iversary when a storm alert interrupts their gathering and sends them running to the basement for safety. They also have one actor in common: John Gemberling, who plays Gil in Marry Me and Bevers in Broad City.
The difference? His character in Broad City is a man-child who is undoubtedly unlikable—so unlikable that in that hurricane episode, two of the main characters rub their junk all over his things because of how much disdain they have for him. Because no one else in the show likes him, either, we viewers feel a sort of kinship with the main characters. It bonds us together. In Marry Me, Gemberling also plays a man-child, but, while his friends roll their eyes at him quite often, he’s not supposed to be flat-out unlikable like Bevers. And this is a problem.
Lots of on-screen friend groups have that one friend who they like to rag on, and oftentimes, it works. But to work, that one person has to be weird enough that we can understand why his friends are mocking him, but lovable enough that we can side with him. Or, you can go the Bevers route and just make a character so revolting that you have no choice but to root against him. Gil hasn’t proved to be lovable or revolting though; instead he’s just… there.
The show also went in a troublesome direction this episode by (very briefly) pairing him up with Dennah. In a moment of passion they kissed (while her cute British boyfriend whose sole job throughout the episode was just to say “wanker” sat right there) and Dennah, of course, told Gil never to speak of it again at episode’s end. I agree: Let’s never speak of that again, and let’s make sure that never happens again. Pairing the pretty girl and the strange guy together is a lazy move—not to mention a completely uninteresting one.
But Gil issues aside, Annie and Jake are doing A-okay–kind of. Each of their anniversaries has been plagued by some sort of issue: One year Jake had an allergic reaction at dinner, another year a sprinkler went off on Annie’s perfectly styled hair, and this year, a tornado warning moves them away from the comfort of their apartment and into the basement. It’s a curse, so they say.
At first, Jake and Annie are fine until Dennah and Kay become obsessed with finding out what Jake has locked in a desk drawer that’s been sitting in the basement. Annie catches the obsession, and this turns into an argument between the couple about secrets that ends in the big reveal: Jake had pre-nup papers locked in that drawer that were for a previous fiancée. This makes for great drama, but it’s also cause for concern about their relationship. They’ve been together for six years and yet somehow he hasn’t mentioned he was engaged once before? Really?
As it turns out, they didn’t date very long and he knew marrying her would be a mistake. Annie interprets that to mean, “I’m the winner!” so she’s totally fine with it. (Meanwhile, Jake is heaving a sigh of relief and thinking, “Thank God she’s competitive.”) She and Jake also figure out that people they knew caused all the bad things that have happened on their previous anniversaries, meaning it’s not a curse after all. They just need to hang out with different people (my conclusion, not theirs).
Best lines (which all belong to Annie)
“Oh no, not Treeyonce!” —Annie as a tree falls down outside
“Your track record with dudes is not great. The helicopter DJ, the hologram denier, Lamar Odom.” —Annie to Dennah
“Weren’t you embarrassed when Gil went through your nightstand?” —Jake
“Of course I was, he found Dilda Radner.” —Annie