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Because I’ve been wondering what Jerry Seinfeld has been doing for the past 12 years (other than figuring out where to park all his cars in Manhattan), I decided to check out “The Marriage Ref.”

Man – that debut show was hard to find with NBC sticking it in the middle of the Olympic closing ceremonies.  Nothing pays homage to the beauty of the Olympic spirit and nations coming together like a break to focus on a couple squabbling about stripper polls (more on that in a moment).

But in all fairness to NBC, the orchestrators of the closing ceremonies had started pulling out the inflatable beavers and moose so maybe it was time to cut away.

If you somehow missed the 637 promos for this new Seinfeld show, a marriage ref settles a dispute between a husband and a wife after a 3 person celebrity panel weighs in.

Panelists include relationship experts like Alec Baldwin (who has a contentious relationship with ex Kim Basinger and once famously called his daughter a rude little pig) and Madonna (who is twice divorced and fully embracing cougarville).  I’m sure they’ve both sought rigorous therapy and now know how to help other couples avoid similar pitfalls.

So far the marriage disputes are things that come up in every relationship like a husband who wants to keep his dead, stuffed dog as a shrine in the living room, a wife who regularly flosses in bed and a husband who wants to install a stripper poll in their bedroom.  I can still recall that fierce fight Rick and I had over what color to paint our stripper poll.  I still contend that a soft peach would have been just the right shade.

Did I mention that “Today Show” host Natalie Morales makes a sad appearance at some kind of news desk as the fact checker for the show? (I can only imagine the money was very good).  And even Marv Albert worms his way onto the program. I’ll be shocked if Lorena Bobbitt doesn’t make some kind of appearance very soon.

If you’re looking to save your marriage, this show ain’t going to do it. Frankly, I’d put more stock in The Mouthy Housewives to solve your problems.

But I did laugh out loud a number of times. And Alec Baldwin should be on every week because despite his personal failings, he is quite talented. But I’m not sure “The Marriage Ref” has a long shelf life. It just feels too staged and hokey.

But at least I know… the next time Rick and I have a dispute over a dead dog, we now have some guidance on how to reach a peaceful resolution. Thank god for TV.

19 Responses to who needs a couples therapist when you have the marriage ref?

  • Gretchen says:

    Yeah, Jerry is just pimping this thing to death, isn’t he? You thinking he’s not making enough off his Seinfeld syndication residuals?

    I must admit…I was pro-pole. Not sure what that says about me…

  • Coma Girl says:

    I actually started to write a post about it too, but there were sooo many things wrong, I didn’t know where to start.

    It was horrible. And David Blaine sitting in a box eating pizza?!?

    How many “celebrities” can we fit on one show?

    And Natalie Morales – that was just sad.

  • Mo says:

    I too have missed Jerry Seinfeld. But this is where we differ. I’m just gonna watch all the episodes again and again.

  • Lauren says:

    I actually thought it was funny. I agree, it probably doesn’t have a long shelf life but it was a “clean” comedy that was just silly. Maybe because I am from LI and the dead dog couple’s accent made me homesick or because it was a completely mindless show. Natalie Morales needs to go back to the morning shows 🙂

  • I’m not sure which show won for more commercials during the Olympics: The Marriage Ref or Parenthood (it was a competition, right? Part of the Games?). We watched Parenthood and really liked it. My husband wanted to see The Marriage Ref and I was lukewarm on the idea. I conveniently forgot to remind him it was on last night. We didn’t watch it. And with your review, I’m not sure I’ll be running to find last night’s episode online.

  • I felt for the woman with the man and his giant turtles when they agreed with her husband. I had to agree with Jerry what kind of love do you get from a pet turtle?
    I think they needed REAL therapy.

  • Robyn says:

    I can’t believe I missed this show!!!! Thanks for the recap – doesn’t seem like I missed too much. But, you know I will DVR the next one.

  • Nope, that show won’t get even another 10 minutes of my life! But I agree about Alec Baldwin–very funny. Love, love, love 30 Rock. But the Marriage Ref? The host was completely random & pulling Natalie Morales in? More than random…desperate, maybe? Sorry NBC. Not a winner.

  • Jen says:

    I watched last night and could not believe it was an hour long show. Great to see Jerry again, but agree on the staged and hokey factor–the couples seemed like such stereotypes. The host, Tom Papa, he’s really, ummm, interesting….

  • hokgardner says:

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I found myself laughing out loud at the “panel.” Some of their comments were hysterical, but the rest of it, not so much.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Alex Baldwin is a highly intelligent man who will probably go into politics at some point.

  • Jackie says:

    My family loves this show. We watch it all the time. It cracks us up and makes us feel better about our relationship! It’s kind of like wife swap, Nanny 911 or clean house in the fact that you will always come away feeling better about you and your house hold than when you went into it.

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kelcey kintner