We Watch it So You Don't Have To: "Gary Unmarried"
To say the show is a despicable new low for television is more of an understatement than to say, "Boy, Jay Mohr put on a little weight." I had to continually remind myself during this god-awful viewing that I was doing it for my job and in the end, I will be looking into the logistics of worker's comp, because I sustained more injury during this half-hour monstrosity than any on-the-job accident could produce.
From what I gathered -- while watching with my hands covering my eyes for half of it to block the inhumanity -- Fattie McFatterson Jay Mohr plays Gary Barnes (or Brooks? I'm not sure. The CBS Web site references him as both -- awesome!), a man who was married to and who produced two children with Allison Barnes (Paula Marshall). Don't you just love it when sitcoms cast children that in no way, shape or form could have come from their actor parents? Ahh, realism. Anyway, Gary and Allison divorce and share custody of their two kids -- along the way they cope with getting into new relationships and openly telling their ex's all about it. Oh no, but it's supposed to be funny. Don't you get it? Gary was married, but now he's unmarried! And divorce is hilarious!
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention a few things -- Gary was in prison, for what -- we don't know, but he makes bad prison jokes because ... you know, jail is really hilarious too, Allison was engaged to her and Gary's shrink, Dr. Walter Krandall (played by Ed Begley, Jr. -- talk about a downward spiral), but now she's not because she realized that it was only for rebound purposes. But no worries, neither she nor Mr. Krandall really cares. Also, Gary is dating Vanessa (played by former model Jaime King) and that's totally realistic because Gary is a fat paint contractor and Vanessa is a gorgeous blonde single mother who pays Gary to paint her house. Oh, and Gary nips out for about 90 percent of the show -- including a mysterious third nipple that appears and then disappears because of poor editing.
In Wednesday night's episode, Gary tells his ex-wife Allison, who for some reason is at his home, hanging out, not to use the dishwasher because it's broken. Why would she do his dishes? Why would she need to be told that the dishwasher is broken? Why in God's name was she ever married to this man? ... These are all questions left unanswered.
But like clockwork, she, of course, runs the dishwasher and floods Gary's first floor. Wow, didn't see that coming. Since Gary's first floor is now soaked in dishwasher soap -- yet his upstairs and bedroom are unaffected -- it makes perfect sense that Allison invite Gary to stay with her for the night and sleep in their old master bedroom, right? Ugh. Let's just cut to the chase and fast-forward to where everyone has already predicted this plot to go -- Allison gives Gary the master bedroom, where she usually sleeps, then in the middle of the night, she is too drowsy after getting a glass of water to realize she's walking back into the master bedroom and falls asleep spooning Gary. Cue Mr. Fiancé. And gouge eyes out with rusty, dull spoon ... now.
The most bizarre thing is that there's this very strange hint of "will they, won't they" between Gary and Allison that truly is so disastrous, the entire show should shut down -- unless, you know, the lack of good taste and creative, comical writing doesn't beat them to the punch. Really, it's my own fault -- I should've known it would be terrible when the tagline for the show read, "If you like 'Two and a Half Men,' you'll LOVE 'Gary Unmarried.'" That begs the question, who are these shows aimed at? Neither can really be considered a family sitcom since both try and poke fun at divorce (and since the only time I nearly laughed during "Gary Unmarried" is when he made a statutory rape joke ... ). Both shows also center a number of jokes around s-e-x and promiscuity. Neither show would attract anyone under 40 (OK, anyone, period) and clearly, this isn't for the "Matlock" crowd. So I guess that leaves ... no one. In that case, well done CBS -- you've nailed your primary audience!
Will you watch again? If someone held a gun up to my head, I would tell them to pull the trigger.
-- Sara Boyd, firstname.lastname@example.org