Love may be patient, but it can also get a little threadbare after years of routine — and child-rearing. That’s the central theme of FX’s latest sitcom Married (premiering tonight at 10/9c).
The series follows Russ and Linda (Ben & Kate‘s Nat Faxon and Arrested Development‘s Judy Greer) as they try to keep romance (and their sex life) alive while raising their three kids on one income. (He’s a graphic designer, she’s a stay-at-home mom.)
“It’s the non-glossy version of what living and being partners with somebody else is like,” Faxon tells TVLine. “Their lives have become ruled by their children and their schedules [and] in the process of taking care of everything else, [they’ve] lost the ability to take care of their own relationship.”
In fact, it’s because of their inability to get on the same page that Lina gives Russ permission to explore his sexual options outside the marriage — a “hall pass” he willingly (and amusingly) accepts. Since this unexpected arc occurs right in the series premiere, Faxon says it was a challenge making sure his character didn’t come off as immediately unlikeable.
“This is a guy who loves his wife and wants to have more sex, but his wife is less interested,” Faxon explains. “There’s something deeper than that — having a guy who’s horny and woman who’s tired. There are a lot more layers to it, which speaks to a disconnect between two people.”
Nevertheless, Russ and Lina still share a sense of camaraderie, something Faxon says is made easier by having Greer as his co-star.
“[She’s] so effortless in everything she does and she makes it seem so simple that you have a hard time just not going along with that,” Faxon says.
Rounding out the cast are Russ’ pals, the soon-to-be-divorced AJ (Go On‘s Brett Gelman) and married Jess (Parks and Recreation‘s Jenny Slate), whose relationships offer additional insights into the show’s titular theme.
In Jess’ arc, “we explore what it’s like being married to an older man and [how] being a reckless flirt can affect marriage,” Faxon says. “With AJ, he is coming out of this divorce and he acts like he’s doing better than he is, but he’s in a lot of pain.”
Dark as things get on screen, however, Faxon promises lighter moments ahead over the course of the season, with the show focusing on the “full spectrum” of married life, including “the complete love and joy between these two people.”
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