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Love And Marriage aired from September until October 1996 on FOX.
April ( Patricia Healy) worked nights as a waitress at the trendy New York restaurant Grill on the Park, and her husband Jack ( Anthony Denison) ran Drake's Parking Garage during the day in this failed comedy that only aired twice before it was canceled. High School sweethearts who still loved each other after 17 years of marriage, they struggled to support their family and find time to see each other, clinking champagne glasses on the fire escape outside their apartment when they had a few minutes together.
The 3 Nardini kids were Christopher ( Adam Zolotin), the would-be tough guy with a penchant for cutting classes; Gemmy ( Alicia Bergman), the rebellious teen into outlandish fashions, dyed hair, and body piercing; and Michael ( Erik Palladino), working 5 part-time jobs, while in his first year in junior college in the hope of getting enough money together to move out. Their new neighbors, the Beggs, provided quite a contrast. Trudy ( Meagan Fay) didn't work, was obsessive about housework and was smotheringly over-protective of her son, Max ( Adam Wylie). Her husband Louis ( Michael Mantell) rounded out the cast.
A Review from Variety
Love and Marriage
By TONY SCOTT
Cast: Patricia Healy, Tony Denison, Adam Zolotin, Alicia Bergman, Erik Palladino, Meagen Fay, Adam Wylie, Michael Mantell.
Taped at Culver Studios by Dorothy Parker Drank Here Prods. and TriStar TV. Exec producer-creator-writer, Amy Sherman; supervising producer, Elaine Arata; producers, Patricia Fass Palmer, Mike Martineau; director, Gail Mancuso; Good vibes, good writing and good people with smart things to say brighten up Fox's corner as Patricia Healy and Tony Denison limn April and Jack Nardini, loving, married New York working couple with three kids they accept as normal. Sharply written by creator Amy Sherman, directed expertly by Gail Mancuso, the Nardinis are people worth visiting.
April works night as a waitress in a posh Manhattan eatery, and Jack runs a parking garage during the day. Instead of groaning about the tough schedules, they make the most of their 15-minute beer break out on the fire escape; it's nice to see aware people in love. And to see the fire escape back in good esteem.
They deal with their kids like they're real. For the first episode, hard-working Michael (Erik Palladino), 17, appears only in flashes; Gemmy (Alicia Bergman), 16, who dyes her hair various greens and lives a pierce-and-be-pierced existence, is their loved daughter; Christopher (Adam Zolotin), 11, is into ditching school.
He may be foiled, since the Beggs, new neighbors from New Rochelle, have innocent son Max (Adam Wylie), 11. His proper, overwhelming, homemaking mom, Trudy (Meagan Fay), offers to walk the two boys to school. Her restrained hubby, Louis (Michael Mantell), hopelessly overcome by his exuberant wife, settles into chamber music.
Healy and Denison hit the target every time. They're a struggling, happily married couple and show it. The kids are a kick, and Fay's Trudy helps the new comedy swim along as it exudes joy, not cynicism, charm, not snideness. As April decides after the first act, "Oh, yeah, this is fun!"
A Review From The Washington Post
'Love and Marriage'
By Tom Shales
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 28, 1996
The new season is littered with working couples struggling to bring home the bacon and put bread on the table, and the nattering Nardinis of Fox's "Love and Marriage" are among the least amusing.
Patricia Healy and Tony Denison star as April and Jack, a waitress and parking garage manager who've been married 17 years, have three kids and are trying to raise them in a cramped New York apartment. In the premiere, at 9:30 tonight on Channel 5, one can see there's lots of love in the family, but not much intelligence.
It's endearing that she brings home leftovers in the traditional swan-shaped aluminum foil wrappers, and kind of cute when wife and hubby drink beer out of champagne glasses. But the series seems as crowded as the apartment; it's a moving target that never settles down and finds a personality.
Obviously this is from the "creative" team that whipped up "Married . . . With Children." It even features a Frank Sinatra song -- not "Love and Marriage," already used on "Married," but rather "Come Fly With Me," which was the series's original title.
Of the kids, 11-year-old Christopher has been skipping school again, 16-year-old Gemmy keeps changing hair colors and having body parts pierced, and 17-year-old Michael works at several part-time jobs. According to Fox, he does this "in hopes of achieving his goal: to make enough money to move out." Healy and Denison try hard, but getting out seems like a good goal for a viewer, too.
In a lovey-dovey mood, Jack refers to April as "the only proof I've found on this Earth that there is a God." Whoa! What's the matter with this guy? Hasn't he ever seen a tree, a flower, a penguin or Jenny McCarthy?
Copyright 1996 The Washington Post Company
A Review From Entertainment Weekly
Fox may have found the perfect companion piece for Married... With Children in LOVE AND MARRIAGE (Fox, Oct. 12, 9:30-10 p.m.). It's only about nine years too late. Since 1987, the network has searched for a sitcom with the touch of crass to hold on to Married's audience. Contenders came and went -- among them, Herman's Head, Daddy Dearest, Wild Oats, and Misery Loves Company. Now Fox has stumbled onto a compatible show -- it's also about a bickering working-class couple (Crime Story vet Tony Denison and Patricia Healy) with a trampy daughter (Alicia Bergman). And like Married, Love seems to think the words penis and vagina are inherently hilarious. Love even stole Married's theme song as its title (Love was originally named after another Sinatra tune, ''Come Fly With Me''). Unfortunately for Love, however, Married will probably only be alive for one more season, now that Fox has buried it in the Saturday-night graveyard.
A Review from The LA Times
TV REVIEWS | HOWARD ROSENBERG / TELEVISION
THE NEW TV SEASON * One in a series
'Early' Line on This Trio: Que Sera Sera
September 28, 1996|HOWARD ROSENBERG | TIMES TELEVISION CRITIC
"Early Edition" is a new series about foreseeing the future. Its own future on CBS rests in a time slot opposite two other series premiering tonight: the ABC comedy "Common Law" and the Fox comedy "Love and Marriage."
All three of which argue persuasively for going out on Saturday nights.
"Early Edition" asks what an ordinary guy would do if he knew the future a day in advance, then goes on to answer its own question unconvincingly in the premiere.
That guy is Chicagoan Gary Hobson (Kyle Chandler), a good-natured dope who is getting a Chicago Sun-Times newspaper with the next day's headlines and stories dropped at his door every morning with a yellow cat, not only giving him a jump on Roger Ebert's movie reviews, but a jump on everything!
Why the Sun-Times and not the Chicago Tribune? Why the cat? And why Gary, who seems to have done nothing to earn such a reward? The answers may surface later, but the premise alone is the kind of fertile fantasy (along with finding $1 million) that invites immediate daydreaming about what you would do--besides feeding the cat--if you were the beneficiary of such good fortune. Time to let your imagination run wild, which is more than "Early Edition" does.
The only people who know of Gary's unique news deliveries are his friends Marissa Clark (Shanesia Davis) and Chuck Grady (Fisher Stevens), the former an idealistic blind woman, the latter a gambling fiend who envisions the kadzillions he'll now be making from getting advances on sports results.
In addition to potential riches, knowing the future carries an enormous burden, and that is the direction the script takes the uncompelling Gary, who seems more interested in doing good than in making money. Unfortunately, the story that introduces him is uninspired and the resolution of the crisis he faces during a potential bank shootout is a no-brainer that leaves you skeptical about what's ahead for "Early Edition." Greater creativity, you'd hope, but who can predict the future?
It's "Love and Marriage" whose presses you'd most like to stop, though. It adds to prime time another routine sitcom, this one centering on a noisy family of Italian Americans. The only thing noisier is the laughter from the studio audience that greets almost every line. Fox must have paid a fortune for those cattle prods.
Jack Nardini (Tony Denison) runs a parking garage, and his wife, April (Patricia Healy), works the night shift at a trendy restaurant. In the little time they have together, they drink beer and gab on the fire escape outside the New York apartment they share with their three boisterous kids: the e'er-truant Christopher (Adam Zolotin), 11; freaky Gemmy (Alicia Bergman), 16; and Michael (Erik Palladino), 17; a community college student.
Their direct opposites are their square and sedate new neighbors, the Beggs (Meagen Fay and Michael Mantell), and the couple's nerdy kid (Adam Wylie). The premiere finds the two broods awkwardly socializing, as in rugged Jack talking up the New York Mets and effete Louis Begg talking about a chamber orchestra.
Jack: "Oh, who'd they play?"
Jack: "I bet they kicked his ass."
Either Jack doesn't know who Mozart is or is trying to be funny; in either case, the gag doesn't fit the character.
"Love and Marriage" tries mightily to be as kicky as the venerable sitcom it follows, "Married . . . With Children," which still is sometimes very funny, a mark this new series may have a hard time matching.
Meanwhile, there's "Common Law" for those preferring cohabitation between a funky Latino lawyer and a WASP female lawyer who keep their romance secret from the rest of their office but not from his old-fashioned father, who doesn't like it at all.
The sprawl of comics in comedies continues, the latest example being this series, in which usual stand-up performer Greg Giraldo is prone on a couch with Megyn Price to begin the loud but undistinguished premiere.
It's New York, and Giraldo plays chaotic, guitar-strumming maverick lawyer John Alvarez. Price is his fellow attorney and live-in lover, Nancy Slaton, whose Upper East Side breeding contrasts with his blue-collar upbringing as son of a Latino barber named Luis (Gregory Sierra).
They hide their romance at the workplace because the conservative law firm that employs them frowns on office romances. And when John's old-fashioned dad learns that they're now living together, he's not thrilled either.
It's nice that an unstereotyped Latino (John is a Harvard Law School grad, as is Giraldo himself) is heading a series, disappointing that it's a comedy as common as "Common Law." Balancing him is the law firm's over-the-top Latina, Maria (Diana-Maria Riva), a thickly accented spitfire of an office manager with two-inch nails.
The episode also finds John arranging bail for a slobby friend who has roughed up Nancy's former boyfriend and working through the night to miraculously complete a legal brief for an important case that he and Nancy have been assigned. He's able to complete this seemingly impossible task because, well, he's John.
Giraldo is acceptable but not memorable in a series that appears designed specifically for him. Nothing personal, but isn't it time that TV abolished affirmative action for stand-up comics?
* "Early Edition" premieres at 9 tonight on CBS (Channel 2). "Common Law" premieres at 9:30 p.m. on ABC (Channel 7). "Love and Marriage" premieres at 9:30 p.m. on Fox (Channel 11).
For more on Love and Marriage go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_and_Marriage_%281996_TV_series%29
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Keywords: The Cast of Love Marriage