Season two of Married, FX’s brutally honest and painfully funny show starring Judy Greer and Nat Faxon, retuns this Thursday. Rotten Tomatoes visited the Married set in Los Angeles this spring, and talked to members of the cast and crew to find out what new laughs the team has in store. Here’s some of what we can expect in Season Two:
The number one question for Nat Faxon on set was “How is Russ’ love life?” He told us that Russ’ new job as a skateboard designer has become way too hectic for him to think about getting busy. “I think that he probably gets home after his wife now after she’s already asleep. Before she was asleep but still awake… or asleep sexually but still awake. And now she’s asleep, both physically and sexually.” He feels for Russ’ struggle for life balance: “There’s more financial security, but at the cost of less availability at home, and we have several moments in different episodes where you see Russ communicating through Facetime, or through coming home late and tucking kids in, and it’s ‘gone early in the morning and then home late at night.’ So you end up feeling for him in the sense that he’s providing more for his family, but it’s also losing time with the kids, which I think is something that is a very universal struggle.”
Lina is trying to get out of the house more, and finds a new companion in Abby, played by Sarah Burns. Burns is really thrilled to be working with the talented cast of Married, saying, “Everybody was so welcoming to me right away, and Brett Gelman, who plays A.J., is a really good friend of mine. We’ve known each other for years, through improv and sketch comedy in New York at Upright Citizens Brigade, so that was a wonderful entry. They were all so inclusive and welcoming and the writers are so friendly and fun, and the producers are so cool and I just folded in.” Abby and A.J. seem to be hitting it off, which is good, because…
After last season’s shenanigans involving prostitutes,
a variety of substances, and a meaningful stint in rehab, A.J. is back, and better than ever. Brett Gelman says that A.J.’s recovery has perks and pitfalls, as A.J.’s addictions have just shifted from self destruction to helping others — whether they want help or not. “I get bought out by my firm, so I’m essentially fired. And so I have a lot of time on my hands and I fill it with a lot of crazy things. It’s been really fun because A.J. just gets himself into a lot of strange situations and a lot of crazy schemes. He’s trying to make up for the fact that he used to be a drug and sex addict, but he’s trying a little too hard. And it’s creating new problems.”
Bernie, Russ’ happy-go-lucky best friend, may have had his luck run out, as his office pranks (especially one called “Grandpa”) have landed him in hot water with the HR Department. But hopefully he’ll land on his feet, as John Hodgman, reflected that Bernie is the only character on the show who is truly happy. “Bernie is a guy who feels consistently attractive, perfectly happy, and is really the grounding point… I’m just a happy guy, and it’s nice to be around happy people. Part of my happiness has to do with my television wife, Cindy, who has never been seen (in the grand tradition of sitcoms), and in fact, this season has never been mentioned… but Cindy and I have a very loving, intensely sexual, and profoundly open relationship.” Let’s hope it stays that way.
In the first episode of the season, Lina checks in on her mother, as it seems she is developing dementia. Greer welcomed the chance to play opposite Frances Conroy, saying, “I’ve just been such a huge fan of hers for so long and when they said that they cast her, I was stunned. I was silent, I was so excited. And I think it’s really good casting, too. I feel like she and I feel similar; our energies, and our looks and stuff. It was really awesome to just watch her process and she’s so professional. She learned her lines — I need to do that.”
Zack Pearlman joins the cast this season as Russ’ younger and socially awkward boss, Gil. “I unknowingly make his life very hard. I’m not all there. I’m missing a few marbles, let’s say… not missing a few marbles. I just don’t understand the emotional aspect of the workplace. I’m all business.” But the Married set is a sort of homecoming for Pearlman — his first big break was starring in The Virginity Hit, written by Married creator, Andrew Gurland.
Kimiko Glenn (Orange is the New Black) joins the cast as Russ’ new assistant, Miranda. Keeping Russ on track isn’t easy, and she also has to do translating duties between Gen-Xer Russ and his millennial boss. Glenn is thrilled to join the Married fray, as she got her start in comedy, and is happy to get back to it. “As soon as I stepped on to the set, I just got the sense that it was a playful set. And that’s the biggest sigh of relief — when you can feel that they’re not super-married to the script or anything. You can just really make it your own, and play with it, and be there with someone, instead having to get every word right.”
Creator Andrew Gurland confided that many of the characters and situations on Married were inspired by his own life. “The pilot kind of came out of a conversation my wife and I were having, where I started doing arithmetic about how many times we could have sex before I died. From there, we just went into more personal material. At first my wife really resisted it, and this year she actually joined the writers’ room and consulted on stories. It was really fun for the writers because we were having these arguments and they were taking notes.” Is this a shrewd move to allow them to see each other once in a while? With a life based on Married, it’s quite possible.
Season two of Married premieres this Thursday, Jul. 16, on FX at 10:30 p.m.