NBC spent a good chunk of the summer rebuilding its comedy lineup. The network only has four comedies airing this fall, with two of those landing on Thursday nights and two airing on Tuesday nights. With those limited options, you would think that NBC would be capable of matching up its comedies with ease. However, tonight’s premieres of Marry Me and About a Boy prove to be an oddball fit.

Marry Me’s premiere follows Annie (Casey Wilson) and Jake (Ken Marino) as they try to work through two botched proposals that almost break off their relationship. About A Boy’s Season 2 premiere picks up with Will (David Walton) in New York searching for the perfect bagel. He soon travels back to San Francisco to deal with some money problems and ends up helping his teenaged friend Marcus (Benjamin Stockham) and his mom Fiona (Minnie Driver) deal with some bullies. He also gets involved with a friend's vasectomy along the way.

Both comedies are a little quirky and neither feature a laugh track, but that’s about where the similarities end. About a Boy is a charming comedy that’s less about romance and more about life lessons while Marry Me is basically a walk through a couple’s relationship, featuring flashback scenes and plenty of grating, uncomfortable moments related to relationship troubles. In many ways, Marry Me is a better fit for either of the comedy programs the network is airing on Thursday nights.

There’s Bad Judge, a comedy that matches up with Marry Me in that it has plenty of cringe-inducing moments and features female protagonists that occasionally don’t have their acts together. There’s also A-to-Z, another new comedy NBC is trying on for size this fall, and it actually seems to be the natural pairing for Marry Me. Besides the fact that both Marry Me and A-to-Z follow some semblance of the romantic comedy setup, with a couple of best friends thrown in to add personality, both also employ flashback sequences. Neither of NBC’s Thursday night shows really match up, either, and I have no idea how NBC came to the lineup conclusion that it ended up rolling with. On network TV, opposites don’t really attract.

Marry Me doesn’t offer the most engaging pilot. The show, from former Happy Endings creator David Caspe, is about two characters who have dated for six years and are just getting around to getting engaged. Wilson’s Annie rules the pilot, shuffling between playing a stifled 30-something and a woman who has a trouble controlling her emotions and the word vomit related to those feelings. These leaves Ken Marino, who wrote Role Models and has crushed on comedies like Party Down and Eastbound & Down, with very little to do.

There are a lot of characters and personalities that need to be introduced in any given pilot episode, and in time, the kinks could be worked out. It will certainly take more than one episode to get a feel for Wilson and Marino’s characters, and by then Marry Me might find the same niche audience that Happy Endings had. I know one thing for certain. If NBC’s comedy lineup had played out in literally any different amalgamation, the show would have an easier time of it. Few About A Boy fans are going to tune in early for a maddening comedy about an incompetent couple who isn’t often on the same page, and it's hard to imagine Marry Me's fans sticking around for the long haul, either.

NBC’s Marry Me premieres on NBC tonight at 9 p.m. ET. About A Boy’s Season 2 premiere will follow at 9:30 p.m. ET.
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