Jason Nash Is Married Review

Posted: June 24, 2014 in Comedy, Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

tumblr_lv10giehNp1qzofn3While watching Jason Nash Is Married, you can’t shake a sense of déjà vu. At first, you might attribute it to the source material for the film, a web series that streamed on Atom.com bearing the exact same title, but the feeling of familiarity goes beyond having previously seen the characters in another format. Slowly, the realization comes that Jason Nash is Married shares DNA with innumerable situation comedies featuring a beleaguered father/husband character. You feel like you’ve seen it before because you have, in 23-minute bites called Make Room for Daddy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Married With Children, or Home Improvement. Jason Nash Is Married could also be called Seinfeld 2.0 – same idea, newer media.

Jason Nash Is Married stars Jason Nash the comedian as Jason Nash the stay-at-home underachiever who is hoping to break into show business. He is married to Busy Philipps the television producer, who is played by Busy Philipps the television star, and before you ask, no, they are not married in”real life,” a term of dubious value here. Jason and Busy’s rocky marriage serves as the premise for a string of YouTube-size skits that comprise the better part of the 84-minute runtime. If Funny or Die is the criteria that applies, then Jason Nash lives to tell jokes another day. The bits run from LOL to LMFAO, aided immensely by a team of whip-crack comedians who pop in and out in a series of too-brief cameos.

David Koechner provides much needed manic energy in his appearances as Nash’s neighbor in the lonely hearts apartment building Jason moves into after his separation from Busy. Mary Lynn Rajskub is yummier and funnier than she’s ever been as Chloe in 24, when she finds out from Jason that she is his “mourn,” the woman he would go to if his wife is run over by a truck or dies in some other unexpected manner. Another stalwart performer is T.J. Miller as Tidal, who just might give Jason his big break into television through a show called Adventure Baby, which could involve David Fincher maybe. The list of stand-up, standout talent on display goes on and on: H. Jon Benjamin, Andy Richter, Patton Oswalt, Paul F. Tompkins, and at least a half dozen others.

What is striking, however, is how tame most of the comedy is. A good bit of Jason Nash Is Married does not even merit the rating of NSFW. If you’re caught by your boss watching it, she’s likely to email you a link to an Amy Schumer skit, with the message that if you like that, you’ll love this. It’s no knock on Nash. He plays the straight man for the most part, doing the hard set-up work and allowing the others to get the laughs.  He is less successful in the narration scenes where he smokes, weeps, and speaks into a microphone, ostensibly providing the dramatic raison d’être for the whole affair, but the sum of the parts does not add up to a movie. The four-word review for Jason Nash Is Married was written by Gertrude Stein years ago: There’s no there there.

The question surrounding the effort is the same one that content providers of all kinds are facing: how do you monetize a product that so many are willing to provide for free? If you can see the best parts of Jason Nash Is Married on YouTube, will you pay for a ticket or rent it on demand? In pre-Internet speak, why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?

Two stars.

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