More than a year after its cancellation, Happy Endings fans are still a particularly passionate bunch. So, when it was announced that the show’s co-creator David Caspe and co-star Casey Wilson — a real-life married couple — were working on a new NBC series, the news was greeted with the kind of unbridled enthusiasm normally reserved The Car Czar.
Their second endeavor, Marry Me (premiering Oct. 14) has plenty of Happy Endings DNA: In addition to Wilson, who played Penny Hartz, Caspe brought over several of the late ABC comedy’s writers, as well as Ken Marino, who played Richard Rickman. But Wilson is quick to warn that it’s not simply Happy Endings masquerading under another name.
“If people liked Happy Endings, they’re really going to like this,” she told BuzzFeed. “But a lot of people didn’t see Happy Endings; our audience was 100% press, 0% civilians,” she added with a laugh. “So I kind of think if you haven’t seen that show, you’ll think this is a fresh take on a romantic comedy with a lot more edge and a lot more humor than you might normally see.”
That edge comes courtesy of Wilson’s Annie and Marino’s Jake, the kind of couple you rarely see in the standard rom-com; with their cringeworthy behavior, smart mouths, and snarky asides, similar characters are often relegated to the “best friend” role while the infinitely more “put-together” friend takes center stage.
And by shifting the spotlight to this unconventional couple, Marry Me eschews the saccharine contrivances and all-too-impeccable characters that dominate modern-day rom-coms, ensuring the series treads entirely new ground. And that was one of the biggest attractions for Wilson, besides working with her husband, of course.
“In a perfect world, we would have the hard jokes of 30 Rock, but also this heartfelt romantic comedy as well,” Wilson said of Marry Me’s tone. “I think what goes on in every day life between couples is actually really funny — this is just kind of exaggerated versions of what happens with any couple. The scripts are just so funny and great; I would have done this show if I wasn’t married to David.”
Wilson and Caspe, who met making Happy Endings, wed in May 2014, but so far, she hasn’t seen too much of her real life making it into the scripts. “I’m sure it will come,” she laughed of her husband and boss mining their life for material. “But, at face value, it seems like all the writers are in some weird relationships. Like, in the [second] episode, Annie is feeling incredibly claustrophobic after she moves in with Jake, so she starts to slowly move into her car. ”
Luckily, Wilson’s not living in her car and said she and Caspe have found a great work-life balance. “I think the key to working with my husband is that collaboration in comedy is best,” she said. “We have a good shorthand and good relationship outside of that. The respect David has for writers and actors, and the encouragement he gives you to be free and have fun is kind of unlike most sets I’ve been on. Also, the hours are long, so to get to collaborate and work with someone you love is fun.”
Another key to their successful relationship? Wine, which is at the center of BuzzFeed’s exclusive Marry Me promo below. “I do enjoy a drink, and, actually, that might be the key to working with my husband: We enjoy a drink at the end of the day … whenever the end of the day happens to be,” she said.