“‘Till Death”: Season One

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
August 21, 2007

There’s nothing like an overly demonstrative pair of newlyweds to make an old married couple feel like a failure. And old.

So when Jeff (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Steph (Kat Foster) Woodcock–married for all of 12 days–move next door to Eddie (Brad Garrett) and Joy Stark (Joely Fisher), the latter feel the need to put their youthful neighbors in their place.

After all, they’ve been married more than 23 years and can’t remember ever having been as silly as the Woodcocks are with their multiple PDAs and cries of “I love you.”

And such is the premise of the first season of ‘Til Death.

The Starks have a mean streak that binds them together. Rather than allowing the young couple to fight amongst themselves and learn from their own mistakes, the Starks make themselves feel better by instigating spats.

Never mind that the Woodcocks are in their 20s and their been-there done-that neighbors are two decades older. The young couple still seeks out their approval and wants to befriend them.

Despite the sometimes-clunky dialogue, Garrett and Fischer are likeable even in their unlikable roles.

But Thomas–the least memorable actor from the cast of the American Pie films–is miscast in his part. Though earnest, he’s not believable.

All 22 episodes of the first season, which aired on Fox in 2006-2007, are included on this 3-disc set.

Look for guest stars such as Margaret Cho (as a Stark pal who befriends the Woodcocks) to steal the show. Married, with Children alum Ted McGinley also makes an appearance as Eddie’s bachelor pal (and idol) who begins to lose his cool factor when he falls hard for one of Joy’s friends.

The show would fare better if it focused less on the primary two couples and included more of their friends, who are more interesting and likeable.

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