Kurt Braunohler and Lauren Cook are making a living off of being married. The couple launched their podcast, Wedlock, earlier this year on Audible. Now in wide release, Wedlock finds the pair of comedians expounding on the virtues and pitfalls of married life, talking about how simultaneously serious and silly the whole institution really is. Given that Braunohler and Cook seem to be experts on the whole married couple thing—and that they’re in the entertainment industry—we thought it would be a good idea to get them to weigh in on some other famous, albeit fictional, power couples.
Ross and Rachel, Friends
Lauren Cook: Oh boy. I need to just tell you that Kurt didn’t watch television for a solid 15 years, and he very actively rejected anything the mass media embraced. So, this will be really fun as an exercise for me.
Did they end up together, ultimately?
The A.V. Club: They did.
LC: It’s too much back and forth. Everyone is exhausted.
Kurt Braunohler: Yeah, it’s almost like they’re letting fucking ratings determine if they’re going to love each other! Maybe don’t think about ratings so much, and fucking love each other.
LC: Focus on one another, yeah. I’ve always felt like Rachel was maybe a little too hot for Ross. I don’t know if that’s…
KB: Yeah, you should say that. Go ahead.
KB: And I thought he was too brainy for her!
AVC: Does it count as cheating if a couple is on a break?
LC: No. I don’t think so, as long as they’re on the same page about the fact that they’re on the break. Sometimes one person thinks they’re on a break and the other doesn’t, and that can be tricky. But yeah, if everybody is in agreement, then yeah. That’s not cheating.
KB: That’s what you sign up for. That’s what a break is.
LC: That’s the main reason for a break.
AVC: This one, they didn’t actually get together, but everyone wanted them to.
KB: I’m trying to remember. Duckie was, like, her buddy. He was Jon Cryer, right?
AVC: Yeah. He got jilted all the time, but was clearly in love with her.
KB: And then right at the end, he gets her, right?
LC: No, I think she goes with the handsome dude, and he’s just like, “Okay.”
KB: Oh, he’s jilted right at the end?
LC: Duckie is the one who wore the bolo tie.
LC: Kurt, maybe you could talk a little bit about your love of bolo ties.
KB: I mean, I really do identify with Duckie.
Now it’s like I’m actually having a lot of realizations, because I never understood why, at my 14th birthday party, I wore a bolo tie. I remember I had never worn a bolo tie before that, and I’ve never worn a bolo tie after that, but I have photographs of me in this bolo tie, and I never knew where it came from. And there’s a good possibility where it came from [was] Duckie wearing bolo ties in that. So, I’m obviously in Duckie’s camp.
LC: Everybody is in Duckie’s camp! I feel like if they met 10 or 15, maybe 20 years later, they’d be so happily married. It’s just high school that gets them all mixed up.
KB: I would recommend a really great single-sex high school for both of them, because I feel like there’s just a clique thing happening with them, and if it was just all boys in Duckie’s school, he would be fine. He’d be just another dude. Instead, he’s an outcast in the school that he’s at.
AVC: He’s also the cool guy who loves music. Those people don’t always get all the girls in high school, but it usually works out for them in the long run.
LC: Exactly. He is doing great. He owns, like, four companies.
KB: Yeah, he’s doing fine now.
Walter and Skylar White, Breaking Bad
KB: Well, first and foremost, Walter really needs to start being honest. If he had been honest from the get-go, we really wouldn’t have had to watch any of those escapades.
LC: I’m trying to remember. We’ve got to talk through this a little bit, because we loved this show so much, but it’s been a while. She at some point, I think, chose to ignore what was happening.
KB: For the family, though, to keep them together.
LC: Well, and also because suddenly they were having this hot sex, remember? He would put on that black hat and take the town for the night.
I feel like there were definitely positive aspects to him having this decline into the world of crime. Remember he got more confident? And he was just a baller in general.
I think she needed to admit that she liked that until, you know, she didn’t. Until her life was in danger.
KB: Again, if he was straight-up and honest, he could have been a baller and she wouldn’t have left him. The reason she left him is because of the lies, right? She could have dealt with it.
LC: But also their life was in danger. She was being targeted. I think that’s why she left.
KB: Yeah. I think it was the lies.
LC: Okay, we’ll go with lies. They needed some good couples therapy. Did they ever try it?
KB: I don’t think so.
LC: And he could definitely have afforded that. If he would have opened himself to that level of vulnerability, I think they really could have lasted.
KB: Look, I don’t think drugs are the answer here, but I do think that if Walter…
LC: If they had, like, spent a night on ecstasy together?
KB: I mean, look: Walter has a lot of meth. If they sat down for one night and did some meth together, they would not—
LC: They might have figured a lot of shit out.
KB: They wouldn’t have stopped talking, and I think that that’s what their relationship needed was a lot more talking.
LC: It was right there in front of them all the time, just surrounding them.
KB: The answer to all their problems was just a little toot of meth.
LC: It’s an interesting take, but I can see it. It makes sense.
KB: Never. Gonna. Last. There’s no way in hell that relationship lasts more than six months.
LC: It is a tough start.
KB: The power imbalance there is never going to be solved. It’s never going to be not an issue.
LC: But she was such a magnetic individual, you know? And their chemistry was undeniable.
LC: I’d like to say that it will last. I’d like to say that they’ve retired to some private island, and they have maybe seven children or three golden retrievers.
KB: Yeah, no. The first big fight they have, he says, “You fucking whore,” and she’s out.
LC: Oh god, that’s horrible! You think he would do that? Richard Gere would never do that.
KB: Do you know Richard Gere?
LC: Just that he put a hamster in his butt.
KB: No he didn’t! Poor Richard Gere. He never put a hamster up his butt. Someone started that rumor, and he’s lived with it his whole life.
AVC: What about Dustin Hoffman and the young woman he ends up with at the end of The Graduate?
LC: Well, first of all, he fucks her mother, right?
LC: It seems as if the director wanted us to believe that they were not going to last, and that they were really worried about their future in general. When that song comes on and they have that look [on the bus] like, “Oh no.”
KB: Oh no. I think that look is supposed to be reassuring, like they’re traveling away together.
LC: No, I think they’re supposed to be terrified.
KB: I think the issue she’ll have throughout the relationship, or that she’ll always have, is that she’ll think she can’t measure up to her mom’s sweet puss.
LC: Yeah, how are they going to do holidays?
KB: Exactly. They’re going to have a real tough time at holidays, and I think, again, in a fight, all of the insecurities are going to come out. She’ll say, “Why don’t you just go fuck my mom again?”
KB: It’s never going to work.
Maura and Shelly Pfefferman, Transparent
LC: Ultimately, they’re not together, but he occasionally fingers her in the bathtub. That seems to be their relationship in the last season.
KB: That seems like a really nice relationship. I only watched the first season.
LC: I’ve watched them all. Well, I guess it’s just about to start. I’m very excited to see what happens. It seems like he doesn’t want to be fingering her in the bathtub, but if that’s all she needs, I think—and we shouldn’t say “he.” It’s a really nice relationship. They are respecting each other, moving forward, but they’re holding onto the past.
KB: And they still care for each other, you know? I think they’ve gone through a lot and they still care for each other, and I think that’s really sweet.
AVC: It’s a mature relationship.
LC: It’s a very mature relationship.
KB: In more ways than one.
LC: Yeah. And it’s sweet that he sometimes helps her masturbate in the bathtub.
KB: I mean, that’s a domestic abuse case I think, really. Wilma needs to get out. She needs to divorce him and move into a cave of her own, because it’s not safe there.
AVC: What does Fred do?
LC: Yeah, does Fred beat her?
KB: I feel like he’s always screaming at her, and she’s always just having to constantly clean, but her vacuum is a bird that eats the ground. So, it’s tough on a lot of levels for her, and then he’s just screaming all the time. Mad man.
They don’t show it in the cartoon, but I think he’s a drinker as well. I think when that blackout happens, a lot of bad shit goes down. So, I want Wilma to get the fuck out of there.
LC: She is locked into some really archaic rules as a woman. She’s mostly cleaning and cooking. Pebbles is hungry. Does Fred ever take care of it? No.
KB: Also, in that TV show, the classic way you woo a woman is to knock her unconscious and then drag her by the hair back to your den.
LC: Is that right?
KB: That is 100 percent right. That’s done over and over and over again.
LC: That’s so dark. We need to just prevent this show from airing ever again.
Don and Betty Draper, Mad Men
LC: Oh man, that final scene. Ugh! When they talk on the phone, and she’s going to die of cancer? Oh my god, the love between them. And it’s just this silent thing. It’s just this look in their eyes.
He was obviously such a troubled guy. I don’t know that he could ever have a super healthy relationship with anyone, but they had a love for the ages. I really love their love.
KB: I don’t know how you could say it’s a love for the ages. It was real fucked up.
LC: It was super fucked up, but they were all… it was all…
KB: The passion was there?
LC: It was all expressed in that moment in that phone call.
KB: This is where Lauren and I differ. Lauren will—even if it ends up being essentially a sociopathic lunatic and another person dying of cancer—she still liked it if they can be silent on the phone together.
LC: There was a lot of love there! It was so apparent.
KB: But he cheated on her every single day.
LC: He was going to cheat on everybody. She moved past it. She didn’t care.
KB: She did care. She divorced him.
LC: No, no. She still loved him.
KB: That’s pathetic.
LC: You heard what I said though. He can’t have a healthy relationship with anyone. He’s just a tortured soul, but their love was there.
KB: Oh my god, I hate the myth of the tortured man soul who can just shit on everybody he wants and is still loved. Fuck that guy.
LC: Oh my goodness. You’re putting words in my mouth. They’ve maintained this intense caring for each other, and it was almost like you could see them both look back on their life together briefly in that instant.
AVC: What about Don and Megan, his second wife?
LC: Oh yeah, that wasn’t nearly as romantic to me.
KB: Oh no, not at all.
LC: And I liked Megan. I thought Megan was great.
KB: Too young. There was a power imbalance there that would never be solved.
LC: Was he cheating on her?
KB: He cheated on her all the time.
AVC: With the lady that lived in the building.
LC: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The elevator lady who is in Bloodline.
KB: She’s great.
LC: I just feel like they started with this really passionate thing that was super sexy as an affair, but once it turned into a marriage, it was not going to last.
Carrie, Aidan, and Mr. Big, Sex And The City
LC: You know, I really loved Aidan. I thought Aidan was such a wonderful guy, and I thought Mr. Big—especially once they got into the movies—he just really lost his whole appeal. I’m much more in the Aidan camp.
But let’s be honest, she was kind of a nightmare. I loved the show, but I would never want to be married to Carrie. So I don’t know that she’s actually cut out for marriage in general. I think she should just sort of be single and date.
Maybe she is made for Mr. Big, but I was in the Aidan camp. I hope he’s happily married to someone who understands him and loves him and appreciates him and his hot bod.
Ben Stone and Allison Scott, Knocked Up
AVC: Do you think Seth Rogen’s and Katherine Heigl’s characters made it work after she had the baby?
KB: That’s a good question. This is a real tough one. Because the suggestion is he really comes around finally. He reads the book. Like, that’s the big accomplishment that he does.
LC: He reads all the books.
KB: He reads the book, then he knows some things. And then I guess he sticks up for her going into labor.
LC: And he also handles the labor really well. But yeah, let’s be honest, is that really going to hold the relationship together when they’re… They say opposites attract, but she’s a talking head on an Entertainment Tonight show.
KB: I think it actually will work out, because I think Seth Rogan’s character will just become a stay-at-home dad, and she’ll make the bread. And I feel like his character would be very happy in that situation, not having to worry about money and just being a dad. I think it might work.
LC: I mean, she’s going to have to be okay with his smoking pot every hour of the day.
KB: I think that’s going to be their main issue, him waking up and going to have garage time before he takes the kid.
LC: “Garage time” sounds like a euphemism for a lot of different things.
KB: No, “garage time” is when you go and smoke weed in the garage before you come in and take care of the kids.
LC: A lot of dads smoke. They do just fine.
KB: Yeah, but it’s still going to be an issue. I think that’s going to be the main thing they have to work through is Seth’s addiction to marijuana. Whatever his character’s name is.
Gretchen and Jimmy, You’re The Worst
LC: We really like them. She’s battling depression.
KB: They’re matched well for each other. I think they’re going to be miserable as individuals, and they’re going to be miserable as a couple, but they’re the right kind of miserable for each other, and so I think that they are a good fit.
LC: I think they’re a great fit. I think they’re just in their angsty late 20s, and in five years, they’ll be married with a kid and they’ll be really tired but happy. The baby goes to bed early, and they’ll have their cocktail together. They’ll get babysitters and go out and get drunk still. It’s going to be fine for them.
Coach and Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights
AVC: Do you have any advice for television’s most perfect couple?
LC: They could give us some advice. Like you said, they’re so perfect. I love it.
KB: I don’t know. I feel like Coach could talk little more. Tell her what’s going on with him.
LC: Kurt has never watched Friday Night Lights.
KB: What?! We watched them together.
LC: Not much of it.
KB: We watched, like, two full seasons, which was, like, 50 episodes.
LC: I feel like he’s very in touch with his feelings. They talk a lot.
KB: Oh. Then maybe I’m remembering wrong.
LC: Kurt is being really critical of all the men in this list, and I’m wondering why.
KB: You’re wondering why? You’re analyzing me?
LC: Yeah, you’re being real tough on all the husbands or boyfriends.
KB: Well, I can’t be really tough on the ladies. If I’m mean to them, I’m a dick, but if I’m tough on the guys, it’s fun.
LC: Anyway, no, I don’t have any advice for them. They had a really, really communicative, mutually respectful relationship. And they were both so attractive.