Nothing could be more fulfilling than getting married to that special someone you’ve vowed to love, honor and cherish. Yet, as soon as the afterglow of wedding day fades and the honeymoon vacation ends, the hard work of keeping that relationship together begins. Along with all the responsibilities of such a task comes some of the weirdest quirks and offbeat habits that can be found in any relationship. Those oddities make up the basis for the new comedy web series I LOVE MY ANNOYING SPOUSE, written, directed and created by Jane Kelly Kosek (who also produced another popular web series, OVERLY ATTACHED ANDY, previously covered here). The first of the series eight episodes debuted on December 11th, with new episodes airing each Wednesday on Kosek’s official Youtube channel, Meritage Pictures.
Produced in the popular ‘mockumentary’ format, I LOVE MY ANNOYING SPOUSE stars Jonny Loquasto as husband Bobby, a physical therapist, and Ann Tierney Kelly as his wife, Susan, who works at a local non-profit. Approaching their 5th anniversary together, and deeply in love with each other, Bobby and Susan find that they’ve got more in common than just affection.
In fact, they’ve got their own unique set of odd habits and quirks that are often annoying (to each other), but are also extremely hilarious. Just don’t try to convince them of that fact. “Both of them are kind of in denial that they have these annoying habits, so the opening of the show is sort of showing that denial, and then we show the actual episode which goes against everything that they’ve just said in the first bit of the episode,” Kosek says.
Many of the wacky situations depicted in I LOVE MY ANNOYING SPOUSE were inspired by much of the same moments that Kosek experienced first hand in her own marriage. “I’ve been married for over 20 years and I love him (Kosek’s husband) to pieces, but in every relationship there’s certain quirks that come with the package and you just have to learn to love them. I just adore marriage, and we just laugh at the quirks we both have. One day, I was thinking, this could make a really cute, fun web series, just sort of focusing on the silly stuff that you inevitably do. The first episode where she ends up using her husband’s toothbrush for 2 weeks was actually based on a true story. One day my husband came into the bathroom. I picked up my toothbrush, and he’s like, ‘wait a minute! Isn’t this my toothbrush?’ I said, ‘No, this is my toothbrush!’ He’s like, ‘Oh!’ It’s just to have fun with the quirky things that you do in a marriage and the annoying stuff. At the same time, we all do something annoying but we still love each other,” she remembers.
Being involved in a marriage for quite some time leaves plenty of opportunities for both spouses to acquire their own annoying habits. For Kosek, it was important to give her characters (Bobby and Susan) time to not only relate to each other, but also to establish such opportunities for them to experience many of the silly quirks depicted throughout the show. “They’ve been married for 5 years, and that allows them some time in the marriage to get to know each other, and their quirks. I felt like the first year of marriage, you’re still figuring out and wondering if you can change this person, all of that. Then you come to find out three years in, ‘no I can’t change this person, so I just have to learn to love everything about them.’ So, I figured, let’s give them 5 years.”
With each episode running just under 1 minute, Kosek took a straightforward and efficient approach to the show’s production and distribution. “I intentionally wanted to make it simple, because I want it to feel very real, and I also wanted them to be bite-sized, entertaining bits.” Along with the 1 minute webisodes, viewers can also get to know more about both Bobby and Susan in 2 minute ‘teasers’ which serve as the show’s supplemental content. In addition to those confessionals, Kosek also posts various material from photos and videos to quotes and other writings relating to love, marriage and the funny moments that often take place in relationships. All of that can be found on the show’s Facebook and Tumblr pages (see links below).
Much of the humor in each episode is heavily improvised, thanks primarily due to the talents of Loquasto and Kelly, both of whom have ample experience in comedy -especially in improv. Though Kosek contributed as a writer/director/producer, she worked with both actors to capture the show’s overall comedic essence. “While I came up with the actual scenario and figured out what we’d be doing action-wise, we had a lot of back and forth about what they’d say. So, they brought a lot to the table, improv-wise,” she recalls.
All 8 episodes were shot over a period of 2 nights primarily due to the cast and crew’s hectic schedules, Kosek took advantage of the production’s limitations. As a result, she sought to both create and produce a web series that could be made with little to no budget, and also to prove that such a task could be accomplished. “I wanted to really prove to myself and the world that you could create a web series with limited resources. So, we just used a camera that we owned, the Nikon 7100 for the video, and then we used the H2 recorder to record the sound. We just put that on a boom. We used lights that my brother owns, and we used our condo as our set,” she says.
I LOVE MY ANNOYING SPOUSE is a funny, charming, yet true to life web series that many married couples can relate to, especially those who share their own strange, obnoxious and often amusing habits that are just a part of being in a relationship as is the love and affection both spouses share. Says Kosek: “We all can be annoying at times, but we just have to love each other anyway, and it’s okay to be annoying – as long as there’s love involved.”
(Note: All eight episodes are closed captioned)