It premiered back in September, but I finally got around to watching an episode of Black-ish on ABC this week. Good job, all parties involved. Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross are Dre and Rainbow, parents of four attempting to carve out a cultural identity for their children in white suburbia, a thing that’s perhaps easier said than done when your six-year-old twins are named after an incredibly white John Cougar Mellencamp song. Larry Fishburne as the brassy grandfather does his best with a fair share of overtly sitcommy one-liners, but Ross is fantastic; she channels the sort of wide-eyed mania that won Laurie Metcalf so many Emmys when she was on Roseanne. And I don’t even like kids that much, but there’s something to be said for the comedic value of a couple of cute ones, so long as they aren’t spouting pukey lines and they’re confined to a box in my living room. (By which I mean a TV—I don’t keep children in boxes in my living room.)

Best of all, by episode five—which finds Dre and Rainbow agonizing over whether or not to spank their son—Black-ish is already transcending its premise, so it doesn’t feel one-note.

Two episodes in, I can’t quite say the same for NBC’s Marry Me. As hard as it can be to get excited about sitcoms, I’d looked forward to this one, because it stars funny and handsome person Ken Marino and Casey Wilson, whom people I like seem to like. Marino and Wilson are Jake and Annie, a couple of thirtysomethings (well, Marino is 45) who are in love and have been for several years, despite having the odds stacked against them. Well, OK, the odds aren’t against them so much as the two are in the habit of doing things that are mild to moderately illogical in that good old-fashioned sitcom way.

The premiere episode got off to a cynical start.. Jake’s failure to propose during a trip to Mexico sets Annie off on a fevered—and familiar—rant about her advancing age, waning fertility, and what a bitch his mother is. What she doesn’t realize: Jake is down on one knee attempting to propose, and all of their friends and family are hiding throughout the apartment listening while she bad-mouths them and acts like a lunatic! Of course, Annie still wants to marry Jake even though he didn’t try terribly hard to prevent her from making a fool of herself. And Jake still wants to marry Annie after she proposes to him at his place of employment and inadvertently gets him fired. The engagement is official by episode’s end—but we can all rest assured that their march toward the altar is going to be lousy with pitfalls and pratfalls. In episode two Jake and Annie move in together. Bet you can guess how that goes.

It’s by-the-number stuff that relies heavily on Wilson’s manic charm—which luckily she has lots of—but still feels formulaic to a fault: Annie and Jake take a step forward in their relationship, Annie does something to muck it up, then Jake and Annie make up in the end because love. I’m not calling off the engagement yet—but I’m not swooning.