FX‘s one-two punch of frosh summer comedies Married and You’re The Worst are taking different slants toward sex — one grounded and the other a bold, in-your face approach.

Up for discussion at the network’s TCA Married panel was how the show changed dramatically between its pilot and subsequent episodes in terms of implementing hanky panky in its storylines. In Episode 1 of the Andrew Gurland-created show, Ross Bowman (Nat Faxon) hits an intimacy wall with his wife Lina (Judy Greer), to which she suggests that he venture out and find a mistress. (Spoiler: He failingly does.)

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fx_connectedTalking with Deadline after the panel, Gurland said: “The show will became less about their sexual relationship. I found that a good jumping-off point for the series would be a husband saying, ‘We don’t have the intimacy we use to have,’ and there’s this element of, ‘Well, go have sex with other people.’ I wanted to put that to rest by the pilot because that’s not really the answer. That’s not a long-term solution if you want intimacy from your wife, so moving forward we wanted to keep the intimacy between the two of them but not restricted to their sexual relationship. I wanted to keep the show grounded and not go to this paper reality of here’s all this crazy stuff that this normal married guy is going to do.”

FX's Married And The Reality of SexPart of that grounding, and even a nod to the ’90s sitcom Mad About You, entailed adding its co-star Paul Reiser as the much-older husband to Jenny Slate’s character Jess. The gist behind the pairing entailed getting to the heart of the drama experienced by married couples from two different age groups: Jess is the breadwinner and has a baby, but Reiser’s hubby is out of work. Said Reiser, “When I first sat down with Andrew and heard the show was called Married, I thought, ‘I’ve done that show.’ But neither this show nor my NBC show were the first comedies to explore marriage. Marriage is an endless field day for comedy. This show is adult in the best sense of the word. We’re not shying away from anything. We take marriage to not-comfortable places and accept it as an uphill struggle.”

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While Married isn’t playing sex front and center, You’re The Worst is fearless in its approach as a rom-com about two F-buddies, Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere). In the pilot, before the halfway point Chris Geere Aya Cashof the show, the couple get into some compromising positions that would make David Duchovny’s Hank Moody blush on Californication. 

Asserted Worst creator Stephen Falk: “I wasn’t out to shock or titillate. The show is about the beginning of relationships where love isn’t at the center, rather sex. For now, they’re having fun.”

Cash chimed in on the sex topic, observing that Worst isn’t any more graphic than those bed scenes in The Bridge and The Americans. “Before this show, I never did sex scenes, and it’s much less scary in the doing than in the thinking. Sitting in my bra on top of(Geere) wouldn’t be realistic.”

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When Cash’s husband found out that she was cast in a sex-themed comedy series on FX, his response per Cash was, “We’re buying a new car.”

Addressing critics’ concerns that Gretchen and Jimmy were unlikable protags, Falk disputed the label saying, “I don’t mean to be callous, but my job is to make entertaining characters.”