On last night's season-two finale of Married, Russ got caught slumber-snacking, twice.
Married, the unapologetically unsentimental FX sitcom that hasn't become the sleeper hit it deserves to be, centers on Russ and Lina Bowman, a 40-ish couple who bounce around rental homes in L.A. with three daughters, a meager budget and regretfully abandoned dreams of owning a surf shop.
The permanently plaid-clad Russ, played by Nat Faxon, complements his bumbling man-childishness with impish charm. Lina, an unsurprisingly on-point Judy Greer, is a bit of a wet blanket who shares her husband's habitual line-crossing sense of humor. The couple may not inspire faith in wedded bliss, but, as a twosome, they just work.
The show goes to great lengths to show that rockiness and discomfort are everyday occurrences in a modern marriage. On last night's episode, we saw Russ dream about his assistant, whose gratitude he misinterprets as a come-on. He woke up from one such dream standing in the kitchen, scooping up sheet-cake with his fingers, as his seven-year-old daughter quizically looked on.
Other than observing two bouts of two sleep-eating, we didn't learn anything about Russ' relationship with nocturnal noshing (or his sleep behavior in general). Does Russ have a history of falling asleep and hitting the frosting? Does he take sleep drugs, e.g., Ambien, that can cause people to rise and unwittingly scarf down bizarre combinations of food and non-food items alike?
From what little we see, Russ’ behavior is consistent with Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (NSRED), also called somnambulistic eating, a hybrid sleep-eating disorder. NSRED is often coupled with Night Eating Syndrome (NES), another late-night bingeing condition. But people with NES are awake and fully aware of the calories they're putting away. These differing states of consciousness make NSRED primarily a parasomnia and NES primarily an eating disorder “with associated insomnia.”
Russ doesn't fit the clinical profile of a typical sleep-eater. Both NSRED and NES affect somewhere between one and five percent of the population. Sufferers are primarily women who often have a secondary diagnosis of depression, a daytime eating disorder or both. Doctors only need a behavioral history to diagnose NES, whereas confirming NSRED generally requires an overnight sleep study.
As of now, laidback Russ has nothing resembling a dad-bod. But, perhaps we'll get to see some paunch and polysomnography action if Married sees a third season.