So Benched has been pretty solid so far, though I'm fairly biased since I'm just glad to see Coupe and Harrington playfully sparring with one another. I think the hidden strength of the show is in the casting, which really makes all the central and surrounding characters believable in their weathered circumstances. Meanwhile, casting seems to be the biggest weakness so far with Marry Me, because while the scripts are improving (there have been some great Happy Endings-style lines in each episode since the pilot), the actors appear a little bit lifeless and can't seem to match how vibrant and strange they probably should be based on the material.
Part of this issue might have to do with the need to contrast the characters on Marry Me, as I get the sense that casting or directing on the show deliberately requires the supporting characters to be slightly bland and matter-of-fact with their line-delivery in order to emphasize the erratic behaviour/mentality of Annie (Casey Wilson). I like Wilson, but it's difficult to center an entire show/series around her on-screen persona of being slightly unhinged with flights of mild lunacy, because whatever progress or self-realization her character makes within one episode is quickly discarded so that her character can return to the wacky status-quo the next week. It becomes rather frustrating and diminishes any of the attempted character-development within any single episode, especially since the material on the show is really focused around one specific aspect of the characters' lives - their relationship. In contrast, while the central characters on Benched aren't exactly making gigantic leaps to drastically alter their personalities, whatever self-awareness they discover during each episode seems somewhat earned and genuine, in part because the characters come off as grounded and authentic at their baseline levels. It also helps that Coupe displays more range when handling her central character.
Perhaps another problem is that the characters on Marry Me seems far too successful and affluent, which is something that I feel NBC often (mistakenly) requires in their sitcoms. I think part of what made Happy Endings so appealing was that their characters still seemed to be figuring things out and struggling with a variety of aspects within their lives, which made it much easier to relate to their circumstances. In contrast, the characters on Marry Me seem far too comfortable and so their problems seem kind of trivial. That might also be why Benched is easier to enjoy, since it's centered around a character who has fallen from grace during her corporate-climb and is surrounded by co-workers who have basically given up, accepted their dreary situation, and are attempting to find other methods of coping. Now that I think about it, after a handful of episodes, I honestly have no idea what the characters on Marry Me even do for a living as that aspect of their life seems to have been completely ignored (other than a brief moment during the pilot, which seemed to just be a plot-device).
This is making it sound like Marry Me is more of a failure than it is in reality. In fact, it's gotten much better since the pilot. Benched has just been stronger from the start.