. . .or has MTV's Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica transformed from a light, Kate Hudson-style romantic comedy into a painful, John Cassavetes-esque portrait of a marriage on the brink? The opening credits' soft-focus shots of the happy past just serve to contrast the corroded present instead of loving looks, the pair now trade sarcastic snorts, cynical eye rolls, and nasty barbs. And in a sick twist, Nick's birthday present to Jessica a cute Maltipoo puppy has become his archenemy, making a mess of the shag carpet and his sex life.