The Real O´Neals: A suburban family? Check Martha Plimpton? Check A sitcom? Check You know I´m watching, right? Well… this new sitcom is premiering March 8th and I got my hands on the pilot, courtesy of ABC Publicity team, so I can take an early look at it and review it for you folks.
The official Synopsis reads like a good premise:
the O’Neals appear to be your all-American perfect family, and if it were up to Eileen (Martha Plimpton), she’d prefer to keep it that way. Eileen is a mom who prides herself on her unparalleled organizational skills and also strives to put on the best charity event at her church every year. Early in the season, a crack in family armor forces Eileen to admit that her marriage is on the rocks and that her family may be a bit of a mess. Eventually being not-so-perfect is something that Eileen finds very liberating and humiliating at the same time. Eileen’s soon-to-be ex-husband, Pat (Jay R. Ferguson), is a police officer, good-natured father and the emotional center of the family. He and Eileen try to parent the best they can through all of this upheaval, and, for a time, Pat goes along with Eileen’s request to keep up their perfect family image.
Eileen and Pat’s sixteen-year-old son, Kenny (Noah Galvin), is likable, smart and funny, but has always kind of felt like an outsider in his seemingly perfect family. Things at home start to become real when Kenny decides to come out to his family, which ultimately proves to be a good thing. However, he never would have imagined his admission would result in also outing his entire family’s secrets, sending them all down an unfamiliar road called honesty. Jimmy (Matt Shively) is Kenny’s charming, older brother. He’s a well-respected, popular high school kid on the wrestling team but also wrestles with the pressures of being a star athlete. Nevertheless, Jimmy wears his heart on his sleeve and always tries to do what’s best in any situation. Kenny and Jimmy’s fourteen-year-old little sister, Shannon (Bebe Wood), is smart, poised and more mature than her age. She has a questioning mind and craves debates when it comes to politics, religion and other worldly topics. Another familiar face in the O’Neals household is Jodi (Mary Hollis Inboden), who used to be married to Pat’s deadbeat brother and is Eileen’s best friend and sidekick. Jodi’s life is an open book with endless amounts of tumultuous chapters and is someone Eileen can really turn to for support since she’s always in the know when it comes to the latest town gossip and is also willing to admit things are far from perfect in her own life.
During this new journey of self-discovery and somewhat messy chapter in their lives, the O’Neals stop pretending to be perfect and actually start being real. And what could have torn them apart actually brings them closer together. That´s what makes the The Real O´Neals after all.
But now, taking a look at the show itself, let´s talk about it.
Maybe it´s just me, but when a new sitcom starts with Martha Plimpton being the exact opposite of her former gig on Raising Hope, I know I´m already smiling.
I am very optimistic about the show, and I think Eileen is going to give Beverly Goldberg a run for her money. It´s still early to tell, but things are looking good for this one.
The big brother is fun, the father, and the priest too. But you Plimpton will steal the scenes, except when the little daughter extorts money out of the priest.
Will you give The Real O´Neals a chance? Let me know in the comments section, also follow me on Twitter for more scoop.