Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pilot Review: The Real O’Neals

The Real O’Neals (ABC)
Premiered March 2 at 8:30pm

At least once a season, a show comes along that never should have made it to air. This is simply the latest in a long and unbearable series of sitcoms that follow a family – quite often an Irish one – who are outwardly boring and normal but then end up completely transformed due to at least one major revelation. This show piled them on throughout the first episode, starting with Kenny being gay, his parents getting a divorce, Jimmy being anorexic, and Shannon being a kleptomaniac of epic proportions. None of that is terrible entertaining, and I’m not sure which is worse – the unfunny nature of the humor surrounding Jimmy’s eating disorder or the completely random concept of Shannon buying a car in cash. Add to that Eileen’s extensive church obsession and her concern over public image plus Pat’s determination to keep the canoe that he hadn’t touched in seven years and you have a recipe for an extremely familiar and totally undesirable show. Martha Plimpton had a role on a show I also didn’t like, “Raising Hope,” that was far better than this one, and I know that the Emmy winner (for “The Good Wife”) should be doing other things. Ditto Jay R. Ferguson, who was great on “Mad Men” and can’t do much here. Noah Galvin is certainly enthusiastic as Kenny, seemingly unaware of just how bad this show is. There’s not much more to say – this show is irreconcilably terrible.

How will it work as a series? I usually have a policy that I’ll watch the entirety of a show’s debut presentation, which in this case was two episodes aired on Wednesday night, March 2nd. But I found the first installment so insufferable that I couldn’t even do that, so I can’t comment if it gets better, but I can’t imagine it could really get any worse. There’s nothing to work with here, and no redeeming qualities.
How long will it last? This show did fine in its first double outing, but it isn’t actually going to air in the middle of ABC’s successful Wednesday night comedy block. Instead, it’s heading to the more unreliable Tuesdays, where it may not do so well. ABC has been pretty generous about renewing most of its slate, but I wouldn’t count on this one to survive to next season.

Pilot grade: F

No comments: