The Real O'Neals

Watch The Real O'Neals

  • 2016
  • 2 Seasons
  • 6.4  (300)

The Real O'Neals is a sitcom that premiered on ABC in 2016, created by Casey Johnson and David Windsor. The show is loosely based on the life of Dan Savage, an openly gay sex advice columnist. The series follows the O'Neal family, a seemingly picture-perfect Catholic family living in Chicago. However, when middle child and openly gay teenager Kenny (Noah Galvin) comes out to his family, it sets off a chain of events that reveals the family's true dysfunction.

Kenny's announcement sets off a cascade of revelations from the other family members. His mother, Eileen (Martha Plimpton), realizes she's not as perfect as she thought and has a drinking problem. His father, Pat (Jay R. Ferguson), confesses to an affair. His older brother, Jimmy (Matt Shively), admits that he's been faking his straight persona and is actually attracted to plus-size women. And finally, his sister Shannon (Bebe Wood) reveals that she has a gambling problem.

Throughout the series, the family navigates their newfound honesty and faces various challenges, both individually and as a unit. The show touches on themes of acceptance, self-discovery, and family dynamics.

One of the main strengths of The Real O'Neals is its cast. Martha Plimpton delivers a standout performance as Eileen, turning what could have been a one-dimensional "strict Catholic mom" character into a nuanced figure who genuinely cares for her family. Noah Galvin is also terrific as Kenny, bringing a genuine vulnerability and wit to his portrayal of a young gay man trying to fit in.

The series also tackles issues that are still taboo in mainstream media, such as homosexuality, body image, and gambling addiction. The show doesn't shy away from difficult conversations, but it also manages to be funny and heartwarming.

Another notable aspect of The Real O'Neals is its use of fantasy sequences. Throughout the series, these dream sequences offer insight into the characters' inner lives and fears. For example, Kenny's dream of Beyoncé performing at his school dance is a standout moment in the show's second episode.

Despite its strengths, The Real O'Neals was not without controversy. In particular, a joke in the pilot episode about the Catholic Church led to backlash from some religious groups. The criticism led to some sponsors pulling their advertising from the show.

Overall, The Real O'Neals is a funny and heartfelt sitcom that explores the complexities of family life. While it only lasted for two seasons, the show remains a beloved and groundbreaking entry into the family sitcom genre.

The Real O'Neals is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (29 episodes). The series first aired on March 2, 2016.

The Real O'Neals
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The Real Secrets
16. The Real Secrets
March 14, 2017
VP Murray is anxious to tell Pat about his intentions to ask Eileen to marry him and is relieved to receive Pat's blessing to do so.
The Real Mr. Nice Guy
15. The Real Mr. Nice Guy
March 7, 2017
When Kenny persuades VP Murray to hire a gay teacher, Kenny's allegience is put to the test when the teacher dejects Jimmy.
The Real Heartbreak
14. The Real Heartbreak
February 28, 2017
After his breakup with Brett, Kenny finds comfort with Pat and Jimmy at a Lonely Hearts happy hour and gets attention from the single ladies. Meanwhile, Eileen rejects Valentine's Day customs until she has a change of heart.
The Real Confirmation
13. The Real Confirmation
February 21, 2017
With her upcoming confirmation, Shannon asks VP Murray to be her godfather, but Eileen is afriad her own relationship with him might be moving too fast.
The Real Brother's Keeper
12. The Real Brother's Keeper
February 14, 2017
Jimmy decides it's time he teaches his younger brother how to drink, but his plan goes awry.
The Real Third Wheel
11. The Real Third Wheel
February 7, 2017
Kenny's jealousy over Brett's relationship with his best girl friend leads Kenny to realize he's been a bad friend to Allison. Jimmy and Shannon start their own ridesharing; company meanwhile, Eileen and Pat are shocked to catch Clive "cheating" on them, but ultimately discover that the three of them make a pretty good "throuple".
The Real Acceptance
10. The Real Acceptance
January 17, 2017
After Kenny and Brett make their relationship official, Kenny tries to think of a way he can break the news to his parents. Meanwhile, Jimmy surprises everyone when he scores a high SAT score.
The Real Sin
9. The Real Sin
January 3, 2017
Eileen and Pat's divorce papers finally come through, and Eileen realizes she is free to be with VP Murray. Kenny gets a tattoo in an effort to impress Brett.
The Real Christmas
8. The Real Christmas
December 13, 2016
Eileen wants to win the Christmas choir competition.
The Real Match
7. The Real Match
December 6, 2016
Kenny has an unexpected victory after hesitantly joining Jimmy's wrestling team for a one-time match.
The Real Fit
6. The Real Fit
November 29, 2016
Pat's brother Dwayne (who is also Aunt Jodi's ex-husband) comes to town to help Pat build his new "tiny house" in the garage. Shannon realizes Jodi and Dwayne still have chemistry, and tries to get them back together. Meanwhile, when Eileen becomes addicted to a CrossFit class she's taking with Kenny, he must find a way to break the cult-like hold it has over her.
The Real Tradition
5. The Real Tradition
November 15, 2016
Traditions are thrown out the window on Thanksgiving when Pat and Eileen invite Gloria and VP Murray to dinner as their dates.
The Real Move
4. The Real Move
November 1, 2016
When VP Murray starts sticking around the house, Pat realizes it's time to move out. Meanwhile, Eileen starts working at her new job.
The Real Halloween
3. The Real Halloween
October 25, 2016
Kenny refers to Halloween as "the gay Super Bowl" and is determined to go to Boystown to watch the festive costume parade. In an effort to discourage Kenny from going, Eileen agrees to let him throw his own Halloween party at home.
The Real Dates
2. The Real Dates
October 18, 2016
Kenny starts using a gay dating app; Jimmy goes to extremes to declare his love for Lacey; Aunt Jodi mistakenly believes Shannon needs her help with her love life.
The Real Thang
1. The Real Thang
October 11, 2016
In the second season premiere, it's back to school for Kenny, Jimmy and Shannon. Kenny decides to start the first LGBT club at St. Barklay's in honor of National Coming Out Day.
Where to Watch The Real O'Neals
The Real O'Neals is available for streaming on the ABC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Real O'Neals on demand at Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, Microsoft Movies & TV, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    March 2, 2016
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (300)