Watch The Real O'Neals
- 2 Seasons
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 BeyoncÃ© 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.