The Real O’Neals, episode one

This show is just starting it’s second season. I loved the first season because it seemed like a fresh take on a pretty standard set-up. It was in danger of not being renewed but it was so I’m curious to see if it will fall victim to the sophomore slump or maintain the level of quality it had last spring.

The season opens with Kenny (Noah Galvin) catching viewers up on how summer has been for the O’Neal family. Instead of “living a big, gay summer,” he’s watching one on tv. Kenny, Jimmy (Matthew Shively), Shannon (Bebe Wood) and the O’Neal patriarch Pat (Jay R. Ferguson) are watching the gay pride parade. Eileen (Martha Plimpton) is still coming around to Kenny being out.

She says that she can handle it but would like the other gays to tone it down so Kenny gets on his rainbow Batphone to let everyone else know. He calls Lance Bass, who lets Jane Lynch, who tells Tyler Oakley, who asks RuPaul to reign it in. Okay not really but the cameos are amusing.

Aunt Jodi (Mary Hollis Inboden) stops by to tell Eileen about her invitation to participate in a fashion show but she isn’t the only one that has something to share. Apparently Eileen has been having secret meat aisle rendezvouses with Vice Principal Clive Murray (Matt Oberg) all summer.

Pat is ready to start his new fitness regiment, right after breakfast pork chops but Kenny steals the spotlight by talking about how excited he is to help all the other gay kids at school come out. When the family points out that that might not happen he decides starting an LGBT club at school to help welcome the other gay kids.

Murray asks Eileen to bring the kids’ vacation records to school but when Jodi points out that it seems like Eileen has feelings for him she sends Pat instead, who then gets to enjoy a floor picnic with the vice principal.

Kenny is having trouble getting a turnout for his club and Jimmy needs a club for his college application. Kenny tells him no he can’t join the LGBT club but Shannon tries to recruit him for her sewing club (read: sweatshop).

Pat and Clive become Fitbit buddies and Kenny only gets one attendant at his first club meeting, a girl named Allison that wears brown and tends to blend in.

Shannon takes the issue of club location to the board and finds out you need five members to be an official club. Kenny accepts Jimmy and tries to find more members to meet the requirement, otherwise the LGBT club will be banished to the boiler room which is where Shannon is currently meets.

Pat and Clive hang out at the house and Eileen is convinced that Clive is only doing it to get to her.

Kenny wants to support someone else in coming out and decides that that should be Allison so he tells her to come out as part of National Coming Out Day. Meanwhile, Jodi’s fashion show is for plus sized women so she makes a deal with Eileen. She will “come out” as plus size if Eileen goes out on a date with Clive.

Jimmy reads the anonymous question from the club box asking how to come out if your parents tell you they will kick you out if you are gay. He and Kenny realize it must be Allison’s question and go to interrupt her coming out. Kenny doesn’t know when he got so carried away. “When you started calling yourself gay Moses,” his siblings reply.

Eileen and Clive go out to on a date while Pat and the kids go to rescue Allison from Kenny’s advice. She worries that she should come out for the club but he acknowledges that it would be wrong of him to force her to come out. “I guess we all have to come out in our own way,” he says.

Kenny and Shannon agree to share space for their clubs.

I thought this was a pretty funny episode. Honestly I think Jimmy and Shannon are the best characters on this show but I do like pretty much everyone on this show. It’s funny and I make a point to tune in every week but its not the end of the world if you miss an episode here or there.

The Real O’Neals is new Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m.


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