The Real O’Neals, episode six

Pat and the kids are watching DIY in the basement. He is thinking of all the work his new place is going to need. Eileen stops by to talk about how he will need someone with actual skills. She suggests his brother.

Kenny is offended that he wasn’t asked but proves pretty quickly he isn’t in shape to do it. Shannon on the other hand totally is. Kenny signs up for a fitness class and after getting a glimpse of the instructor, Eileen wants in too. Jodi stops by and sees that Dwayne is around. She “uglies” herself up to scare him off.

Dwayne (Todd Stashwick) comes in with Pat on his back and they give a rundown of the family developments since he last stopped by. They head out back and start going over the blueprints. Jimmy comes out and wants to help. He barters for an hour.

Eileen and Kenny get to the gym and sign up for class. They walk in and it is decidedly not what they expected.

Shannon finds Jodi watching Dwayne through the window. She asks why they broke up and they talk about their relationship.

Jimmy is a natural at construction and tries to keep helping but Pat wants him to go back and study for his SATs.

At the gym Kenny and Eileen are struggling. The instructor, Josh, (Eric Nenninger) is intense which scares Kenny off but Eileen is invigorated. She wants to keep going. They go all in. Classes every day. Protein shakes. Kenny is sore but Eileen is raring to go. He asks Shannon for advice and she basically tells him to act gay. They observe Dwayne and Jodi having chemistry.

Out back, Pat is mad. Jimmy hasn’t studied and Dwayne is leaving him out. He tells them off and heads inside. Shannon sets up Dwayne and Jodi in her room.

Kenny tries flirting with Josh. It doesn’t work out well. When Jodi escapes Shannon’s room she confronts her in the kitchen. She tells her that she and Dwayne broke up because he didn’t want to have kids with her. She points out that Shannon is smart but needs life experience to learn some things.

In the garage, Pat shows off his loft and ladder. Dwayne questions its structure and Pat climbs up to prove a point. It breaks.

Sunday means time for mass. Kenny is ecstatic because it means no gym time. But no. Eileen is dedicated to the cross… fit. She’s opting out of church. Kenny calls her on the level of her obsession but she dismisses him and heads to class.

Jimmy is upset with Pat. He likes building things, and is good at it, unlike his SATs. He doesn’t understand why his dad won’t let him do that instead. They both feel like he’s not college material. Dwayne points out that he has always rested on his laurels and avoided things that scared him or he might be bad at. He respects that Pat isn’t like that.

At the gym, Eileen is caught sneaking sacks by Josh and confesses. He gives her penance and she sees that Kenny was right. He turns up to spring her and they head to mass. Pat tells Jimmy he can skip the SATs but Jimmy plans to take them. Shannon tells Jodi that Dwayne wasn’t having kids with her because he was worried he would be a bad dad not because he doubted her. She also tells her that she will be her fake kid at the park.

Pat shows off the work he did in the garage. Complete with a toilet office.

I liked that Shannon was trying to help Jodi and I loved that Pat was trying to be a good dad for Jimmy. Dwayne was pretty funny. I didn’t really care about the gym or the Eileen and Kenny going to the gym storyline at all.

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


The Real O’Neals, episode five

Kenny explains all of the glorious traditions that the family has for Thanksgiving, and how they are getting thrown out the window this year.

Eileen is taking Jimmy and Shannon to Murray’s house for an early Thanksgiving to meet Murray’s mother.

Kenny is left home to prepare the meal.Pat has a wardrobe dilemma which Kenny graciously helps him out with. Gloria shows up three hours early and Jodi is on hand  with her joint custody cat.

At Murray’s house, Jimmy is distraught and Shannon is looking for blackmail material. They get along well with Mrs. Murray (Susan Sullivan) but the same cannot be said for Eileen who is determined to changed that.

Kenny is frustrated that he has to cook alone and Gloria is getting underfoot. He sends her outside and tries calling Eileen to see where Eileen is. He calls her and she tells him to suck it up.

Eileen is not getting along with Mrs. Murray and Jimmy is getting annoyed at VP Murray’s efforts to bond. He makes a bet on an air hockey game.

Kenny is starting to find a rhythm and has the kitchen running smoothly until Goria and the Pat interrupt again. Pat wants to create a memory and Kenny gets annoyed and yells at him about his date which leads to s long awkward pause.

Eileen needs more cleaning supplies so she goes to check behind a closed door and finds Mrs. Murray’s boyfriend of two years. Eileen agrees to keep it a secret if Mrs. Murray acts like she likes her.

Jimmy wins at air hockey but suggest two out of three. Kenny and Pat chat about the holiday while Jodi takes the cat to have its stomach pumped. On the way out, Eileen and Mrs. Murray are trying but Eileen snaps and tells Murray about his mother’s boyfriend.

Pat and Eileen apologize for ruining the holiday and the family sits down to have Thanksgiving dinner, on Friday morning.

I feel bad for Kenny. Shannon should have stayed behind as a sous chef. Did Kenny and Pat even get to eat? Why didn’t they have that conversation Thursday night? Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and if my family messed it up I’d be pissed. So I’m team Kenny.

The Real O’Neals returns Dec. 13.

The Real O’Neals, episode four

Eileen and Murray are officially dating now so a “get to know you” dinner is in order. Murray cooks in Pat’s apron and Jimmy is offended. Kenny wants the meal to go well so that he can bring the guy he’s seeing home. Before they can get started, Pat comes home.

The next day Eileen tells Jodi about how weird it was. She says that its time for Pat to move out and that she will have to get a job.

Murray stops by to apologize to Pat. They talk about being displaced by divorce and Pat says that he is going to look at apartments. He invites Murray to help him.

The kids are in the garage sorting things for the yard sale Eileen is making them have when Jimmy gets upset. He expects his parents to get back together and the whole Pat moving out/Eileen dating Murray thing is making that difficult.

Eileen goes to the salon with Jodi to try her hand at being a receptionist. She’s not great at it.

The kids find Pat and Eileen’s wedding photo and realize that they weren’t really all that hyped on getting married to begin with. They decide to go talk to the priest.

Pat and Murray go to an apartment building to start the search for a place for Pat. The building as it turns out is full of divorced men. It “comes with furniture and friends” as Murray puts it. They go to enjoy divorce beers.

The kids are at the church. The priest says that it was a very dark day. He’s never seen a couple so not in love. Kenny says that it might have started out as a shotgun situation but asks if anything changed because they stayed together long enough to have two more kids. The priest says that when they came to him for counseling he suggested more kids, hence Kenny and Shannon.

Pat is getting along well with all the other divorced men but they are bringing the reality of life after moving out to him and he doesn’t like it.

Eileen is trying to do her job and wash Nancy’s hair but they are maintaining a passive aggressive conversation. She finishes and her phone rings. It’s Pat. He wants her to save him from this apartment building. At home they agree they both had crappy days and want a quiet night at home with the kids, but the kids have other plans. They’ve got a yard sale going in the backyard.

Pat and Eileen close up shop and ask the kids what its all about. They say that Father Bernard (Richard Reihle) told them that they ruined their parent’s lives. Pat says that’s nonsense because the kids are the best thing that’s ever happened to them. Jimmy makes them swear it and Pat even ranks them “you kids, Mike Ditka, pineapple on a pizza” to prove his honesty. The really funny part, according to Eileen, is how much happier they are now at the end of their marriage than they were at the beginning. The kids decide to hold a divorce ceremony.

They exchange vows and agree as a family to maintain their commitment to staying a family. They take a selfie to finalize the deal.

Eileen and Pat talk after the ceremony. She’s surprised by how difficult her first day on the job was but she doesn’t plan to quit. She also comes up with a solution to the living situation. They can redo the garage so Pat can live there.

I like that they explained the serious side effects of divorce and what it does to a family while still being able to joke and laugh about other aspects of it. You had to see it coming that Pat wouldn’t go far. It’s a sitcom but I’m glad he’s out of the basement.


The Real O’Neals, episode two

Eileen and Murray are out on a date. They are enjoying some conversation when he looks over her shoulder and sees Pat, picking up a to go order. Murray had recommended that restaurant to him because they are besties now.

The kids are at home on the couch watching tv. Well, Kenny is. Jimmy and Shannon are talking to their significant others via dating apps. Kenny wants someone to text too. They suggest an app and when he is taking a picture for his profile (of his calf which is obviously his best physical feature) Eileen walks in dressed in her New Year’s cardigan. They call her on it and she says she was out drinking with friends but they don’t buy it. So she changes the story. She was out measuring the hedges. Much more plausible.

The next day Jodi stops over to ask about the date. Eileen tells her it went well. They are taking things slow because she hasn’t told Pat she’s dating yet. She decides to soften him up by making his favorite breakfast and letting him sit in the living room to watch the Bears game.

Jimmy is freaking out. His girlfriend hasn’t texted him back since the night before, when she was at a party. Meanwhile, Kenny checks his app. He didn’t get any swipes! While Jimmy is in a panic about Lacey, Kenny comes up with a plan. They’ll go visit Lacey so Jimmy can make a big romantic gesture, and Kenny can take advantage of the change of venue to find a guy for himself.

Shannon is having a bit of a dilemma herself. She decapitated the boy she likes, Ethan (Christopher Avila), in their computer game and he didn’t regenerate. What’s worse is that he won’t respond to her messages either. Jodi suggests giving him a call but Shannon isn’t having it. She declares it over.

Eileen and Murray are planning their next date when she decides to help Pat out some more. She brings him a beer and rubs his back.

Jodi took Shannon’s situation into her own hands. She proudly “lured a 15 year old to the house under false pretenses on the Internet.” Shannon is less than pleased but Jodi leaves them alone to go make snacks. Before she can, Pat corners her. He thinks Eileen wants him back and is distressed. He decides the best course of action is to find her another man.

Jimmy has flowers to give Lacey for his big romantic gesture as he and Kenny walk across the college campus. Jimmy is intimidated by all the guys around but Kenny is very pleased with it.

Shannon and Ethan sit outside on the porch silently. Jodi brings them nachos but after a few more minutes, he leaves.

Pat goes to speak with Murray in his office about an idea he had. He later brings Murray by the house in an effort to set them up.

Jimmy gets undressed and is laying in Lacey’s bed with her favorite yogurt waiting for her to come back to her room but when the door opens it isn’t her.

Kenny is still freaking out about not getting any swipes. A helpful RA named Rob (Abraham Lim) gives him some pointers about his profile to help him. He also asks why it’s so important to Kenny who explains coming out and having a less than stellar time of it. As Rob replies, Kenny gets a swipe. Rob grabs his phone and tries to explain that his self worth shouldn’t be based on that.

Then Jimmy runs by in only his boxers, yelling that they have to leave. He’s being chased by a group of angry women. Kenny follows him out.

Eileen and Murray can’t believe their luck. A date at Pat’s suggestion puts them in the clear. Not so fast. Eileen wants her post-divorce friendship with Pat to work out and that can’t start based on a lie. She has to come clean.

Jodi apologizes to Shannon for getting involved but Shannon says it’s okay. She learned that he’s interested and that she gets him flustered. She wouldn’t have found that out if they weren’t in the same room.

Eileen and Murray tell Pat they’ve been seeing each other all summer, in the meat aisle no less. He’s upset, but moreso with Murray. He leaves them alone and Eileen suggests still trying to go to dinner but according to Murray the “Cheesecake Factory” is for celebrations.

Kenny and Jimmy are on their way back to the house when Lacey texts Jimmy. He asks Kenny to read it out loud. Sad face, skull and crossbones, and fire emojis. Jimmy is upset but Kenny tells him that they can’t be so hard on themselves.

This wasn’t a bad episode. I’m more entertained by the family dynamic as a whole though so I wasn’t all that invested in any of the stories. Overall it was just okay.

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


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.