#TheRealReason shows that when it comes to LGBT TV, more than ratings matter. Visibility has the power to change hearts and minds, and it fights pernicious myths about queer people in a time when their lives and rights are in danger.
“The Real O’Neals” is, in many ways, a par-for-the-course network comedy. The show centers on an Irish Catholic family in Chicago. Toss in a few musical numbers, and you have a not-unfamiliar formula. But, “The Real O’Neals,” which is finishing up its second season this month on ABC, is different in one big way. At its heart, it’s about a teenage boy coming out.
“It’s a wonderful ensemble, one well served by the bright and pointed writing. Oh, and, admirably, the show doesn’t shy away from the gay stuff. Progressive and genuinely funny, The Real O’Neals depicts a modern family in many rich and thoughtful ways.”
“Speechless” joins a set of accomplished and inclusive ABC family sitcoms, like “black-ish”, “Fresh Off the Boat” and “The Real O’Neals”. Respectively, these shows explore life for a black family, an Asian-American family and an Irish Catholic family with a gay son–all stories that signal a new and welcome openness to all sorts of stories on network television.”
If you missed “The Real O’Neals” in its first season, now is the time to give it a second look.
Like “Fresh Off The Boat” last spring, new ABC family comedy series “The Real O’Neals” showed promise in its midseason launch with good reviews and steady ratings. And just like “Fresh Off The Boat”, it is being picked up for a second season. This marks the second comedy series renewal for ABC Studios, along with “Black-ish”, as ABC’s sister studio is looking to grow its comedy business.
My current favorite sitcom on TV is an outlier in almost every respect: it airs on a network, it features a gay lead character, and it’s funnier than it is sad. And it’s not too late for you to get with it. “The Real O’Neals” is ABC’s latest family sitcom success in a string of them, the best of which have been steadily and successfully expanding the notions of what the American family sitcom looks like.
Plimpton’s funny streak continues in “The Real O’Neals,” an ABC sitcom loosely inspired by the experiences of sex columnist Dan Savage. Plimpton stars as Eileen O’Neal, a devout Irish Catholic mother struggling to accept her newly out-of-the-closet teenage son.
The Real O’Neals, the first of several midseason launches on deck at ABC, opened on Wednesday night with two original episodes.
If you want to measure how far TV representations of queer people have come since Will & Grace’s attractive gay leads spent entire seasons without any romantic action, please note that on ABC’s new sitcom The Real O’Neals, only six episodes elapse between 16-year-old Kenny O’Neal’s coming out and his first gay date.