By: Shaun Leonard
Editor's Note: The Vegas Voice is pleased to introduce our newest columnist, Shaun Leonard who will bejoining our entertainment section of our website. For more film and TV thoughts from Shaun, listen to www.isitabicycle.com, with new episodes airing every Friday.
The McCarthys is a new comedy from CBS, and the first lead role for Tyler Ritter, son of sitcom legend John Ritter. The multi-camera sitcom revolves around a sports-obsessed Boston family, and the one son who’d rather be watching The Good Wife with mom.
Ronny, played by Ritter, is an openly gay guidance counselor whose social life is hampered by his family’s good intentions. In the first episode we find out that Ronny’s been offered a new job in Providence, and we watch as the family tries everything they can to keep him home.
While the jokes are predictable, the cast is endearing enough to keep you laughing anyway. Ronny’s mom (Roseanne's Laurie Metcalf) is a standout, perfectly capturing the desperate antics of a mother trying to hold on to her favorite son.
The “twin” brothers Sean and Gerard play great as an odd couple, with the former playing the typical sitcom dolt and the latter playing the most over-stimulated and ornery of the siblings. Rounding out the family is the stereotypical Boston father (Jack McGee) and the emotional Jackie (Kelen Coleman), who’s keeping a secret from the rest of the McCarthys.
The majority of scenes, at least in this first episode, include every member of the family. This makes for a quick introduction to the family dynamic, and results in a lot of jokes coming at you at a fast pace.
Besides the cast, the major selling point of the show is that the McCarthys seem like a real family you could meet in a bar or at a baseball game. The writing truly shines when the family members are mean, verging on cruel, to each other, as only family members can be.
Unfortunately, the pace can lag whenever the show strays into a series of tired jokes about Ronny’s lack of athletic ability, which is a real worry, given that a large portion of the show will revolve around the family coaching a youth basketball team.
If The McCarthys can miraculously bring the minor subtleties of its family dynamic onto the basketball court, the show will continue to be an enjoyable watch. If not, then the cliché fish-out-of-water jokes will surely drag down a show that, at its core, is about family.
The McCarthys airs Thursdays at 9:30 on CBS.