TVWise continues our Upfronts coverage with a first look at ABC’s new comedy series The Real O’Neals.
Created by David Windsor and Casey Johnson, The Real O’Neals follows the O’Neal family, who everyone admires. Eileen O’Neal (Martha Plimpton) is the quintessential wife and mother. She is always impeccably dressed, runs an idyllic household and spearheads church events with ease and flair. Her husband, Pat O’Neal (Jay R. Ferguson) is a local cop and hero in their Chicago community. Each of the O’Neal children excels in their own way. The eldest, 17-year-old Jimmy (Matthew Shively), is a handsome varsity wrestler and 14-year-old Shannon (Bebe Wood) is known for her charity work and ceaseless fundraising efforts. And then there’s 16-year-old Kenny who is clearly Mom’s favorite, even though he doesn’t have the athleticism or altruism of his siblings. As the picture perfect O’Neal family prepares for Eileen’s highly anticipated annual church fundraiser, a blemish appears on the façade of perfection when Kenny’s girlfriend, Mimi, tries to convince him they should have sex. This privately awkward moment immediately becomes public when Kenny tries to flush Mimi’s condoms down the toilet and accidentally floods the house while Father Phil and women from the church are making baskets for bingo night.
Eileen is horrified and embarrassed. The increasing pressure from Mimi, and a very unorthodox sex talk orchestrated by his father, forces Kenny to face the fact that he’s gay and he simply can’t keep it to himself any longer. Just before the church bingo game begins, he finally finds the courage to tell his family the truth. But before Kenny can share his news, his dad shares a confession of his own: he and Eileen are secretly in therapy and contemplating divorce. Desperate to get his kids to open up for the first time, he pushes them to share as well. Jimmy reluctantly admits he’s anorexic. Then Shannon reveals she’s been stealing from her charitable collections to buy herself a car. And Kenny finally tells his family that he’s gay. This contagious bout of confessions shatters Eileen’s myth of their perfect family. It’s clear that it will take time for her to adjust, but instead of destroying her family, it’s actually the beginning of a new, messier, family where everyone stops pretending to be perfect and actually starts being real.
Check out the trailer below:
— The Real O’Neals (@TheRealONeals) May 12, 2015