Episodes: 29 (half-hour)
TV show dates: March 2, 2016 — March 14, 2017
Series status: Cancelled
Performers include: Martha Plimpton, Jay R. Ferguson, Noah Galvin, Mathew Shively, Bebe Wood, and Mary Hollis Inboden.
TV show description:
This single-camera comedy takes an inside look at a seemingly perfect family whose lives take an unexpected turn when surprising truths are revealed. Instead of ruining their family, the honesty triggers a new and messier chapter where everyone stops pretending to be perfect and actually starts being real.
Eileen (Martha Plimpton), the matriarch of the O’Neal household, is highly regarded in the community for her volunteer work and fundraising skills. Eighteen years ago, an unplanned pregnancy and a shotgun wedding made a young Eileen get her act together. After reinventing herself as the perfectly put-together Catholic mom, Eileen is a little reluctant to embrace this new era of honesty and openness in her family.
A cop with the Chicago Police Department, Pat O’Neal (Jay R. Ferguson) is a regular (though inept) guy who loves his city, the Bears, and his family. After eighteen years as Eileen’s compliant husband, their separation leaves him a little less than prepared to handle life on his own as a single guy. Now that he’s independent (though living in the family basement), Pat’s has to learn to make his own decisions for the first time in his life.
Eldest son Jimmy (Mathew Shively) seems to have it all. He’s the handsome, popular star of his high school wrestling team. Though he isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, he sometimes shows surprising insight. Jimmy reveals his struggle to make his weight class has turned into an actual eating disorder. It becomes clear that all the pressure and expectations have really gotten to him.
The smart, likable, and funny middle child of the O’Neal family, Kenny (Noah Galvin) has always felt like a bit of a black sheep compared to his perfect siblings. His decision to come out of the closet spurs the chain reaction of secrets from the rest of his family to spill out as well. He’s always been his mother’s favorite but his announcement about his sexuality threatens their special relationship when it opposes her firmly held traditional beliefs.
Wise-beyond-her-years, Shannon (Bebe Wood) is the family’s youngest and brightest child but her moral compass could definitely use some recalibrating. She’s been raising money for poor children in Africa but is actually saving to buy herself a car.
As Pat’s brother’s ex-wife, Aunt Jodi’s (Mary Hollis Inboden) connection to the family is more about proximity than blood. In the midst of the fallout from the family’s secrets, this hairdresser remains loyal to the O’Neals, always happy to play the role of their number one fan and cheerleader.
Episode #29 — The Real Secrets
VP Murray is nervous to tell Pat about his plans to ask Eileen to marry him and is relieved to receive Pat’s blessing to do so. Meanwhile, Eileen and Kenny realize how far they’ve come when they help Allison deal with her close-minded parents. Shannon and Jimmy discover a pregnancy test and prepare for life with another sibling.
First aired: March 14, 2017.
What do you think? Do you like the The Real O’Neals TV show? Do you think it should have been cancelled or renewed for a third season?