by Dane Youssef
“Married To The Kellys” is a reportedly autobiographical sit-com about a professional New York City novelist who moves out to the Midwest of Kansas to please his small-town bred wife (and her family).
Starring the older brother from Clueless and one of the losers from Road Trip (they're both the same actor, I mean), the whole thing centers around a family of yokels and Breckin Meyer trying valiantly and effortlessly to please them.
Seems to be a re-hashing of the Green Acres plot. Except with an “Everybody Loves Raymond”-like “fish-out-of-water” twist to it.
The show’s principal theory is that one about how just as boy/girl from the sticks will get taken advantage of and eaten alive in the big city, vice-versa, the same logic applies.
(THE FIRST TWELVE EPISODES)
His wife is also a yokel who leans on him to please her family and gets smarmy with him when she wants to. She's supposed to be the brains and resourceful one of the whole family. At least that's the way the show wants us to see her.
Not really. Her husband is emasculated and her family is composed of cartoon character small-town stereotypes that wouldn't seem out of place in one of David Lynch's movies.
She's not that smart. Really. Everybody is just that stupid. For some reason, sit-coms these days employ very stupid characters and situations so everything is so easy to follow. If anyone had any thought process at all, the whole show would implode. God willing…
Married to the Kellies is yet another sit-com featuring ballsy, scheming women, an emasculated husband who is basically a side-kick and the butt of so many jokes and a Rouges' gallery of Addams Family-like realities. The worst part is that the lead has no spine and no depth and is a pushover, so his embarrassment is not funny, challenging or even very interesting. If he would just dish it out a little. Yell at the family once in a while. Grow a pair. Bicker. Rebel. Do something. Piss them off a little. He's a member of the family now, he might as well start acting like it.
Bad sit-coms usually have one really flamboyant character that is supposed to steal the show. Think of any sit-com, really, and you'll know what I'm talking about. The show is designed to be so bland that anyone coming in and hamming it up instantly becomes the whole show. If you look at a blank white screen for enough period of time and you suddenly see a little black dot moving around, of course your eye is going to follow it. SOMETHING has to have your attention. Hell, you're almost grateful for that little black dot. Anything to slow down the monotony.
Guys, either re-model and rentavate or tear the damn thing down.
(THE NEXT THIRTEEN EPISODES)
In my early synopsis of the less-than successful Married With Kellys, I complained about the show's lack of edge and humor. But the show's weakest link was the character of Tom (Breckin Myer). The show was weak... mostly because it's lead was weak. The Tom character was bullied, humiliated, castrated, kicked aside... by his whole inbred, hick and hayseed family... even his own wife. ESPECIALLY HIS OWN WIFE!
Despite Tom's valiant attempts to win over the family, they despised Tom for being from the Big Apple and for being a big-shot novelist (instead of a dirty blue-collar working man like the rest of the family).
My closing line in my first review was: Guys, either re-model and renovate or tear the damn thing down.
Thankfully, my prayers were answered and they chose to do the latter. IMDb readers, I am pleased to report that Married to the Kellys is finally on track. I guess they just needed some time to find their voice. Did the creators get my message... or maybe I wasn't the only one protesting.
I have to admit, I thought this show was head for the sh*tter. But thankfully, ABC must have gotten my request and finally did some renovation on Kellys.
Or (more likely) maybe I wasn't the only one who felt this way. The cheerfully castrating yokel wife and her proud hayseed family... torturing her city-boy husband every step of the way. And he seemed to be sadomasochistic ally enduring it. I kept waiting for his pair to drop... and push back.
Well, it finally, finally happened. Thank you, God. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, ABC.
It's a miracle!
Perhaps the shows producers read my review. Or perhaps (much more likely) maybe I wasn't the only one who felt this way.
Meyer's character is now more sharp-tongued and edgy... and it was such a relief and high to hear him fling crap back at his henpecking wife and her self-glorifying sister Mary, at Mary's award ceremony, at the family Oscar party. When Chris stand up to Mary and starts defying her. And when Tom finally calls Mary on her delusion and silliness. And no one is talking about that stupid doghouse board again. Or at least taking it very seriously.
(For those of you wondering--and who haven't seen the show-- the doghouse is a bulletin board in the family kitchen. You see, whenever someone does something bad, a card with that person's name written on it--goes in the doghouse --signifying that person is in trouble hence, in the doghouse).
The show is finally watch able! Hell, more than that... funny! If only the ill-fated Good Morning, Miami had been smart and courageous enough to break it's formula and work with it, instead of just following it slavishly, GMM might've had a longer run.
But GMM crashed and burned as big and as bad as the Hindenberg. There is a lesson in all this. And it was almost as if the makers of this show had learned it and GMM didn't.
I ask--nay, PRAY... will others out there in the TV-show universe learn from this? It doesn't have to be this way. Take heed of my wise old words, children. Take heed.
(Note: As I publish this, Married To The Kelly's is also off the air. Go figure, huh? What a world, what a world....)
--For The Late Kellies, Dane Youssef