I watched about four episodes of this CBS series from the mid-eighties. I'll say that the talent they assembled,in particular veteran film and TV star Barnard Hughes,TV vets Peter Michael Goetz and Christine Ebersole(who's now thriving on Broadway when I last heard)seem to give the characters some amount of personality,but the show was so drenched in one-dimensional Irish-Catholic stereotypes that it seemed to be almost a cruel parody of itself.
The stereotypes go as the following: grouchy,old-sod,Irish to the teeth patriarch Francis Cavanaugh(Hughes),who seems to find anything that ISN'T Irish and CAtholic to be inferior,is the anchor of this clannish family in Boston. His son,Chuck Sr.(Goetz) is a put-upon union chief who has no ostensible spine. His daughter Kathleen(nicknamed Kit),is the black sheep in the family,running away from home,becoming an actress,having unmarried sex,dating anybody who wasn't Irish and CAtholic,etc. Chuck's oldest son is Chuck Jr.,who is a priest who seems to have been led to believe that the priesthood was the only place to go when he grew up and wants desperately to be thought of as "with it". He has a younger sister who is the closest thing to a real person,a shy CAtholic-school girl who idolizes Madonna and is in living fear of the nuns at school.
This show is replete with prerequisite stereotypes about Catholics,the Irish in particular. They're either stodgy and obstinate or else hellions in training. No middle ground. The characters have little else to them. Having been raised Catholic myself(albeit Midwestern,German Catholic), I found it somewhat insulting and stupefying. Was I supposed to relate to these characters? And if I did,would this make them any funnier? My answers on those were:I don't think so and no f**king way!
It managed to hang around a lot longer than I thought it should've. Fortunately,it seems all involved have moved on in their careers. Good for them!
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