Everybody Loves Raymond (TV Series 1996–2005) Poster

(1996–2005)

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This series took me ages to get into
fee_tambo5 January 2006
...but now I'm hooked, and I've even bought 5 DVD boxsets of it! Its weird because its both subtle AND sharp humour.

Its about Ray Romano, a sportswriter who just wants a quiet life...but he has 3 kids (a girl and twin toddler boys) and Debra (his wife) who struggles to juggle housekeeping and being a mother because Ray just will do anything to stay out of her way and not help! Debra is not your typical sitcom mum. She's independent and opinionated, and a very good match for Ray - she keeps him in line!

His Italian American parents (Marie and Frank) and divorced 40 year old brother (Robert) stay in the same street and facing across from Ray & Debra's house. And they are never away from there - The parents are very loud, expressive, overbearing people, but they don't mean to be....It's just their way. The brother is quirky to say the least! he's 7 foot tall and has a voice like Eeyore from the winnie the pooh movies (he IS the voice from the cartoon). He has weird little habits and is a little obsessive compulsive and insanely jealous of his younger brother Ray. However, at heart they are good, caring people and the family are extraordinarily close...but you'd never know it by the drama and shouting that goes on all the time! This is where the comedy comes from....

Now, I am married to an Italian man and I know from experience what Italian in-laws are like! so this might be why I find this so funny....watching Marie (Rays mum) is like watching my MIL (only its not so funny in real life, believe me!!)

If you like Seinfeld, King of Queens (another sitcom which took ages to grow on me), CLASSIC Woody Allen movies, the film Mambo Italiano or My Big Fat Greek Wedding, then you'll like this. Give it a go, watch more than one episode and you'll end up hooked like me - I promise!
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8/10
Holy Crap, This Show Is Good!
I love this show. It's hilarious. It has the weird, over protective, annoying, critical mother, the gross, dim-witted father who yells a lot, the over-looked first born brother, and the "perfect" second born son who writes for a newspaper and has a wife and 3 kids. In one way or another, you'll be able to relate with this show. I get mad when I miss an episode, even if I've already seen it. They're all so funny. The acting, writing, and directing are all wonderful. I think it's one of the best shows out there. If you like comedies about real life that aren't cheesy (like those so-called Disney channel comedies) you'll love this show just like I do.
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I am loving this!
elizabethbennett14 October 2002
This show is by far one of the best comedies I have seen in a long time! Great acting, writing....everything and what makes this show so good is the fact that it is based on the life of Ray Romano (unless you KNOW it, do not write it). I consider this family to be the poster children for dysfunctional families but are so funny and entertaining in the process. Loving this!
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2/10
Realistic perhaps,but mostly just sad and annoying
nealwcopeland16 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I did not watch this show until it went into syndication and wonder how in the world it was as popular as it was. My Mom-in-law loved this show,now I know why. She is identical to Ray's mother,A controlling manipulative passive aggressive hot mess! Every character on this show is mind numbingly frustrating to watch. If my parents were anything like ray's I would never introduce them to my wife let alone move the poor thing across the street from them! ... ray's immature whiny voice that no woman in real life could actually find intriguing unless you are damaged emotionally too I guess. Then there is Debra being the doormat and letting her in laws intrude like that.(honey its called a door lock use it!!!) I mean she has it made...A husband that makes good money but yet she acts like life could not get any worse..She should get down on her knees and thanks God above she does not have to drag her self out in the work force like most women do. Of course I guess since she puts up with Ray's immature self all the time it would make anyone bitter. I mean it's like he still sucks him mommies teet and he is proud of it!JUST.UNREAL. what is sad is that America watched this mess for 8 years.. This show should be required watching for young women who possibly could be marrying a moma's boy..and newlyweds who are contemplating moving anywhere near their inlaws.THis show is not funny,it just makes me angry,now excuse me while I go vomit!
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1/10
Whiny overrated crap
pinetarrag15 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Everybody Loves Raymond, or "ELR" is a great example of an overrated "comedy" that has few laughs, annoying characters, and predictable plots. It has won a ridiculous number of awards, for being a mediocre(at best) sit-com that doesn't break any new ground or introduce any breakthrough characters. The Players in this show are:

Ray:(Ray Romano) A whiny sportswriter for the "New York Newsday" who is rarely seen doing any work for said publication and instead is shown as a guy who always earns the wrath of either his wife or his parents, and spends the rest of the show trying to set it right.

Debra: (Patricia Heaton) A shrewish rhymes with witch of a wife who constantly nags Ray to do some chores(never mind the fact that he has another job as a sportswriter) and whines constantly about how hard her life is between taking care of their three kids and cleaning the house. She acts like he can do nothing right and she can do no wrong. Why this marriage works is one of the mysteries of the universe.

Marie:(Doris Richards) Ray mom, she barges into Ray and Debra's life and puts down Debra's cooking or housekeeping skills. She does though, usually take Debra's side in domestic disputes. She shows an unfunny and sometimes cruel preference for Ray over his brother Robert, and puts them both down.

Frank: (Peter Boyle) Marie's husband. He is a crude man who barges into Ray's wife along with Marie and generally watches TV or eats up their food while putting down his wife and sons. He is a boorish loudmouth jerk who is put up with by the rest of the family.

Robert:(Brad Garrett) Ray's brother, he is more than often the common sense of the family and that is a scary thought. He is slow and a bit dim-witted and seems to resent his brother, because Marie prefers Ray to him. He is used to his parents' fights and usually carries around some antacid to help him through. The only character I can stand.
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wonderful sitcom
Geordie-417 January 2000
I'm not a big fan of TV. I think most of it is terribly contrived and has very little to do with the lives of normal people. This show is different. The fights they get into, the disputes, everything is true and funny. Ray is the beleaguered protagonist and his parents and brother are absolute scene stealers. This show is just wonderful. The writing is good and I can really see these sorts of things happening in my family. It is much easier to watch when it is someone else's family though.
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1/10
A good reason to quit drinking
soulassassinx17 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is how you quit drinking!

It's ten o'clock on a Sunday morning and I wake up with a bad hangover or at least I used too. This used to happen too may times and then I found the perfect cure. Do not drink the day before, because if you do you are forced to wake up the next day and face the most obnoxious person in TV-history, Ray Romano.

In the end credits we read: "Based on the comedy of Ray Romano". What comedy? I am not an American but I've seen a few stand up acts from USA and most of it is funny, but in not even in the darkest corner of my imgagination can I even begin to understand how Romano's comedy would be like. Is this Romano's comedy? To go on the Leno show or Letterman and cut his pants legs?

Follow this chain of events and you have every episode of Everybody Loves Raymond:

Ray enters his kitchen and the audience laugh for some unexplained reason. He takes a bottle of beverage and starts to talk to his wife about how cool a game would be to watch. His wife says Ray has to do laundry/cut hedges/pick up kids/ or something along the line.

Rays parents enter and the audience laugh again. Rays mother comments the wife's cooking while his father says something funny about bowel movements and how stupid HIS wife is. Enter two twin (Age around)2 and the audience goes "Oww-aahh!" and then enter the daughter of the house. She shows a drawing; it later becomes a centre piece on the kitchen door.

Enter the brother. Ray's brother is called a cowardly, dumb, retarded bumhole by his entire family, yet again for some unknown reason. Ray's wife stands up for the brother.

Classic sit-com. split storyline. Ray want to see the game and maybe his brother has a problem with a date. Now we see every cliché in history of sit-coms evident and then the writers seem to go back to the drawing board, rinse, repeat.

Don't writers have any dignity, introspection, pride.

There is nothing lower in TV-comedy except the two shows that should not barely be mentioned: All of us and the catastrophe USA High.
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1/10
Very bad
lpokeefe27 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A show where nothing ever goes right for the main character is a sitting duck. The plots are guaranteed to be thin and repetitive; the acting is guaranteed to be bad; the writing is guaranteed to be flat; and the characters are guaranteed to be mean. Shows where things don't work out for the main character rarely succeed. "Married... with Children" fell flat on its face because of this, and this show falls just as badly.

Ray Romano was never funny at all. Gearing a series around him was a bad idea, but then the producers/writers/whatever inserted the notion of nothing ever going right. As if this wasn't clichéd enough, the writers gave him a vicious wife, cutesy twins, mean parents and a somewhat stupid brother. Then they hired television standbys to "act", put in plots where everybody blames Ray for everything, and skipping down the path they went, not realizing that the path was the Hellbound road.

I am typically not of the sort to laugh about somebody else's misfortunes. Many comedies have been based around this idea, but the best of them- "Sanford and Son," "NewsRadio," "Seinfeld"- have always provided some sort of comedic foil to offset the misfortunes of the main character. In "Sanford and Son", typically either Fred or Lamont would be in trouble, and the other one would make fun of him. Thin, but it worked. "NewsRadio" gave you the powerhouse quartet of Bill, Jimmy, Matthew and Beth to provide comedic relief whenever Dave was in a tight spot. "Seinfeld" gave you the insanely out-of-luck George on one hand, and Kramer, Newman and Uncle Leo on the other. Balance and equilibrium.

"Raymond" doesn't do this. It gives you one guy who does everything wrong, and a bunch of snotty, selfish, intensely self-assured people to totally hate. And yet you're supposed to sympathize with Raymond, despite every force telling you otherwise. Any series that does something like this puts itself in a bad spot. Because of all the negative elements about it, I'm willing to call "Everybody Loves Raymond" one of the worst series of all time.
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Great!
buff55752 December 2002
Ray may be a little silly, but the whole show is funny. It never fails to make me laugh. The cast was well chosen, and the writers are well-educated and have a big sense of humor making family issues a laugh-fest every Monday Nights.
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Timeless humour in the classic mould.
John (opsbooks)8 April 2003
It took me a long time to get into this show because most of my friends kept putting it down. I'm now addicted to ELR and bad luck if nobody else I know admits to watching it! Apart from 'Becker' no other current American comedies really appeal to me.

What do I like about ELR? The way Ray sets off events without knowing how, then stands back and watches the results of his unconscious actions. Both the cast and the scripts are first-rate. Robert of course has to be my favourite character; he reminds me in some ways of Jack Benny. Favourite episode has to be the one in which Ray's parents back the car through the front wall. One of the great moments of television!

Long may this series continue.
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1/10
Unbelievably Dumb, Anti Male, Unfinny & Tedious
BushLiedMarinesDied24 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This series should never have got beyond the Pilot .... & that should have been burnt before screening. How anyone can think this pile of bull poo is funny is beyond me. It's the same each episode, Raymond tries to live like he has a pair & fails miserably. Any tiny triumphs are washed away by his wife's acerbic remarks. And his dad always puts him down & his brother always puts him down....blah blah blah. .... but then, Oh how everyone loves Raymond! Cue the sickeningly sweet schmaltz & slather it on in layers as the credits come up. "Bring me a bucket!" as one comedian with REAL talent once said. Raymond plays it so safe it is compromised into cheap, easy stereotypes & formulas that were tried & tested even back in the 1960s. What is really obnoxious is the portrayal of the men, especially Raymond, who is a snide, weak, lap dog. If the roles were reversed women would be up in arms. Proof that sexism is alive & well in 21st century America. I am unlucky enough to have a relative who thinks that Raymond was the best show ever on TV & they inflict it upon me whenever I pay a visit. They've not worked out that I am serious about hating it, or why I am so eager to run errands for them. I'm glad Raymond has gone for good, my only fear is that it was so popular with the bovine US public that there will be endless copy cats for eternity. For TV shows with REAL edge try to find the UK's "Brilliant!" or the original version of "The Office" not the awful US remake. I wish I could recommend a US show, but apart from South Park there's not a lot to choose from. How did US TV get so bad?
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Marie's 'representation' of seniors
smooth_op_8526 July 2006
Someone once posted a comment about Marie being a disappointment for seniors everywhere. The big part of it is this, that Raymond's mother is an exaggerated form of Phil Rosenthal and Ray Romano's Mother also, I don't get why people believe like with The Cosby Show (as far as black representation) that the seniors on the show have to represent ALL seniors or the majority of them.

In Seinfeld, I know a couple that was similar to George's parents, but that doesn't mean that they are the representation or the unique representation of seniors everywhere. It is a TV show that is based on the families of the writers and the creators of which Phil Rosenthal and Ray Romano are. Also, my mother isn't as overprotective as Marie is but I don't go around yelling about how Marie isn't like her. TV is representative of not only people but of the way writers see them as well as the characters and how they act. Good writing takes this and makes it known to the audience.

Thank you for reading
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The actual reality TV for many of us
blanche-225 March 2006
"Everybody Loves Raymond" turns all those '50s comedies on their heads. It's not the Donna Reed Show, not Leave it to Beaver, not Father Knows best. It's family life with all its good points and bad, all the love and frustration, and all the individual foibles. Raymond is a sports writer whose parents, the domineering Marie and the couch potato Frank, live across the street from him. His wife Deborah is beautiful but can't cook and comes under constant criticism from her mother-in-law. Ray's brother Robert is a policeman who is jealous of him because - well, "everybody loves Raymond." This show is hilarious - my favorites are numerous, but one of the best is the lost cannister episode when Deborah swears she doesn't have a cannister of Marie's and then it turns out the kids had it. It falls to Raymond to sneak it into his mother's house, so on Easter Sunday he wears a down coat to hide it. I also loved the tofu Thanksgiving turkey, taping over the wedding with a football game, the fly eating woman dating Robert, Robert hanging out with his black partner and walking around in a yellow suit, the colored condoms on Halloween, the girl scout cookie debacle, and dozens and dozens of others.

It was Ray Romano's goal to go out on top, so the series ended in 2005. It was a great run, a perfect ensemble cast, and will be enjoyed on DVD and in syndication for years to come.
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1/10
Possibly the most misogynistic sitcom ever
Nick Zbu21 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This has to be the first 'popular' sitcom in history that appeals only to bitter old people who got conned into a marriage before the dawn of birth control. The utter hatred of people is apparent in this homage to 'classic sitcoms' which mean that people now refer to Married with Children as 'classic.' Which it is, but this show's hatred of women is much, much deeper, and reveals much more about America's increasingly pathetic ideas of marriage as an unavoidable part of society. Ray himself plays his obviously dysfunctional family--complete with overbearing mother and his wife which is her mirror image--for laughs. But when examined closely, this is a sitcom full of bitterness and hatred. Ray is a milquetoast to an extreme that has been castrated by his overbearing bitch of a wife to such an extent that his only release is to become a mentally retarded man child. His brother is Ray's double to showcase that Ray has been built this way since birth: the dominant mother has crushed any semblance of male freedom and identity and replaced it with one that is wholly dependent on her, possibly to make up for her own failed life that was 'ruined' due to incredibly restrictive sexual politics in her day. What we see in the show is the true American tragedy: women destroying men through marriage just as they see men destroying them by taking their sexuality away from them. The only reason anybody stays together is simply because of inertia. They don't really love each other, they simply stay because leaving would mean having to take responsibility for something they are not mentally mature enough to do. While this could say a lot about the whole pathetic idea of marriage as a stabilizing force in American society, what it really reveals is that women are to blame for ruining a male idealistic fantasy of what the 'classic' male sitcom truly represents and reveals that the whole myth of the nuclear family is a pathetic joke that merely restricts sexual freedom into a package which destroys all within. What we have here is not a family sitcom, but a fable in which we see the modern American family as a forced contract that is based on women being objects for male ownership and vice versa under the guise of marriage. If this was intentional, it would be brilliant. Instead, it comes off as vapidly depressing that this is being marketed as a 'classic' sitcom without the irony and venom that the show gives to the American audience.

And given the female lead's political stance, the irony is probably not supposed to be taken as anything other than gospel truth.

In short, this show is possibly the worst thing on the air because it mirrors an American institution that is, in short, a forcible rape of the senses. No other word accurately describes what this program showcases. If this is marriage and religion writ large, it's no shock most of America is swinging away from the repression.
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1/10
More Lame Crap Supported By America's Most Dimwitted
momohund27 August 2006
It still amazes me to see what people will laugh at. I didn't even know this show was on until about 2003. Then when I watched it I wanted to hang my head in the shower and ask God why He allows these shows to come on TV, and why He got rid of shows like MASH and Good Times and All in the Family and Taxi and The Jeffersons. This is one of those shows where you leave feeling more dimwitted than before. More lame crap about nothing. What, you think a huge cop with a deep voice is funny? Or that squabbling about nothing with your whiny parents is funny? or that Ray getting hot wheels for Christmas while his brother got shoes says something about the national character? or that arguing about a can opener is enough material to make an entire show on? or that a mother-in law criticizing her husband's wife is new and funny? you people probably watch this show after singing in the choir down at city hall. You probably think Family Circus is a laugh riot. I bet you like this show because it reflects how stupid your lives are and you can relate to that. I bet you argue with your loved one over where to put the suitcase. I'll leave you now to go bake the brownies, where you no doubt hope to see something funny in this so you can argue with someone in your family and think you're crazy and on the edge. Oh, and mother's coming at 9 so make sure the rug is vacuumed and the beanie babies are in the closet, because if she sees that none of this has been accomplished, boy will it be a hoot!
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1/10
among the meanest, most un-funny shows ever
witty_alias17 February 2009
i've never understood the appeal of this show. there are no sympathetic characters, everyone is yelling all the time, and they all appear to hate each other. perhaps that is the family dynamic of the target audience of the show, and if so, it's just another example of the 'lowest common denominator' thinking of Hollywood. how there were enough people to be duped into watching over 200 episodes of this mean-spirited, dull, repetitive dreck i'll never know. it is as though the writers came up with ONE idea for a pilot: a slow-witted dullard marries a conniving, bitter woman who never stops yelling, then moves next door to his parents--a conniving, bitter woman who hates the other conniving, bitter woman, and a grumpy old man; and then never came up with another one. This show is absolutely the nadir of American comedy.
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1/10
Just AWFUL!
Nunya Bizness22 January 2008
The multiple star reviews are SURELY from studio exec's and CBS employees because this show is patently un-funny. I spent a week home with the flu and decided to catch a few episodes to see what all the fuss was about. I am now railing my co-worker for her recommendation (and wondering how she has such bad taste) The characters are very hard to relate to and their personalities range from boring to bizarre.

The wife (Debra) particularly grates my nerves with her unrelenting negativity and bad attitude. Is every day really that bad?? She's a stay at home mom (very RARE and un-relatable to 95% of American women). She needs to count her blessings and stop complaining all the time. If she were a real person she would need therapy + antidepressants to balance out her bad personality.

Amy is old as hell and was a virgin? How does one relate to that? Even as a "christian" those standards are not contemporary in the real world and only the most sheltered viewer can relate to that. It's like CBS is trying to push 1950's values on new millennial people. It's awkward and doesn't work at all. There are ways to make it a "family show" without making it DUMB and UNREALISTIC. (Dis-honorable mention here to the episode where Robert is caught smoking and the whole family makes a huge big deal about it...HELLO...he's a grown-a** man! Just STUPID!) Ray's character doesn't bother me terribly but I wonder why he's such a wuss and puts up with such a wife who is impossible to please. His brother Robert is a similar dunce/wuss.

The parents are probably the most realistic characters (esp the father). Don't "love" them but their characters make more sense to me than the others.

I don't know why anyone would buy a box set of this since it's on TV 24/7 anyway. Unbelievable.
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3/10
Everybody (?) loves Raymond? God knows why...
adam-100914 January 2008
Well, I've heard that this show was really popular in US and I was looking forward to see it. The first few episodes weren't particularly good, but I can't recall any good comedy series that start from high level (f.e. Wings had poor start).

Unfortunately so far I've watched almost all of first 5 seasons of "Everybody Loves Raymond" and I'm still waiting for the good stuff to come. Main character behaves as jerk all the time, all his wife is doing are sad faces after his stupid ideas, his family is much more annoying than creators have planned it (except for his brother who so far had most of good quotes) and it seems that "holy crap" by his father is really the highlight of this series...

There are US comedy series that I love (f.e. Caroline in the City, Wings, Becker, Seinfeld), there are some that I respect (f.e. King of Queens, Married with children) but in compare to them "Everybody loves Raymond" is rather crappy, boring and predictable as hell. There were literally FEW good jokes in those 120 episodes that I've watched and I simply can't take this s*** no more.
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2/10
Over rated
spectrx23 January 2007
This is probably the most over rated show in the last two decades. It wasn't that funny. I enjoyed the show on some level, and would have enjoyed it a LOT more if Ray's obnoxious parents weren't on the show, or if anyone had ever stood up to them without backing down or apologizing in the next scene. They ruined the show.

Robert was great and even Ray was moderately funny. Deborah was more bitchy than anything else and the kids were just window dressing, as they are with most sitcoms. It just seemed to be the same show every week. They could have made the show fantastic by getting rid of Ray's parents, or at least the mom. His dad was great. But they should have killed her off in the first season and the show would have been a keeper.
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3/10
Abrasive people being horrible to each other.
Marina19 June 2007
I must begin by stating that Peter Boyle is brilliant in this show. His acerbic delivery of lines is great, but it's not enough to carry this show. He's the only reason why I gave it 3 stars. Doris Roberts - a very talented actress - doesn't have much to work with here - her character is as unwatchable as the rest. The rest can & probably will - fade into oblivion.

The premise of this show is good, but the execution is painful. The same tired plot is dragged out anew in each episode with little variation. I've come to despise this show over the years & wonder why it's stayed on the air for as long as it has.
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4/10
Ray Romano Egomaniac!
kewlvideo7 July 2014
If it weren't for Doris Roberts, Patricia Heaton and Peter Boyle, this wouldn't be much of a show. Ray Romano and Brad Garrett do nothing for me, the acting and lines are predictable. If I were to rate this simply on Ray Romano's and Brad Garrett's performances I would give it about a two. On the other hand, Doris Roberts and Patricia Heaton are excellent in their performances, and Peter Boyle is pretty darn good as well.

The show gets pretty tiresome if you watch episodes frequently.

And jeez, talk about an ego - I will be the exec. producer, I will star in the show, and the name of the show will be "Everyone loves me" Can't get any more egotistical than that!
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1/10
Awful, watch this if you want to get upset.
PeteRoy6 April 2004
This show is bad. Raymond needs to apologize to his wife in every episode.

I watched this episode where Raymond was being hit by a women at the airport (because he lost his wedding ring), he turned her down and when he got home Debra heard about it and got mad, threw his clothes out of the window and yelled at him.

I find it absurd that in every episode Raymond has to be afraid of his wife, always needing to please her.

I don't like a show that the husband is always stupid and childish and the wife is smart and adult.

Avoid this show if you don't want to feel bad.
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4/10
Everybody Loves Raymond...not really
mnpollio14 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I am really not a fan of the modern sitcom - especially the "family" sitcom. A genre of which Everybody Loves Raymond is a prime example. The formula seems to go somewhere along the lines of find a comedic actor/actress, plop them down in suburbia, give them a few (usually three) interchangeable charmless children, and surround them with colorful family members/friends whose wackiness drives to distraction and viola! instant success.

Everybody Loves Raymond centers on Droopy Dawg-faced Ray Romano as Ray Barone, an Italian-American sadsack semi-happily married to Patricia Heaton and stuck living on the same street as his overbearing family, including dad Peter Boyle, mom Doris Roberts and brother Brad Garrett.

The show does have things going for it. Scratch that - the show has one thing going for it. The trio of supporting performances from Boyle, Roberts and Garrett. These three seem to be the only ones to be aware that they are in a "comedy", are expected to be funny, and rise above the limitations of the mediocre scripts to attempt something better. Garrett looks like he could conceivably be Romano's brother and gives the kind of performance that Romano should be contributing in the lead role. Boyle and Roberts are fun together and playing off the others as well. Roberts, particularly, is good in scenes as the mother-in-law from hell to Heaton's colorless daughter-in-law.

The actors playing the children are instantly forgettable - in fact, the kids are used so sparingly and without thought that they could vanish from the show and no one would notice (or care).

Unfortunately, the show is cursed with leads that are challenged. Romano literally seems to have one facial expression and a voice that could put caffeine into a coma. Listening to his chronic affectless delivery is downright disconcerting enough, but someone should have pulled him aside early on and explained that there is a huge difference between deadpan and deadly dull. Literally, Raymond is almost completely devoid of charisma or personality. The show is truly centered around a lackluster droning sadsack.

Yet oddly, Romano still manages to come off better than his on screen wife. Given that this is a modern comedy, it seems to be the new thing that actresses playing wives/mothers in sitcoms are simply not expected to be or allowed to be funny. The days of Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy, Audrey Meadows in The Honeymooners and Mary Tyler Moore in The Dick Van Dyke Show, where comedic actresses were allowed to be as equally funny as their male counterparts are apparently dead. Heaton gets to play the now all-too-common role of the wife/mother, who is not allowed to be funny because she is too busy acting responsible and being the professional scold. Her entire role is to react to those around her. Ostensibly she is the straight man - if being a straight man required you to be criminally unfunny and annoying. Alas for Heaton, there are too many examples of great straight men/women who manage to be funny in their own right to function as an excuse for what she is doing here. Think Margaret Dumont in the Marx Brothers epics or, more recently, Jane Curtin in Third Rock from the Sun. Heaton's delivery sounds chronically forced and delivered in that mock-acting tone/volume that all too often characterizes bad TV comedies. She is almost diabolically unfunny and actually manages to drain the life from some of her better cast members when sharing a scene. She is such an irritant that we can easily fathom why Ray is such a sadsack and why his family seems to have ambivalent feelings about her below the surface. Failing as both a comedic actress and even a functional straight woman, Heaton manages to be a black hole at the center of this show, often throwing the dull leading man off, and hobbling it from attaining any heights of amusement. Purportedly Heaton did not get along with her co-stars and, if true, it certainly shows on screen. However, that can certainly not be the sole excuse for the kind of crummy acting exhibited by her here, since she has been equally lousy in her subsequent mercifully short-lived comedic pairing with Kelsey Grammar in a show whose title I cannot even remember and in the somehow still-currently-running The Middle.

So I must say that while there are times that I may love Peter Boyle, Brad Garrett and especially Doris Roberts on this show, I most definitely do not love Ray Romano and I think the dreadful Heaton makes Larry the Cable Guy resemble great comic art.
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2/10
except me!
smirre4425 December 2001
I had to look up who Ray Romano was. Oh, he is a stand-up comedian! Thats why he can't act... I guess you have to be American to appreciate these kind of shows. This show is mediocre at best... Give me Seinfeld instead. Granted, Jerry isn't that great at acting either, but at least he had a better supporting cast!
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