32 user 7 critic

The Real O'Neals 

3:20 | Trailer
A family's bond is strengthened when the youngest son tells his parents that he's gay.
4,468 ( 275)




2   1  
2017   2016  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Martha Plimpton ...  Eileen O'Neal 29 episodes, 2016-2017
Jay R. Ferguson ...  Pat O'Neal 29 episodes, 2016-2017
Noah Galvin ...  Kenny O'Neal 29 episodes, 2016-2017
Matt Shively ...  Jimmy O'Neal 29 episodes, 2016-2017
Bebe Wood ...  Shannon O'Neal 29 episodes, 2016-2017
Mary Hollis Inboden ...  Jodi 29 episodes, 2016-2017
Matt Oberg ...  VP Murray / ... 17 episodes, 2016-2017
Learn more

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A traditional Irish Catholic family's world is turned upside down in this offbeat comedy when the oldest son reveals he's anorexic, the younger son comes out, their daughter starts questioning her faith, and the parents announce a potential divorce.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Musical

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This is the second show centering on the life of a gay leading character in which Bebe Wood appears as a series regular. The first was "The New Normal." See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #33.162 (2017) See more »

User Reviews

This series has grown on me over the past two seasons
8 March 2016 | by Ed-ShullivanSee all my reviews

When a producer is competing to capture their fair share of a television viewer audience with a new comedy series they either have to create a whole new comedy genre stratosphere such as the huge success of The Big Bang Theory and/or Modern Family accomplished, go back to an earlier era of simpler times such as the 1974 Happy Days series that ran for 11 years, or they will choose to piggyback off of the success of a defunct series that had previous success for many years. I think what ABC is attempting to accomplish with their new TV comedy series "The Real O'Neals" without leaving themselves open to any legal challenges that have the word "piracy" or "copyright infringement" in the lead statement was to utilize one of their own former successful TV series namely the 1988-1993 The Wonder Years.

Of course ABC is attempting to modernize their comedy series for a more acceptable and approving 2016 audience than what was expected from the then wholesome 1988 Arnold family of five starting with the then 13 year old Kevin Arnold played by Fred Savage in his breakout role. There are similarities such as the Arnold family was comprised of a gruff dad who holds a senior management position at NORCOM a defense contractor, and the loving wife, two sons and one daughter. Sound familiar?

Why I am making the comparison between the 1988 ABC TV series The Wonder Years, and the current 2016 ABC TV series The Real O'Neals, is both are comprised of a family of five with two sons and one daughter living in a middle income home and both have a narrative style where the families issues are described to the audience by a family member in the third party style of describing their actual feelings and circumstances/experiences.

Where I personally see the major difference in these two ABC series that are close to 30 years apart is that I could relate to the issues and events that evolved in the 1988 series The Wonder Years, but The Real O'Neals smacks of absurd shock value in the pilot episode by showing us how dysfunctional the Real O'Neals actually are. First of all, mom Eileen and dad Pat (played by Martha Plimpton and Jay R Ferguson) who pretend to be devout church worshippers and the epitome of good parents have secretly been going to therapy for marriage counselling for the past year and have decided to divorce. Older son Jimmy played by Matt Shively has admitted to being anorexic. Daughter Shannon played by Bebe Wood, has admitted that the charity she has been aggressively raising funds for is actually just a front to allow her to keep the money and buy a car off of Craigslist since as long as you pay by cash (the donations she wrongfully has been collecting) the seller doesn't care if he is selling a car to a 14 year old girl. The only family member who doesn't seem to have any personal problem is the younger son Kenny played by Noah Galvin, who comes out of the closet that he is gay. What TV show in this century does not have representation from the LBGT community? What is the shocker there? This whole supposedly dysfunctional family unit on the inside who portrays a devout religious and perfect family unit on the outside in a comedic atmosphere just does not work for me. Just because all of their deep secrets are revealed in the church hall kitchen to each other for the very first time and revealed to the entire church congregation via speaker phone supposedly unbeknownst to the Real O'Neal family is not funny, nor a shocking revelation. How they get out of this mess was even more absurd.

I give the series a 4 out of 10 rating and predict there will not be a season 2 unless the storyline and characters develop significantly to more realistic characters than the shallow shells they currently are portraying.

January 29, 2017 update

I have to come clean and admit that this series is deserving of a second season and also a third. My review above was based solely on the pilot episode that aired and I still believe that first episode was attempting to divulge way too much information about the five (5) O'Neal family members to the point of being absurd. Through subsequent episodes, although the series comedy level is inconsistent there definitely are enough above average episodes that are worth watching. I have upgraded my original rating from a 4 to a 6 and I am optimistic that the series is progressing in the right direction. Which means it is well worth watching. It has grown on me.

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Release Date:

2 March 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Family of the Year See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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