Everybody Loves Raymond: A Belated Review
Everybody Loves Raymond cast (from left), Marie Roberts; Peter Boyle; Ray Romano, Brad Garrett and Patricia Heaton.
Everybody Loves Raymond: the snyopsis
Everybody Loves Raymond was (thank God it's off the air) an American television sitcom whose only star, Ray Romano, portrayed "Ray Barone," his verbally-abused wife, Patricia Heaton, "Debra," his older also verbally-abused brother, Brad Garrett, gave the role of "Robert," his obvious excellent acting effort in every episode.
"Ray Borone's" family was played, or rather over-played by Doris Roberts, "Marie," the busy-body, meddling, two-faced mother of narcissistic "Raymond Barone," her favorite son. Peter Boyle, "Frank Barone," filled out the main cast with his honest swearing and masterful sight gags. Madylin Sweeten, was "Ally," "Ray and Debra's daughter," and Monica Horan, fulfilled the role of "Amy," "Robert's" on-again, off-again, eventual wife, with a superior touch. Later in the show's run, "Ray and Debra," became parents of twins played by cousins, Sullivan and Steven Sweeten.
Everybody Loves Raymond ran on CBS from Sept. 13, 1996 to May 16, 2005. Many of the situations from the show were inspired by the real-life experiences of Romano, creator/producer Phil Rosenthal, and the show's writing staff. The main characters were loosely based on Romano and Rosenthal's real-life family members. God help them all.
Why I despised "Ray Barone"
I guess hate is such a cold word, but I found that dislike was much too mamby-pamby. As the show's synopsis states, Phil Rosenthal and Ray Romano developed Everybody Loves Raymond. I can just see this meeting happening in Rosenthal's plush Hollywood office high up on the fourteenth floor of a sixteen story business building.
Rosenthal: "Hi, Ray. I am developing a new show entitled, "Everybody Loves Raymond," and . . .
(Romano interrupts as any narcissist does).
"Yeah, and it's all about me. Right?"
Rosenthal: "Sure, Ray. All about you. Who else would it be about? Haw, haw."
Ray: "Now let's fill out the cast with my family members, say, that Brad Garret fellow, he could be my older brother, "Robert," whom my doesn't love as much as she does me."
Rosenthal: "You have got something there, Ray. I am glad that I called you to this meeting. I will get the writers started on the first episode of "your" show, oops, I mean, "the" pilot for CBS."
Ray and Rosenthal shake hands, wink at each other and Romano waltzes out of Rosenthal's office with that lazy, smug, "everything's going my way" look on his face. And why not? This in a condensed length, is just what turned me against Everybody Loves Raymond.
NOTE: Just in case you are reading this, Ray Romano, oh you "can" read, can't you? Brad Garrett, even if he stunk in every show he appeared after Everybody Loves Raymond went off the air (again, thank God), I would pay triple ticket prices to see him in person than walk across the road that runs by my house to see you for free. Garrett is a more-accomplished actor than you are, Ray Romano. So there.
I am sure that Romano has many fans. I tried hard to like him in the reruns on TVLand, but I admit it. I do not like this self-centered example of the "star" of his own television show. I am left to wonder why have the co-stars at all? Just film Ray Romano in daily life talking about himself?
Yeah. Ray Romano would have loved that idea.
Were YOU a fan of Everybody Loves Raymond?
Other areas of my dislike
- The scripts of Everybody Loves Raymond were mostly redundant. Of course, Ray Romano was the executive producer which supervising scripts was one of his duties, so I can easily see as anyone who has suffered through one or ten of Everybody Loves Raymond episodes to see that most of the scripts were about "Ray Barone," for "Ray Barone," and no one else.
- "Ray Barone" always getting away with verbally-abusing "Robert," his older brother. Hey, Ray Romano, this bit got awfully old in a short time. We all got it right away. Everyone, (no pun here) sure did love "you," because this is how the scripts that you approved were produced.
- And the way that "Ray Barone" seldom helped his over-worked wife, "Debra," with the twins and Ally. Yo see. "Ray Barone" was just too good at his job of sportswriting for Newsday to do menial housework. Did you ever see Ramone's character do "any" labor in his household? No. You and I only saw him plopped down on the couch eating some snack with his lower lip open while he chewed like a dazed horse.
Maybe I am being petty, but I do not think so. These things were seen on Everybody Loves Raymond.
- "Ray Barone" never took up for his wife when "Marie," his two-faced, manipulating mother insulted "Debra," in her own house and never did "Barone" get in "Marie's" face telling her to not just barge in their home unannounced. It was almost like "Debra" was fighting a losing battle against "Ray Barone" aka/ "snoogy uggums," to "Marie Barone."
- Sickening. That is what it was. I cannot make anything else out of a clearly-obvious one-man show by Ray Romano. And speaking of Ray Romano. At each show's end when the credits were ran, there was this text that said, "based on the comedy of Ray Romano."
- What? Comedy? You mean as in stand-up, right? Well, about that. I did some checking on YouTube and tried in vain to find ONE funny comedy bit by so-called "comedian," Ray Romano. All I found were video's with Romano talking and talking and talking about nothing.
Which brings me to Ray Romano's chief narcissist rival: Jerry Seinfield. His show was set-up on the same premise. All about Jerry Seinfield. And all the other people were merely actors.
To this day I cannot tell you with a clear conscience, which one, Romano or Seinfield I despise more.
© 2016 Kenneth Avery