Everybody Loves Raymond: A Belated Review

Updated on May 31, 2016
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Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

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Everybody Loves Raymond cast (from left), Marie Roberts; Peter Boyle; Ray Romano, Brad Garrett and Patricia Heaton.

Monica Horen played as "Amy," "Robert's" on-again, off-again girlfriend and eventual wife
Monica Horen played as "Amy," "Robert's" on-again, off-again girlfriend and eventual wife | Source

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.

Madelyn Sweeten, "Ray and Debra's" daughter, "Ally," and their twins, played by Sullivan and Steven Sweeten
Madelyn Sweeten, "Ray and Debra's" daughter, "Ally," and their twins, played by Sullivan and Steven Sweeten | Source
Source
Source
Sawyer Sweeten was one of "Ray and Debra's" twins on "Everybody Loves Raymond"
Sawyer Sweeten was one of "Ray and Debra's" twins on "Everybody Loves Raymond" | Source

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.

Sullivan Sweeten was Sawyer Sweeten's twin on "Everybody Loves Raymond"
Sullivan Sweeten was Sawyer Sweeten's twin on "Everybody Loves Raymond" | Source
Madylin Sweeten was cast as "Ally," the daughter of "Ray and Debra Barone"
Madylin Sweeten was cast as "Ally," the daughter of "Ray and Debra Barone" | Source
Brad Garrett, "Robert," was my favorite character on Everybody Loves Raymond
Brad Garrett, "Robert," was my favorite character on Everybody Loves Raymond | Source
Jerry Seinfield
Jerry Seinfield | Source

Were YOU a fan of Everybody Loves Raymond?

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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.

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Kenneth Avery

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      • profile image

        Lio 3 months ago

        I can't agree with you more. I have watched quite a number of sitcoms, I have never felt so strongly before about a fictitious character before. I never seen such an annoying and loathsome character in any movie or TV show. I really hate Ray, the character and probably the real person himself. Besides him, more than half of the characters on the show are borderline bearable.

        I will never understand how the series even lasted for 9 seasons, that only proves that it is a sad world that we live in. I also noticed that the show constantly uses what I call the "pause for audience to laugh" technique. It's like for many scenes, that they have to constantly and purposely introduce the pause, to make it seem, or tell the audience that it is funny, and it's time to laugh. The pauses can actually last for more than 10 seconds. I have never seen a sitcom which used this cheap method of showmanship so generously throughout the entire series.

        I am actually ok with Seinfeld, but for ELR, you really have to be a silly underachiever to like such a show.

      • kenneth avery profile image
        Author

        Kenneth Avery 4 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

        Vladimir Karas

        My 2 Cents Worth

        and

        Brave warrior

        I did my best reviewing that I could, brave warrior and although you feel that I did not present ELR in a 100% positive light, call me the scape goat, because I had to to my reveiw all by myself--no one bothered to tell me how to tell the truth about shows.

        As for everyone who liked the comments, Thanks and Thanks, bravewarrior, for your input.

        I still hold a special place in my heart.

        All of you be blessed.

      • profile image

        Kenneth Avery 4 months ago

        Hey, Linda -- thank you for seeing "Raymond" for what his character was. And to ValKaras, I am NOT gay nor would imply that you or Ramano was gay. Ramano had production say-so about the scripts--but really? Did he always have to be in the spotlight?

        I do agree about how petty his mother was on the show . . .so without going in circles, we will run back to scripts . . .we can put the blame on them.

        Fair enough?

      • profile image

        Linda Drury 4 months ago

        I think program was stupid too. Ray was an idiot on this show not to mention that he never did stick up for his wife and let his mother Marie verbally abuse her!

      • profile image

        My 2cents on the subject 20 months ago

        Kenneth,

        I have to disagree with you. I find "ELR" to be one of the if not the funniest show around. Maybe because it feels so familiar. Although I have to agree with your point that Raymond is a self-centered person. And everything has to revolve around him. But isn't that the way it should be? I mean look at this mother Marie. Who always praised Raymond and told him he could do everything he wanted. So he has to be self-centered because he was raised that way. he is merely a product of his surroundings. Also you seem very biased towards Ray Romano as a person. You really hate the gay. And that's why you can't see through it. I really love this show and I have yet found a show that is so good. Even after countless reruns. I mean I must have seen every single episode 10 times and yet I can keep watching them. Some episodes are not so great and some are. I also agree with you that Raymond was the weakest link in his own show. Marie being the #1 for me, then Frank, then Robert and then Debra. The parents and Robert made this show. And Ray was just cashing it in. Also don't forget Raymond didn't have any acting skills when he started the show ( pretty obvious in the first season) and they were even planning on cancelling the show after the first few episodes. But then they saw it was a hit mainly because of every other person on the show except raymond ( lol). Though Raymond had little value early on, later on he became the reason to. And I agree most of the time it shouldn't have revolved mainly about Raymond but more the family. And what you forget is that Raymond has a job 9 to 5. So if he comes home tired he'd like to watch some tv. And eventhough he can help out, Debra acts as if he doesn't have a daytime job at all and just hangs around the house like Frank. So this is also very forgotten.

        Anyways your review was reasonable, but very biased. If you could not pick a side it would be better review. But all in all a nice review, a fresh one indeed.

        Kudo's to you Kenneth. Great writing skills.

      • profile image

        Kenneth Avery 23 months ago

        Hi, Bravewarrior,

        I just told it like I saw it. Sorry that you felt that this was a negative twist, but many others feel this way. All I would have asked the show's producers is that a compromise of sorts by way of the scripts would have dealt Brad Garrett a more sensitive role or "star" treatment as he rightfully deserved.

        Thanks for the input and you can write me anytime.

        Happy Fourth!

      • profile image

        Bravewarrior 24 months ago

        I was looking forward to this review, but was disappointed that it took such a negative turn. I still watch the reruns on TV Land, syndicated cable channel.

      • kenneth avery profile image
        Author

        Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

        Kiss and Tales,

        You are welcome . . .and I cannot wait

        to build your birdhouse for you.

        Love, Kenneth :)

      • Kiss andTales profile image

        Kiss andTales 2 years ago

        Thanks Kenneth !

      • kenneth avery profile image
        Author

        Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

        Hi, ValKaras,

        Thanks for the nice comment. I appreciate it so much.

        Jerry? Funniest man on TV? Did he design this voting scheme all by himself? Jerry has not ever or will be "the" funniest man anywhere.

        Neither will Ray Ramone.

        Now to give the devil his dues, I did at one time, when Everybody Loves Raymond first aired, tried to watch it and laugh with the rest of his few fans and my sister, rest her soul, like the show, so why not watch it, I thought.

        Well, I paid the price. I have since stopped watching the reruns. Period.

        That also applies to Seinfield.

        I have been around people such as Ramone and Seinfield in real life--self-promoting, always getting motes from others' eyes never taking the beam from their own eyes and other such things they did to make themselves look big and important.

        For once, I would have loved to see Robert deck his whiny brother and not apologize. Now that I would have loved.

        Sorry, but you are honest. So am I.

        Happy Memorial Day to You and also Kiss and Tales.

        Both of you keep in touch.

      • kenneth avery profile image
        Author

        Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

        Dearest Kiss and Tales,

        Thank you for your very sweet comments.

        I was not trying to tarnish Ramone's character, and thing is, he is the same in real life as in that awful show--arrogant, self-promoting and other nauseating traits.

        Why? I mean why can't a person who has "made it," be so obtuse and self-important?

        Why can't they learn to be more thankful and know where their blessings are coming from?

        I guess with Ray I am wasting my time and breath.

        But not with you, Kiss and Tales.

        Keep in touch and let me know about your birdhouse order.

        Love, Kenneth

      • Kiss andTales profile image

        Kiss andTales 2 years ago

        Interesting Kenneth you have talent like a exray machine . you see things in much deeper undestanding. Thats a good thing. I so happen to stumble on the episode the fly. Called shes the one. But I am not a regular fan of tv.

        Just turned my mine oneday and that was playing. I can see what you are saying though even in that episode Robert is slighted that he feels he has to prove he has found the one. I am sure you will get more comments sometime its how many hubs are popping up when you created yours it takes time to reach a quota of reading .

        love you my friend , I am happy you are very sincere and a good judge of character.

      • ValKaras profile image

        Vladimir Karas 2 years ago from Canada

        Kenneth - I am so happy that someone in this objective and wakeful world said something in so many words that I used to say in just a few profanities while seeing either Ray or Jerry. As seasons were piling up, at one point I started suspecting my sense of humor - is it possible that something THAT popular could give a stale taste to my popcorn, and give me a heartburn?

        When I heard Jerry being voted for funniest man on TV, I thought I developed a new allergy, because my body was rebelling, not only my mind. Well, advertising machinery will do its job as always. And I'll ignore it as always. - Great hub, Kenneth and thank you.

      • kenneth avery profile image
        Author

        Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

        Hi, Kiss and Tales,

        Thank you for jumping in and commenting. I was afraid that no one would respond, but one of the three reasons why I despised Romano and his "Barone" character, was "I" watched in hope that maybe in ONE episode, Robert would get the respect he deserved; two, I always wanted "Ray" to meet karma and we know who wins that everytime and three, "I" know what it is like to live in a sibling's shadow and let me tell you. It is not fun at all.

        I still love "Robert."

        And You too!

        Kenneth

      • Kiss andTales profile image

        Kiss andTales 2 years ago

        Intersting hub Kenneth. I can only think of one episode that I would laugh everytime I see it. The one about the Fly. So funny ! People have to see it you can not explain it. Their characters in this one makes you forget the other ones lol!

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