So “The Real O’Neals” isn’t exactly groundbreaking television.
Single camera, no laugh track, dysfunctional family, and a gay son. As sitcom development hits a lull in network programming, you take what you can get. ABC came up with the show last midseason as a companion to “Modern Family,” which is apparently still a thing. It’s not a horrible show (we’re hoping ABC might use that quote in a promo, as long as they credit JockPop), and the first season storyline of Kenny’s coming out was surprisingly sweet and touching. (Though Noah Galvin, who plays the youngest O’Neal, came off as quite the bitchy queen when he described Colton Haynes’ coming out as “pussy bullshit,” which he later recanted.)
The Catholic lobby went nuts when they found out a show about a crumbling Irish Catholic family on the precipice of divorce was hitting air, with no less of an executive producer than Dan Savage, otherwise known as the man behind Savage Love and the one who coined the phrase “Santorum” to refer to something other than a curiously overhomophobic former U.S. Senator. Anytime we can piss off the Catholics, we win, right?
Let’s focus, though, on Jimmy O’Neal. Or, more accurately, Matt Shively, who plays the older, buffoonish son. In the early episodes, Jimmy had an eating disorder of some sort, which was quickly downplayed as most focus turned to his gay younger brother.
Here he is, not entirely filling out the bro tank all that well, but hey, good for him. Matt, on the other hand, was busy this summer.
Chris Pratt’s younger brother? I can see it.
Even better. Keep it up, Matt. You’re an inspiration for all of the Jimmys out there.