Everybody Loves Raymond Review
A very late review of Everybody Loves Raymond, the popular Television series. This review attempts a balanced perspective focusing on the positives and the negatives of the show.
Sometimes Deborah is just so over the top with her attitude towards Ray that it begins to wear on the comedy. When watching there are times when you think: “that is her husband”. Ultimately, it was her choice to be with him. The show does undermine this somewhat by Deborah not being perfect herself and other characters getting to point out her flaws, but whether this solves the issue is debatable. Perhaps the problem is that it is a little too realistic and close-to-home for some people or even that when the characters are getting along they are not that funny so there is no point showing it.
Another problem with the show is that it is sometimes too sentimental. Frazier suffered from a similar problem, where it would focus too much on the stories and move away from being comedy. Seinfeld showed how it is truly done: just focus on being funny and forget the rest. Everybody Loves Raymond tends to lean towards sentimentality on occasion. While it does it somewhat effectively, it undermines the comedy just a little bit when Frank is not an ogre.
The show is very funny, particularly Marie and Frank. Marie often steals the show with her perfect back-handed compliments and manipulations. Frank serves as her foil, a modern day Neanderthal who barely notices her overt manipulations let alone her subtle ones. Every character in the show is interesting and entertaining, with the brotherly fights between Ray and Robert often hilariously funny.
The next positive is that the look of the show seems very real. This is not a mansion, it is a real home with real people. The show really gains from having people that look and seem real, dressing in clothing that seems very natural. The house, even when messy, is just a little too clean given the three children but at least it makes an attempt at showing things close to as they are.
Everybody Loves Raymond is a good show, but there is a depressing element to it in how accurately it portrays family life. It tries to make this seem worth it in some way, but does not always succeed.