Married to the Kellys

ABC (ended 2004)


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Married to the Kellys

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Producer Tom Hertz (Spin City, Less Than Perfect) loosely based this comedy on his own true life experiences. The sitcom centers on New York loner Tom (Breckin Meyer, Clueless) who was raised as an only child. When he marries Susan (Kiele Sanchez, That Was Then), a woman raised in the Mid-West by a large family, they move to Kansas to be closer to them and he has to quickly adjust to life with a big, caring family. When Tom married Susan he thought he was only getting a new wife. He never even considered that he would be getting a brand new family as well. Included in this new family are mother Sandy, the rule-maker of the house, and father Bill, once an only child himself he could be the one person Tom could relate to the most. There's also Susan's competetive sister Mary and her husband Chris, who considers himself Bill and Sandy's favorite son-in-law and finds Tom as somewhat of a threat. And finally there's Susan's brother Lewis, a shy and awkward young man who has made a career of collecting bugs. Other family members who occasionally dropped by included Uncle Dave, the big-shot of the family, and Lisa, the youngest daughter who wants to back-pack around Europe and become an art major. When Married to the Kellys premiered Fridays at 8:30pm/7:30 central during ABC's fall 2003 season, it aired after George Lopez, where ABC brought back it's famed TGIF block along with the new Kelly Ripa comedy Hope & Faith and Life with Bonnie. Originally bought by ABC as The Untitled Tom Hertz Project the show needed a quick title in order for the series to be promoted in time for the network to unveil its new line-up. So they decided on the tentative title Back to Kansas. Although the series does take place in Kansas the title didn't quite work since the main character isn't really returning to Kansas (his wife is) and the show wasn't really about the wife's "return" to Kansas but more about the entire Kelly family and the main character's efforts in trying to fit into a new situation. The show soon acquired the more appropriate and fitting title Married to the Kellys. An interesting fact about the show is that Tom Hertz didn't just use real life situations as inspiration for this sitcom, he also used real life family members. All the characters in the series were named after Tom, his wife and his in-laws (with the exception of Lewis). Married to the Kellys also starred Josh Braaten (That '80s Show), Nancy Lenehan (Grace Under Fire), Emily Rutherfurd (The Ellen Show, Van Wilder), Sam Anderson (Angel) and newcomer Derek Waters. TGIF Lineup (2003-2004) ------ George Lopez - 8:00pm Married to the Kellys - 8:30pm Hope & Faith - 9:00pm Life with Bonnie - 9:30pm Broadcast History ------ October 2003 - March 2004 Fridays, 8:30 PM April 2004 Fridays, 9:30pm International ------ Australia - Network Seven Weekdays at 11:30am Awards ------ PTC's 2004 Seal of Approval ---------- Official ABC Press Release: "Back to Kansas" (working title -- half-hour comedy, Fridays at 8:30 p.m., ET) -- In Tom's marriage to Susan Kelly, everything is relative. Everything. Tom, an only child, quickly learns that Susan's family is not only larger-than-life... it's larger than most. Now his toughest challenge is fitting in without freaking out. Tom and Susan moved from New York to Kansas to be closer to the quirky, tight-knit Kellys. But it's a little too close for Tom's comfort. The in-jokes, the family quirks... every get-together tests Tom's nerves, but nothing compares to his worst nightmare ‚ game night. From befriending Susan's weird, bug-collecting brother to schmoozing with her smug, condescending uncle, Tom tries his best to become one of the family... whether he likes it or not. From exec-producer Brad Grey ("The Sopranos," "Just Shoot Me") comes a family-sized comedy with a super-sized heart. It's the show about a mild-mannered guy discovering that in a big family, it's all for one... and every man for himself. ---------- Other recommendations: Dharma and Greg - A man from a sophisticated, upper-class family marries a woman from a caring, free-spirited family. Gilmore Girls - A woman from an upper-class family raises her daughter in a small town full of quirky, down-to-earth residents.moreless
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  • A comedy of a young man who's gotten married and his novel published. Things are going his way until his missus--who's actually a native of Kansas) wants to move back to her native state.moreless

    "An Unwatchably Bad Sit-com.... Suddenly Re-deemed!"

    by Dane Youssef "Married To The Kellys" is a reportedly autobiographical sit-com about a professional New York City novelist who moves out to the Midwest of Kansas to please his small-town bred wife (and her family). Starring the older brother from Clueless and one of the losers from Road Trip (they're both the same actor, I mean), the whole thing centers around a family of yokels and Breckin Meyer trying valiantly and effortlessly to please them. Seems to be a re-hashing of the Green Acres plot. Except with an "Everybody Loves Raymond"-like "fish-out-of-water" twist to it. The show's principal theory is that one about how just as boy/girl from the sticks will get taken advantage of and eaten alive in the big city, vice-versa, the same logic applies. (The First Fifteen Episodes): His wife is also a yokel who leans on him to please her family and gets smarmy with him when she wants to. She's supposed to be the brains and resourceful one of the whole family. At least that's the way the show wants us to see her. Not really. Her husband is emasculated and her family is composed of cartoon character small-town stereotypes that wouldn't seem out of place in one of David Lynch's movies. She's not that smart. Really. Everybody is just that stupid. For some reason, sit-coms these days employ very stupid characters and situations so everything is so easy to follow. If anyone had any thought process at all, the whole show would implode. God willing… Married to the Kellies is yet another sit-com featuring ballsy, scheming women, an emasculated husband who is basically a side-kick and the butt of so many jokes and a Rouges' gallery of Addams Family-like realities. The worst part is that the lead has no spine and no depth and is a pushover, so his embarrassment is not funny, challenging or even very interesting. If he would just dish it out a little. Yell at the family once in a while. Grow a pair. Bicker. Rebel. Do something. P*ss them off a little. He's a member of the family now, he might as well start acting like it. Bad sit-coms usually have one really flamboyant character that is supposed to steal the show. Think of any sit-com, really, and you'll know what I'm talking about. The show is designed to be so bland that anyone coming in and hamming it up instantly becomes the whole show. If you look at a blank white screen for enough period of time and you suddenly see a little black dot moving around, of course your eye is going to follow it. SOMETHING has to have your attention. Hell, you're almost grateful for that little black dot. Anything to slow down the monotony. Guys, either re-model and rentivate or tear the damn thing down. (After Episode Sixteen): In my early synopsis of the less-than successful Married With Kellys, I complained about the show's lack of edge and humor. But the show's weakest link was the character of Tom (Breckin Myer). The show was weak... mostly because it's lead was weak. The Tom character was bullied, humiliated, castrated, kicked aside... by his whole inbred, hick and hayseed family... even his own wife. Especially his own wife! Despite Tom's valiant attempts to win over the family, they despised Tom for being from the Big Apple and for being a big-shot novelist (instead of a dirty blue-collar working man like the rest of the family). My closing line in my first review was: Guys, either re-model and renovate or tear the damn thing down. Thankfully, my prayers were answered and they chose to do the latter. Dear readers, I am pleased to report that Married to the Kellys is finally on track. I guess they just needed some time to find their voice. Did the creators get my message... or maybe I wasn't the only one protesting. I have to admit, I thought this show was head for the sh*tter. But thankfully, Disney must have gotten my request and finally did some renovation on Kellys. Or (more likely) maybe I wasn't the only one who felt this way. The cheerfully castrating yokel wife and her proud hayseed family... torturing her city-boy husband every step of the way. And he seemed to be sadomasochistic ally enduring it. I kept waiting for his pair to drop... and push back. Well, it finally, finally happened. Thank you, God. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Disney. It's a miracle! Perhaps the show's producers read my review. Or perhaps (much more likely) maybe I wasn't the only one who felt this way. Meyer's character is now more sharp-tongued and edgy... and it was such a relief and high to hear him fling crap back at his henpecking wife and her self-glorifying sister Mary, at Mary's award ceremony, at the family Oscar party. When Chris stand up to Mary and starts defying her. And when Tom finally calls Mary on her delusion and silliness. And no one is talking about that stupid doghouse board again. Or at least taking it very seriously. (For those of you wondering--and who haven't seen the show-- the doghouse is a bulletin board in the family kitchen. You see, whenever someone does something bad, a card with that person's name written on it--goes in the doghouse --signifying that person is in trouble hence, in the doghouse). The show is finally watch able! Hell, more than that... funny! If only the ill-fated Good Morning, Miami had been smart and courageous enough to break it's formula and work with it, instead of just following it slavishly, "Good Morning, Miami" might've had a longer run. But "Good Morning, Miami" crashed and burned as big and as bad as the Hindenburg. There is a lesson in all this. And it was almost as if the makers of this show had learned it."Miami" sure didn't. I ask---nay, pray... will others out there in the TV-show universe learn from this? It doesn't have to be this way. Take heed of my wise old words, children. Take heed. (Note: As I publish this, Married To The Kelly's is also off the air. Go figure, huh? What a world, what a world....) --Refusing to Carry A Grudge, Dane Youssefmoreless
  • Breckin Meyer plays a writer who follows his wife to her small town home and attempts to acclimate to his weird in-laws and small town ways.

    I loved this show, and trully thought it was a bona-fide hit series. Breckin Meyer is hilariously funny and deserves his own show. I got a kick out of his confusion with the workings of the family dynamic and the honesty and openness of the small town. His reactions and logical conclusions of how things should work but didn't was priceless. john Waters, as the token brother-in-law, stole every scene he was in plus I loved seeing Sam Anderson from "Growing Pains." This guy has basically had a bit part starring in every series ever made in one way or another. It was about time he got his own series. I just don't understand why the series didn't get a chance where so many others far worse last two seasons or more.moreless
  • I still miss it.

    Married to the Kelly's was my all time favorite show. I still think about it and wish it were still on. Sometimes I even watch the episodes I taped. A huge rain storm always brings the show hack to mind. During one of the very last episods they aired on abc there was one of the biggest storms over where I live. Along with the storm came yellow sky (whitch I don't know what they ment) and tornado watches and warning. So during commercials I went up staires and preparred my pets and stuff for the crawl space, but I remained faithful to the tv and the episode throughout the storm. I only missed two episodes all togeather because the elevtricity was out. I still wonder what they were about. And although I doubt it, I'm still waiting for them to release the one and only season.moreless
  • 50 words max huh? No reason in the world this show should have been canned and Gina and Gina or whatever that other show on ABC is that airs in its place.moreless

    The show was fun, charming, gave a look at people from tri state city areas to imagine what it would be like moving to that real suburb/country area to live with a warm family. I thought it was a great show and should have had another season. Truthfully, I dont even know why it was cancelled. Every show was great, and the cast was even perfectly picked! Everyone played the role they should have. I did notice the last 2 months they were pulling the episodes in place of a repeat of whatever shows aired at the time. It was hard for newbies to keep up. Should have gave it another chance or even put it on abc family. Nowadays with all the channels, is it really neccasary to pull the plug so quickly? I think it was a huge mistake and I miss it. I looked forward to the show every week it was on. My tivo was set!moreless
  • 8.1
    I felt this was a good show that never got a chance to shine..The characters were original and played very well off of each other. Once again a good show killed before its time. Too bad the network can't or won't give some of these shows more of a chance.

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