It’s the 32nd television endeavor for The Stranger’s Editor – Poo – Bah – In – Chief/”Savage Love” sex columnist/co-founder of “It Gets Better Project”/Professional Gay Muckraker and Spokesmodel DAN SAVAGE. His new sitcom “The Real
McCoys”O’Neals” debuts Wednesday, March 2, 2016 on ABC. Apparently, Mr. Savage had little to do with the project which stars humpy Jay R. Ferguson (last looking beefy and beary on “Mad Men”) and the adorably acerbic Martha Plimpton (Yes…from “The Goonies” and that dumb sitcom “Raising Hope”) as Irish Catholic parents in Chicago with three kids and a lot of secrets which come to light…including the fact that the middle kid, is gay.
The series is loosely based on Mr. Savage’s youthful life as a gay kid in an Irish American Chicago household and he’s listed as an Executive Producer but apparently he had little input to the series other than being around for the shooting of the pilot. According to Rob Owen’s story in the Seattle Times, Savage was rather reluctant to offer much input to the show. The series producer and director, Todd Holland noted:
Holland said it appeared to be a difficult transition for Savage to accept that “The Real O’Neals” was more in line with “It Gets Better” (Savage’s anti-gay-bullying video campaign) than “Savage Love.”
“We had to really convince him, ‘This is not your ‘Savage Love’ brand, this is the ultimate “It Gets Better” brand, this show is a day-to-day revelation of “It Gets Better,” ’ ” Holland said. “He’s worried about his much racier brand, a very sexually explicit brand that he enjoys and is very Dan. This is the other brand he created.”
Ultimately, Holland said, Savage was generally pleased with how the pilot of “Real O’Neals” turned out.
Owen tried to track down Mr. Savage for an interview for his article but apparently Dan isn’t doing press for the show. But, there could be a sound reason for that. Savage’s limited involvement with the show has been problematic with several right wing groups protesting and denouncing the series before it had even aired. He might be distancing himself on purpose to avoid more controversy. (Of course, controversy is good for ratings…)
A plus side to the show is the fact an out gay actor is playing the Savage character. Noah Galvin, the 21-year-old actor who comes from a theater background, is excited about the opportunity to be an advocate for gay rights and for gay teens coming out but noted that his own coming out process was much easier than his character faces in the series.
A downside to this show: the title is awful. I keep calling it “The Real McCoys” which was a corny old rural sitcom in the 60s with Walter Brennan playing an old coot who looked just like Walter Brennan.
Yes. I’m old. (A year older than Dan Savage actually…)
Frankly, a series about a gay teen in a rural hillbilly family who comes out would be more exciting…maybe they need to mash up the two series. “Real O’Neals” isn’t getting great reviews so it might not be around long…no residual checks for Mr. Savage!
“The Real O’Neals” will debut Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 8:30pm followed by an encore airing at 9:30pm then moves to its regular Tuesday night at 8:30pm slot on Tuesday, March 8th.