‘The Kids Are Alright’ Season 1 Premiere ‘Pilot’ Recap: A Beautifully Chaotic Family
BY David Riley
Published 4 years ago
ABC’s newest comedy show, The Kids Are Alright, introduces itself in 70’s style. A show that’s somewhat akin to That 70’s Show and Malcolm in the Middle, The Kids Are Alright makes for a fun 30-minute banter that would make your evenings worthwhile. In the pilot episode, we are introduced to the Cleary family—a religious, American-dream chasing, cheapskate bunch that seems to care about one thing—finding their purpose (at least, for some of the family members).
Michael Cudlitz of The Walking Dead plays the head of the family, Mike. He works as a defense contractor at Logan Aerospace. Mary McCormack is Peggy, the typical 70’s housewife who seems to get lots of things done in the house and who knows her kids inside and out. Then we have the dysfunctional siblings—Lawrence (Sam Straley) the eldest (and up-and-coming priest), Eddie (Caleb Foote) the awkward second child, Frank (Sawyer Barth) the eavesdropper and tattletale, Joey (Christopher Paul Richards) the horny kid, Timmy (Jack Gore) the aspiring Broadway boy, William (Andy Walken) the introspective one, and Pat (Santino Barnard) the hypochondriac.
The pilot introduces a glimpse at the life of the Clearys, as narrated by an older Timmy. Lawrence comes home from a semestral break at the seminary, and everyone’s proud of their star son. But things will not work out between what Mike dreams for him. Timmy, on the other hand, wants to be noticed, so he decides to audition for a children’s play. Meanwhile, Eddie finally introduces his secret girlfriend to his mom.
It’s “a house full of testosterone,” as older Timmy puts it. Lawrence is coming home, so one of the younger brothers would have to give up their beds. It’s either Eddie or Frank. After breakfast, the entire family heads to Church with Lawrence finally with them. Timmy feels like he’s always left out, and so he tries to draw attention to himself by ringing the bells extensively during communion. Peggy calls him a fool as Timmy sees a flyer for a Children’s’ Theater production audition. He wants to sign up, so he practices “Man of La Mancha” as his piece.
Peggy calls for lunch and the boys file in like a pack of wolves. At the table, Mike and Lawrence have a small argument about Nixon and his involvement with Watergate. Eddie tries to contribute to the discussion but is shut down by an upset Michael. Later, Peggy calls Timmy for lunch, with Frank discovering Timmy’s audition. He then rats him out to their mom, who also dismisses the flyer because Timmy has no talent and instead gives him the task of getting donations for the Church charity. Lawrence then tells him to protect what belongs to him.
The Family That Stays Together, Falls Together
Later, Lawrence reveals to Eddie that he doesn’t want to pursue priesthood and that he plans on dropping out. Eddie begs him not to because he’d then have to take over. What’s more, Eddie has a secret girlfriend, so that makes it impossible for him to live through the seminary. Again, Frank overhears it, and Eddie beats him up. Mike breaks them up and asks what happened. Fearing for his brother’s secret, Lawrence then tells his parents about his plans. Still, Frank manages to let Eddie’s secret out. Mike is disappointed at Lawrence, while Peggy cannot believe that Eddie now has a girlfriend.
In the midst of all the clamor, Timmy stole the phone and called up the number for auditions. He got in, but he’d have to pay. He tries to retrieve his secret stash, but Joey took it to watch a movie. Joey calls Timmy to his treehouse and suggests that he make money by asking the rich people in their neighborhood to support his dreams of being a Broadway boy while he collects money for the Church charity. True enough, Timmy was able to raise more than what he needed.
That night, Eddie finally introduces his girlfriend, Wendy (Kennedy Lea Slocum). Peggy couldn’t believe that Eddie was able to snatch up a girlfriend but is ultimately impressed when Wendy praises her for being an example of a modern woman. Peggy then insists on making her a dress.
Meanwhile, during the Church fundraising bingo, Lawrence arrives to see his dad. The priest sees him. Knowing that he studies in the seminary, he calls Lawrence up to announce the numbers while giving bad pickup jokes. That’s when Lawrence decides to announce that he’s no longer going to be a priest, humiliating Mike.
The next day, Mike brings this up to Peggy who tells him to go and make it up to Lawrence. According to Frank, Lawrence is in Burbank with his friend AJ. Peggy insists, so Mike decides to go after the workday. Timmy then bids goodbye to his mom and sets off to collect more donation. In truth, he’s going to the audition. Peggy has William go with him.
That night, Mike sees Lawrence who’s in bed with a girl. He takes Lawrence out for a drive and expresses his frustrations about how Lawrence was supposed to be a decorated child. But Lawrence still wants to go to college, so Mike suggests some courses that he could take. They then admire a test rocket that Mike’s company made.
Meanwhile, Frank rats Timmy out to Peggy and tells her about the audition. They arrive at the theater, only to see Timmy singing beautifully with William on the keyboard. They leave because Peggy now sees Timmy’s potential. As they return home, she has Frank retrieve a pair of sneakers for Eddie that’s hung over an electrical line.
‘The Kids Are Alright’ Season 1 Premiere Overall Verdict
The Kids Are Alright seems to be a promising comedy show that doesn’t contain boring humor. It’s one of those shows that would make you appreciate its dankness and the “too real” moments too. If anything, I could see the show picking up steam over the next few weeks with its simple narrative, and it’s callbacks to the culture of the 70’s. We need shows like these for a breather. As for its pace, it could be better. The season 1 pilot had a hurried transition from one point to the next, but then again it’s a 30-minute show, so that kind of explains it. But with the likes of The Mick, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and That 70’s Show, it’s safe to say that The Kids Are Alright fits snugly into its shelf.
The Kids Are Alright continues next Tuesday, October 23rd, with “Timmy Poem” at 8:30/7:30c on ABC.