The Kids Are Alright: ‘Pilot’ – Review

The Kids Are Alright premieres October 16th on ABC.

By Ariba Bhuvad

The Kids Are Alright is another comedy pilot heading to ABC this season, and is created (and also narrated by) Tim Doyle who has worked on shows like The Big Bang Theory and Last Man Standing. This series follows an Irish-Catholic family in the 70’s and tells the story of a family of eight boys and their parents who are determined to have one of their boys become a priest. The 70’s was an interesting time, and this family is forced to navigate through the chaos of it all while living in a home that barely fits the entire family who are each trying to take care of themselves.

I did not really enjoy the pilot much but it had its moments–sometimes. In my opinion, it was basically the less comedic 70’s version of The Goldbergs with the same concept of a wacky family and an older version of a character narrating the whole thing. It just didn’t work the way The Goldbergs does and it was just alright.

One great thing about the pilot was Michael Cudlitz’ (The Walking Dead) character, Michael Cleary, who plays the strict patriarch of the family. He wants his eldest son to become a priest and is thrown for a loop when he discovers life isn’t going exactly as he had hoped. His presence is funny, but it isn’t enough for me to be excited about the series when it premieres.

Because there are so many characters involved in the show, it’s a bit hard to follow and understand who is who. Yes, I know it’s only the first episode but it just a bit overwhelming and going with eight kids may have been an overkill for a new show. But perhaps there is a reason I am missing and will understand if I continue to watch the series. For now, I am not convinced with 10 characters being introduced at once because it overshadows a lot of them initially.

And this may be intentional to illustrate the fact that the family is so big that giving equal attention is too difficult–but let’s see. Along with Cudlitz, the cast includes Mary McCormack who plays Michael’s wife Peggy Cleary and the cast of kids that make up the family. I do have to say that I find the decade it is based in interesting but again, a show very similar to this format already exists so I’m just not sure it will work. Time will tell, but for now, I’m considering passing on this comedy when it premieres.

I give The Kids Are Alright a C.