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The Kids Are Alright Review 2018 TV-Show Series Season Cast Crew
Creator: Tim Doyle
Stars: Santino Barnard, Sawyer Barth, Michael Cudlitz
Review: ABC is adding another retro comedy to its primetime lineup, handing a series order to ’70s family sitcom The Kids Are Alright, TVLine has learned.Set in a working-class neighborhood outside Los Angeles during the 1970s, The Kids Are Alright stars Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead) as Mike Cleary, the patriarch of a traditional — and big! — Irish-Catholic family, raising eight rowdy boys with his wife Peggy (In Plain Sight‘s Mary McCormack). Their lives are thrown for a loop when eldest son Lawrence (Chicago P.D.‘s Sam Straley) quits seminary school and returns home with plans to “save the world.” Oh, and did we mention there’s only one bathroom for 10 people?
Tim Doyle (Speechless, Last Man Standing) is the creator and executive producer, and based the characters on his own childhood. Randall Einhorn (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Office) directs the pilot and will also serve as an EP.There’s four-time Oscar nominated film The Kids Are All Right and of course there’s the famed 1966 Who song “The Kids Are Alright”.
So why couldn’t ABC come up with a better title for its 1970s-set comedy series from Tim Doyle, even though it’s a nod to the Pete Townsend ditty?“We wanted to obliterate the memory of those other products,” joked Doyle, “They don’t deserve the public eye.”“There were 80 titles we were working with and ABC selected this. This is the one they landed on. I had a bunch of others that I thought were better,” added Doyle.
Set in the 1970s, The Kids Are Alright follows the Cleary eight-son family as they navigate the seismic shifts during one of America’s most turbulent decades. The parents, played by Michael Cudlitz and Mary McCormack, provide little supervision to their boy in their working-class L.A. suburb. The household is turned upside down when oldest son Lawrence returns home and announces he’s quitting the seminary to go off and “save the world.”
Pressed by a reporter as to why Doyle didn’t include more girls as characters in the family on the show so as to expand the series in an inclusive narrative, Doyle responded “This wasn’t something I was approached by market research with in regards to trying to hit every constituency. I had been working with ABC for a while and they knew some of these funny stories I told them from my childhood. I was specifically asked to write a story about my childhood. It’s my story and I wanted to tell it.”
Doyle also made a point of not watching other family-centric shows when breaking story, i.e. The Wonder Years and Malcolm in the Middle despite the similarity of those shows to his. “I have my own internal mechanism that’s pushing me in a certain direction,” says Doyle.
There’s a fake news joke in the sitcom that was shown in the trailer today at TCA, however, politics won’t be center stage on the show per Doyle, but a mix of character arcs and the hippie era. “We’re getting to know these folks,” said Doyle, “They’re trying to hold on to the values in this house, and the outside world keeps coming in.”ABC next season will have a comedy series set in 1970s (The Kids Are Alright), 1980s (The Goldbergs) and 1990s (The Goldbergs spinoff).