Dysfunction is the new normal in 'The Real O'Neals'

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'The Real O'Neals' show us a TV sitcom family where dysfunction is the new normal. (KABC)

The new TV comedy "The Real O'Neals" introduces us to a tight-knit Catholic family - one that may look perfect from the outside but, in reality, is falling apart at the seams.

Their family fade reveals that each member of the family has a real secret. Mom and Dad are on the verge of splitting up; one son is hiding an eating disorder; their daughter is essentially a grifter.

And then there's middle child, Kenny: he's gay, and hoping there will be a 'right time' to tell everyone.

"It's an interesting opportunity to have, you know, to portray these new normals in a comedic way," said Noah Galvin, who plays Kenny. "I think that's the most successful way to tell a story is through comedy."

The series is inspired by Chicago writer Dan Savage's own experiences, and that's what intrigued actress, and longtime friend, Martha Plimpton to take on the role of devoted Mom Eileen O'Neal.

"I know his relationship with his mother was a really beautiful one, and a really complex one, and a really rich one, that had its fights, and its conflicts and its deep, deep love," said Plimpton. "And I wanted to explore those things."

As soon as "The Real O'Neals" was announced for ABC's schedule, several religious groups condemned the premise. Plimpton asks viewers to watch the sitcom before deciding what it is, or isn't.

"I think people are afraid we'll be making fun of Catholics," said Plimpton. "That's not happening. What we're making fun of is the fear that people have of change. And the fear that people have of looking outside of their safe prescribed boxes and having to alter the way they see the world."

"The Real O'Neals" debuts on a special night and time on Wednesday, March 2 and then moves to its regular slot on Tuesdays at 8:30 on ABC.
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