Standup comedian Ray Romano stars as Ray Barone, a successful sportswriter who deals with his brother and parents, who happen to live across the street. Patricia Heaton ("The Goodbye Girl"), Peter Boyle ("While You Were Sl... more »eeping"), Doris Roberts ("Remington Steele"), and Brad Garrett ("Gleason") round out the stellar cast.« less
"A consistently funny sit-com. The situations are so typical of a lot of families (including mine!), I'm really laughing at myself.
Season One is a good one with some interesting guest stars. Here's a brief episode guide.
1. Pilot: Debra doesn't want Ray's family to come over for her birthday. 2. I Love You: Debra doesn't know why Raymond has trouble saying "I love you". 3. I Wish I Were Gus gs: Jean Stapleton. Ray is chosen to deliver a eulogy at a funeral where his mother and her feuding sister have a reunion. 4. Standard Deviation: Robert administers IQ tests to Raymond and Debra. 5. Look, Don't Touch: Ray feels guilty about being attracted to a waitress at Nemo's. 6. Frank, the Writer gs: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Himself): Ray's dad wants to write his own column. 7. Your Place or Mine? Ray's mother leaves her husband and moves in with Ray and Debra. 8. In-Laws gs: Robert Culp: Ray asks his parents to get along with Debra's parents during a visit. 9. Win, Lose or Draw: Ray ignores his father's advice at a poker game and loses all his money. 10. Turkey or Fish gs: Robert Culp: Debra decides to cook fish for the family Thanksgiving dinner. 11. Captain Nemo: Debra tells Ray that he should be spending time with his kids instead of coaching basketball. 12. The Ball: Ray finds out that his father lied to him about a gift baseball being autographed by Mickey Mantle. 13. Debra's Sick: Ray has to take care of Debra and the kids when Debra gets the flu. 14. Who's Handsome? After hearing Debra tell Robert how handsome he is, Ray gets a make-over. 15. The Car: Debra doesn't like driving the old car Ray bought from his parents, but likes it even less when she learns why Ray likes it so much. 16. Diamonds gs: Barry Bonds (Himself): Ray finds out that the diamond on Debra's ring is a fake. 17. The Game: A game of "Scruples" gets the family arguing about honesty. 18. Recovering Pessimist gs: Katarina Witt (Herself), Tommy Lasorda (Himself), Marv Albert (Himself): Ray allows Debra to persuade him to become more optimistic but then is accused by his family of being big-headed. 19. The Dog gs: Kristie Yamaguchi (Herself): Ray brings home a stray dog, but Robert bonds with the dog. 20. Neighbors gs: Tommy Lasorda (Himself): Neighbors are upset with Ray's parents. 21. Fascinatin' Debra gs: Desmond Howard (Himself): The Barones attract the interest of a popular radio psychologist whose original intent was to interview Debra. 22. Why Are We Here? An episode where Ray and Debra recall how they ended up living across the street from Ray's parents. "
First season irons out bugs, sets up the excellence later
J. SHARP | Alabama - United States | 08/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The first season of "Raymond" is very different in tone and delivery than it was in years to come. Many shows hit their stride right out of the box and others have to adapt to the talents on hand and run with things that explode later on. It took a while for the writers of "Raymond" to find the voice of each character and form them accordingly. The now-iconic personalities didn't gel until the middle of the first season. But when they did, it became a legend.
The writers weren't the only ones searching about. As just one example, actor Brad Garrett tinkered around before he found the literal voice of Robert: He completely altered his delivery from a coarse baritone to a mopey bass as he learned what clicked with the audience.
It's fun watching the characters develop and the actors begin to own their parts. Romano will readily admit he's the weakest actor but - like Jerry Seinfeld - he tethers the rest of the cast together. And what a cast! Special props to Patty Heaton. She goes so much against the "beleaguered sitcom wife" stereotype that it's absolutely refreshing.
My only complaint? No Play All function. In fact, this is one of those annoying formats that makes you go through two menus to watch each episode. Play All should be industry standard by now."
The Best Sitcom You Could Ask For
Patrick Gilchriest | Syracuse, NY | 06/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm sad that this sitcom will be ending its run in May, but all good things must come to an end. What better way to begin Raymond's final year than the release of the first season on DVD?I have been waiting for this DVD for a long time. EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND doesn't just focus on getting cheap laughs. The sitcom serves as a microcosm of American society, namely, the human family. In order to have good, quality comedy, you need to have some tension. That tension is well provided for with Raymond's parents, Marie and Frank, living right across the street. All families have tension, but the Barone tension is increased as a result of being too close together. Each episode focuses on the problems this family has, but it also focuses on their good days, too, and how they remain together and remain a unit, despite the tension. As we watch, we not only find ourselves laughing, but we find ourselves identifying with the people, because we just picture our own lives taking similar courses. (We also dread even more the prospect of living across the street from our in-laws.)But there's even more to it than just the great comedy as a result of the family tensions and trials. Each character is also very well developed, and has a lot of backround. Each character is very three-dimensional, and believable. You find yourself relating to them more and more with each passing episode. (NOTE: All references to episodes in this review obviously are from this season 1, so you can see each episode I mention if you buy this set.) Take Raymond himself, for example. He's not very intelligent and he never has any idea what his wife really means when she says she wants more romance, as we see clearly in the episode "I Love You." Rather than just respond to his wife's need to have more spoken intimacy, he asks his parents what they think. He truly does love his wife, and his kids, but his problems compound from the fact that he's what a woman would call a "typical guy" and from being completely under his parent's control. (To get a better idea of what I'm talking about in terms of the control they, especially Marie, have over him, just watch the Pilot. Then you'll get it.)Then you have Raymond's wife, Debra. Again, she truly loves her husband. Deep down, she even loves Marie and Frank. However, she has a hard time showing it all the time because her nerves are constantly under the grind when Marie and Frank barge over constantly. In the episode "Fascinatin' Debra," the Barones ruin her interview with her favorite radio shrink, because she's "normal" and all the rest of them are "the front porch of the looney bin." However, we learn that Debra truly is the foundation that holds this entire family together. She has a lot of weight to carry on her shoulders, being the "normal one," so if she seems a bit cranky, that's why.Marie is the mother that just loves to help. The only problem is she doesn't know where to draw the line between just helping and becoming a meddlesome nag. She would do anything for her family, but more often than not, she just goes a bit too far, which drives Debra crazy to no end. In "Debra's Sick," Marie truly shows her inner colors. While she comes on a bit strong, she is a loving, caring nurturer. But, on the flipside, you see her coming on far too strong with her love in "Turkey or Fish."Frank is probably the most interesting character of them all. He's disgusting and he constantly makes the most hilarious cracks, especially about his wife. On the surface, they just don't appear to get along, and everyone constantly wonders how their marriage can possibly hold together. However, in "Your Place or Mine?" you see that Marie and Frank are truly compatible. Marie needs to be the nurturer, and Frank needs to be nurtured. And finally, we have Robert, Raymond's obsessive-compulsive brother. Robert is insanely quirky, and has had a lot to deal with in his life. He's the second favorite son, despite being the firstborn, but he has a lot of love for everyone. Raymond and Robert, although they have typical sibling rivalries, they truly would do anything for each other, as seen in "The Dog."There is so much more to this sitcom than I can type in this review. Go buy it. It's worth it, and then you can see for yourself."
Realistic Sit Com
Elizarahy Martinez | El Cerrito, CA United States | 04/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nowadays you just don't see many shows on TV that are worth watching. Everybody loves Raymond is a show that portrays what seems to be a realistic family and they deal with realistic everyday life problems. Such include problems with the parents- in-law, in marriage, in raising children, etc. This show has helped me look at society with a more critical eye also. I am currently a student at the University of California at Berkeley majoring in Sociology and Social Welfare and I find so many themes that we've spoken about in my classes here. The complexity of the characters and of the problems they face provide the viewer with a funny, yet educational, portrayal of family life."
Everybody Loved Raymond
renablack29 | Scotland, United Kingdom | 04/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is fantastic, I watched this a lot when I was holidaying in the U.S. and for the last few weeks it has been shown in the U.K. Everything about this show is so funny, It brightens up my day no end when I watch this, I am only sad it isn't on longer!!"