Posted in Wednesday Warriors

Raymond Barone

A lot of folks will disagree with me for choosing this lovable television character as a Wednesday Warrior. After all, he doesn’t strap on a shotgun to kill zombies, nor does he sport a muscular physique that would deter criminals from robbing banks, nor is he some kind of superhero ready to save the planet from alien invaders. He’s simply Ray Barone (Ray Romano), the father of three growing kids and the husband to Debra (Patricia Heaton), the woman who does it all.

Everybody Loves Raymond's Cast
Everybody Loves Raymond’s Cast

If you haven’t watched Everybody Loves Raymond before, then let me summarize the show with one word–family. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s all about family.

When I first began watching the show back in the early 2000’s, I thought Raymond was nothing more than a wuss. He complains a lot. He fixates on insignificant things an ordinary person would dismiss as minor. And, in some miserable but lovable way, he’s annoying. In other words, he’s the typical dad with all the bad habits intact, including watching TV when he should be out doing the lawn.

Which reminds me, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Ray cut the lawn, despite the perfectly shaped hedges and manicured plants. Then again, he could have a service do the job for him. He is a sportswriter, therefore he can splurge on the nice things in life while everyone else slogs away at holding the line on the family budget.

Ray Romano and Patricia Heaton as Ray and Debra
Ray Romano and Patricia Heaton as Ray and Debra

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the show is about family. What family wouldn’t be complete with the parents living across the street? They appear when Ray and Debra are eating, sleeping, taking showers, taking the kids to school, cleaning, working, painting and in between all the other little errands that make up The Barone’s ordinary lives. Without Frank (Peter Boyle) and Marie (Doris Roberts), Ray and his family would be normal, but then there wouldn’t be a show.

Ray’s brother Robert (Brad Garrett) also plays a part in driving Ray crazy. He shows up at the most inopportune time always asking the question “Is this about me?” If you thought Ray has a problem with a mind for detail, Robert has him beat. If he’s eating, he touches his chin with his food. The habit stacks up next to all the other bad habits he has, like overthinking things, moping around the house without a girlfriend, and having a hidden crush for Debra, Ray’s wife. Of course, he’ll never admit it, but that’s another element to Robert’s character that makes him endearing to the audience.

As for Debra, I’ve always said this to my friends–she reminds me so much of my wife. She’s strong-willed, tough and incredibly intelligent. The other thing about Debra is that no matter what happens with Ray, the screaming matches, the fights, the slapstick humor, Debra loves Ray with all his flaws and all his little quirks intact.

But then there’s Ray. I can’t say much more about Ray except he’s your typical father trying to make it in today’s world with an above average income and a family who he loves very much. Is he a wuss? Sometimes. But as annoying as he can get, Ray’s heart is with his family. That’s what’s important above all else.

Get the Ranger Martin trilogy now!

Have you seen Everybody Loves Raymond? What do you think of Ray?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Marie Barone

In a middle-class suburb in Long Island lives Ray Barone (Ray Romano), sportswriter, with his beautiful wife Debra, and their three wonderful children. Across the street, live his parents.

Doris Roberts as Marie Barone
Doris Roberts as Marie Barone

Women Who Wow Wednesday once featured Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Debra Barone (Patricia Heaton) as the assertive, do-it-all homemaker who doesn’t take lip from anyone, including kids’ activity coordinators who’ve set themselves on a pedestal waiting for her to knock them off. Strong-willed, independent, Debra wears the loving mom moniker well. She also does it all.

Ray’s mom, Marie Barone (Doris Roberts), has the best job in the family. She spoils her kids rotten, except Ray’s brother Robert (Brad Garrett), but that’s another story. Perpetually caring for Frank (Peter Boyle), her husband of forty-five years, she’s learned a couple of things along the way. For instance, toenails don’t magically crawl into the garbage, nor does dirty underwear jump into the hamper all by itself.

A typical day in the life of the Barones goes something like this:

[Frank is eating lasagna from the platter]
Marie Barone: Frank! What are you doing? You can’t eat it from there! Your fork was in there! Now nobody can eat it!
Frank Barone: That’s all I have to do? In that case, the fork’s been in the ice cream, too!
Ray Barone: [comes in] Hey.
Marie Barone: Hi, Raymond. Are you hungry? Do you want something to eat? Only you can’t have lasagna… Or ice cream.
Frank Barone: [sticks his fork in cake] Or chocolate cake.
Marie Barone: Look at him! He’s like an animal, marking his territory!
[Frank sticks Marie with the fork]
Marie Barone: Hey!
Frank Barone: What? That’s a compliment.
Ray Barone: God, how I wish I could say this is the wrong house…

Marie Barone
Marie Barone

Her “Are you hungry?” line defines Marie as the selfless mom who is always willing to go out of her way to make life comfortable for Ray. Her relationship with Debra is a different matter. To Marie, Debra’s never been good enough for her son. In that respect, she has said less than flattering things about Debra’s cooking “Did another dinner get away from you, dear?” However, make no mistake; Marie loves Debra like her own daughter:

Marie Barone: I bought tickets for the whole family to go to Italy!
Debra Barone: Me too?
Marie Barone: Of course, dear. You’re family.
[Debra jumps with joy]
Robert Barone: Me too?

What makes Marie is not her intrusive, critical, overbearing attitude, although some may find that off-putting, but it is her unapologetic nature when defending her family. This is what makes her a formidable opponent, should anyone dare attack The Barones:

“I wanna tell ya something, there is nothing wrong with this family. We’re very close, we’re very open, we’re very loving, ‘cause I make sure of it.” ~Marie Barone

And it’s true. She may seem like someone you may not want to be with for long periods, but she certainly knows how to show her love. “Are you hungry, dear?”

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

Have you seen Everybody Loves Raymond? What do you think of Marie Barone?