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