Do you remember how some channels just relied on reruns of old sitcoms for ratings? Some still do, but it seems like more and more channels are getting their own original programming, which I think is for the better. The channel that used to rely on sitcoms the most, besides local network affiliates of course, was TBS. They aired reruns of shows like Seinfeld, which still airs today, Home Improvement, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. One sitcom that always stuck out to me when it aired was none other than Yes, Dear.
Yes, Dear initially aired from 2000 to 2006 on CBS and it was about two families. The first family is comprised of movie studio executive Greg Warner, played by Anthony Clark, and his wife Kim, played by Jean Louisa Kelly. They have a baby son named Sammy, and later a baby daughter named Emily, and they live in their nice California home, with a guest house. However, that guest house gets some unexpected visitors. Kim’s sister Christine, played by Liza Snyder, soon moves in with her lazy husband Jimmy, played by Mike O’Malley, and their sons Dominic and Logan. Of course, shenanigans ensue. There’s your plot.
Another thing that I should mention is that the opening and transitions have some pretty sick guitar. That guitarist and the bassist from Seinfeld should start a band. I’d listen to it.
I find it difficult to explain my opinion on this show, because it keeps changing with every episode that I watch. I remember liking it when watching reruns on TBS after school years ago, but now with me knowing that better written shows are out there, like Seinfeld and Fresh Prince, this show is… actually still fun to watch! Every episode that I’ve seen has a rather generic plot, usually boiling down to a conflict between Greg and Jimmy. Since Greg is rich, he always assumes that he does everything better than Jimmy ever could, but of course, Jimmy shows him that being the “Average Joe” isn’t too bad.
Anthony Clark’s acting as Greg reminds me of a more over-the-top version of Carlton from Fresh Prince. He’s always snooty regarding Jimmy and Christine’s care-free ways. Whereas Carlton is young, rich, and still learning that he’s not automatically right, Greg is a fully functioning adult. His bickering with Jimmy comes across as extremely childish as a result. Clark’s not bad with what he has to work with, though. Kim and Christine are the textbook definition of “okay.” Mike O’Malley makes this show, in my opinion. He’s just funny. Here’s a clip of him trying to be an umpire, which is the only clip of this show on YouTube that I saw with over 100,000 views. I think that may be due to people trying to search for actual funny umpire bloopers.
Now that I’ve explained the characters and plot, I’m just going to talk about some random episodes. My favorite is probably the one where Greg sees that Sammy is fighting other toddlers at the park, so Jimmy tells him that when Dominic did the same thing, he took him to a tougher toddler. That way, he got beat and stopped doing it. Greg agrees to do the same thing, only to see that Jimmy invites some of his friends to see. Greg is worrisome of a “Baby Fight Club,” but the fight between Sammy and his opponent commences. Of course, Greg gets into it and shouts “Come on Sammy, kick his ass!” Right as he says that, Kim and Christine walk in. You can predict the rest of the episode from there.
Another highlight is where the families go on vacation to the Grand Canyon in an RV. Through losing the keys and other shenanigans, they arrive… at night. The best part is where Jimmy’s making eggs outside of a store parking lot, and he asks Greg how he likes his. He replies nonchalantly: “In my house.” Clark’s delivery on that line just cracks me up.
Another standout is one when Jimmy’s father visits and tells of his days as a Minor League baseball coach. Due to a mishap years earlier, Jimmy thinks he made it all up, but when he meets Johnny Bench, Ernie Banks, and Frank Robinson at a baseball fan convention, he sees that he wasn’t lying. Yes, they actually play themselves in this episode. Jimmy then invites them to the house to see his father, and the MLB legends reveal that years ago, he stole their team van and equipment. So, naturally, when they see him again, they want to beat him up. This leads to a hilarious fight scene which sees Jimmy tackle Bench and Robinson hit Jimmy’s father, played by Jerry Van Dyke, in the head with a chair. All of this happens while an instrumental version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” plays. It’s great stuff.
The last episode that I’ll mention has a plot that sees Jimmy, who became a security guard at the studio where Greg works early in Season One, see a person invade a famous actress’s trailer. He investigates, seeing that the perpetrator is a creep who calls himself the actress’s mother, so Jimmy stops him. Christine gets upset because she worries “What if he had a gun or knife?” You can guess where that plot goes.
The B-plot in that episode sees Greg addicted to nasal spray. Kim tries to get him to stop, but he can’t. When he tries to go cold turkey, he hallucinates in the middle of the night. I’ll just let this scene speak for itself. Words can’t do it justice, though I’ll say that that anthropomorphic nasal spray is rendered in pretty good CGI for a network sitcom.
I could go on all day describing several more episodes, but that wouldn’t be enough in describing the weirdness of this show. In addition to the occasional dream sequence and random episode endings, this show has several cameos. Included in the Yes, Dear cameo club are Will Arnett, the aforementioned Jerry Van Dyke and MLB legends, Pat Morita, and Bill Goldberg. Weirdness also arises from the stock nature of the show, which at times is hard to tell whether or not it’s intentional. Some lines seem self-aware of it, but others are written so poorly that the cheesiness can’t be intentional, specifically in Season Six.
One thing’s for sure: I still have a lot of fun watching this show. It’s harmless, funny, and a little heartwarming at times. However, if you’re looking for a 10/10, or even 7.5/10, comedy with character depth, I’d say look elsewhere. If you want to have a quick laugh, then Yes, Dear would be a pretty solid option.
Thanks for reading! YouTube clips uploaded by Lowell Mather, hukjom, and hukjom (again). Screenshots taken from other various YouTube clips. This show isn’t available to purchase anywhere, as far as I can tell.