Every once in a while, a groundbreaking piece of television hits our TV screens. The Real O'Neals is one such series. In the comedy's two seasons on ABC so far, it has taken an endearing and earnest approach to a teen's experience with coming out and its effect on his family with such wit, humor, and heart rarely seen on television previously. Now as the series prepares to air its Season 2 finale on Tuesday, March 14 at 9:30 p.m. ET, I'm hoping that The Real O'Neals returns for Season 3.
Unfortunately, ABC has not yet renewed (or cancelled) The Real O'Neals, so its fate remains unclear at this point in time. But let's not all lose our cool just yet. The Real O'Neals wasn't renewed for Season 2 until May of last year, so it's possible that the network is planning on announcing what lies ahead for the show around that time of year again. That's also when the major networks have their Upfront presentations and announce what shows did and didn't make their fall TV schedules, so it wouldn't surprise me if we heard about The Real O'Neals' cancellation or renewal at that time as well.
Until ABC officially announces whether or not The Real O'Neals will return for Season 3, it really is difficult to predict what will happen to this comedy. ABC announced that it had extended The Real O'Neals' Season 2 episode order by three, bringing it up from 13 to 16 episodes, last November. However, it has consistently logged low ratings for ABC, according to Deadline, which is certainly not a promising sign. Even star Noah Galvin's controversial interview with Vulture last June didn't translate into ratings.
As much as The Real O'Neals is praised for its representation of the LGBTQ community, it has also come under fire for it, most recently for an episode in which openly gay teen Kenny (Galvin) compared being bisexual to having "webbed toes" or "money problems." In response to actress Sara Ramirez, who identifies as bisexual, tweeting that she was "truly disheartened and disappointed" by the joke and promised to "invest my brand where I'm respected," The Real O'Neals creators and showrunner Casey Johnson and David Windsor told Entertainment Weekly that they hope to keep broadening the world of the show and make it more inclusive — and that there's a Season 3 in which to do so. “We really are hopeful for a season three,” Johnson also told the publication. “We have so many more great stories to tell.”
Here's hoping that The Real O'Neals gets the opportunity to continue to tell these important stories. Luckily, several series have already paved the way for The Real O'Neals to depict these points-of-view. While you wait for more new episodes of The Real O'Neals, be sure to stream these TV series that have made strides for the LGBTQ community and changed the world forever in the process.
Before The Real O'Neals, Modern Family presented LGBTQ issues in a family setting. The series, whose eighth season is available to stream on Hulu, not only explores the experience of same-sex couple Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) raising their daughter Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) but also Pritchett family patriarch Jay (Ed O'Neill's) evolving acceptance and understanding of his son's sexuality and life. But after eight seasons on the air and a whole load of Emmys, Modern Family isn't so much novel anymore as it is normal, and that is a wonderful thing, indeed.
Showtune-heavy and revolving around a high school show choir, Glee could have easily relied on cliches and stereotypes for its storytelling. But Glee didn't do that. Instead, it explored the heartwarming and heartbreaking time of finding yourself during adolescence. Along the way, thanks to characters that identified themselves as part of the LGBTQ community, such as Kurt (Chris Colfer), Blaine (Darren Criss), Santana (Naya Rivera), Brittany (Heather Morris), and Coach Beiste (Dot-Marie Jones), we witnessed stories of love, hate, uncertainty, and discovery rarely seen on a major network TV show in the past. All of Glee's six seasons are available to stream on Netflix now.
'Orange Is The New Black'
Orange Is the New Black is an exceptional television series for many reasons, one of which is that it has given a voice to communities traditionally marginalized, such as the LGBTQ community. The series, whose first four seasons are available to stream on Netflix now, presents LGBTQ issues in such a raw and real way, from lesbian love stories to fluid sexuality to the physical, emotional, and mental pain of transitioning. The emotions that those situations bring up are relatable to anyone.
I think Scandal is revolutionary for one character in particular: Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry). Politics and nefarious acts aside, Cyrus is the openly gay White House Chief of Staff, and it's wonderful to see him in such a position of power in our country, especially since that isn't always reflected in real life. Seasons 1 through 5 of Scandal are available to stream on Netflix now, and you can catch up on Season 6, which is currently airing on ABC, on Hulu.
Never has a TV show raised awareness about trans issues quite like Transparent, whose first three seasons are available to stream through Amazon now. In addition to Jeffrey Tambor's superb acting and the series' compelling storytelling, its depiction of Maura's transition as just one of the problems the Pfefferman family faces makes Transparent a deeply rich and complex family dramedy.
Similar to Scandal, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is such a groundbreaking comedy because of one character, specifically: Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher). Holt is the openly gay captain of New York's 99th Precinct, and whether he has received love or hate for his sexuality throughout his law enforcement career, he always shows his strength, dignity, and pride. Seasons 1 to 4 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine are available to stream on Hulu now.
All of this exceptional TV should keep you entertained and enlightened until the fate of The Real O'Neals is revealed.