I have been very patient with the set-comedy “Kevin Can Wait,” starring none other than Kevin James. The series is about a retired cop who has nothing else to do, but watch sports, eat junk food, and bully his daughter’s boyfriend. This season, there has been a lot of “Kevin Can Wait“ changes in hopes of reviving the plot, but will they suffice? The show has received a lot of backlash after firing actress Erinn Hayes who played Kevin’s wife, Donna. But is killing off Donna going to save “Kevin Can Wait“? That’s what I will attempt to answer here.
Chale and his girlfriend Kendra
Kevin’s eldest daughter, Kendra, is dating Londoner Chale, who lives in the family’s garage (a strangely nice garage by the way). The character has so much potential. Chale’s struggles as an immigrant and his love for law student Kendra is interesting, and the story could draw more audience in. Besides, the kid and his girlfriend are funny. However, they really need to stop with the (get a job) jokes – they’re getting old. I also believe that making them get married so soon was a bad idea. That’s a recipe for another dead plot. And by the way, he still lives in the garage.
What’s with the other kids?
The other two kids have no plotlines whatsoever. I don’t even know their names, that’s how irrelevant they are to the story. They just jump in from time to time with stupid, meant-to-be-funny remarks and then they go away. In season one, we kept seeing Donna (the now-dead mom) telling them they’d be late for school, and we were over it. Now, it’s her daughter Kendra who’s taking on that boring role. They attempted to bring the kids in with a story about the youngest daughter having a boyfriend and the youngest son faking an allergy to sit at the “kids with allergies” table at school lunch. That worked, and made the show more interesting and funny, but the writers lost track again.
Kevin pisses me off
The retired cop portrays every American stereotype you can think of and that’s unfortunate. The show can dive a little bit more into situations that happened to retired men (especially cops). The intro music is “I am not your ordinary guy,” but the truth is, he is the definition of ordinary. He comes off as a bully and selfish. He’s not a very likable character even though he is the main character! On a semi-serious note, are peanut butter sandwiches and pizza the only things Kevin can eat?
The neighbor saved the day
Kevin’s neighbor, Rootger, is a nice addition to the show. Every line Rootger says is just funny. I think Bas Rutten’s acting is a huge part of why the character is so successful. Rootger needs to have more lines and a more developed story. Having him as a sidekick is a mistake. The man is hilarious!
So many things don’t make sense
Besides the killing of Donna, after moving the show a year forward after her death with no sound explanation, and replacing Leah Remini as the female lead, the show still has many elements that make no sense. It’s an insult to the audience’s intelligence when things happen that don’t add up. One example is when Kevin is hanging from the ceiling while on an undercover mission. His partner Cellucci, played by Leah Remini, is tied up in a chair with wheels. He is struggling to lift himself up to untie his feet, so Cellucci comes close with her chair and Kevin helps untie her wrists. However, in the next scene, he’s already down and he’s helping untie Cellucci’s body. But wait a minute! How did he untie his own feet?
In another example, Chale announces “I’ll show you something I never showed before.” Kevin asks: “A paycheck?” Again with the unemployment jokes, but this time it’s not even true. In previous episodes, Chale worked in customer service for a tech store when the owner rejected Kevin for the position.
“Kevin Can Wait” killed Donna off the show without a warning or even a good backstory. The script has completely drifted, which pissed a lot of people off. Kevin James later revealed that the plot was dying off and that’s why Donna was sacrificed. However, I wasn’t upset about her departure; I never disliked someone in a comedy as much as I disliked Donna’s character. She was written as controlling, boring, and health-obsessed. She worked as a school nurse and did everything around the house while Kevin drank beers on the couch, and watched sports. But the problem wasn’t Donna, and killing her character proves the lack of connection between show writers and the audience. I was more upset about the crazy leap the plot took than Donna’s departure.
Can Leah Remini save the day?
I love Leah Remini. She’s funny and very likable. She’s the only one who puts Kevin in his place and I like that about her. I just hope she and Kevin stay friends and don’t end up together. I also think it’s weird that Leah’s character comes into Kevin’s house almost every morning to have coffee while the kids are off to school. Is that the only way to introduce the episode? Also, Kevin’s new business with Cellucci (Leah Remini) has taken away from his friends and now we rarely see them.
Bottom line is…
I think the show shouldn’t focus on Kevin’s own life and struggles. It should divert to the rest of the cast, leading back to Kevin. There are high hopes for the show. I like Kevin James, Leah Remini, and Taylor Spreitler. I hope the writers see what’s wrong, listen to the audience and make serious changes. For now, I’ll save actual laughs for “Vice Principals” and “Superior Donuts.” Now those shows are funny and relevant.