Everybody Loves Raymond is based on the work of stand-up comedian Raymond Romano. The series itself is basically about an oddly arranged family, which makes for a great sitcom. Romano plays Ray Barone, a not-so-typical sports writer, husband, and father of three. He happens to live across the street from his neurotic parents and just plain weird brother. His wife is Debra Barone (Patricia Heaton). In past reviews I have commented that she is not particularly funny on her own, but since season three I have noticed she has been getting quite a few good jokes in. The couple also has three kids, a girl Ally and twin boys Geoffrey and Michael. They have never really been a big part of the show, but this season has a few episodes about them. Of course, they all more or less lead back to Ray and Debra. The other characters include Ray's father Frank (Peter Boyle), a cheapskate who lacks a way with words. His straight to the point demeanor makes him a really unique guy. The funniest part about his role is his interaction with his wife Marie (Doris Roberts). The two have a love-hate relationship and are constantly ragging on each other. It's an extremely funny relationship. Finally, we have Robert (Brad Garrett). He's a police officer who has always lived in the shadow of Raymond. It's really fun to hear his sarcastic comments about how everybody loves Raymond. The added jealousy also makes for some great situations that should leave you laughing. Overall, the series has a strong cast, with each character bringing a fair amount to show. For more details about this series please refer to my first season, second season, third season, fourth season, and fifth season reviews.
Season six is another strong season of Everybody Loves Raymond. The cast continues to be wonderful together. Robert's envy for Ray, who has it all, is still fun a joke. Debra and Marie's love/hate relationship is a riot. Ray's goofy and eccentric behavior is a blast. Frank is a bizarre, yet funny old man. Together they make quite a cast and turn some not so serious situations into a laugh fest. The stories tackled in this season deal with the kids, Robert's love life, Debra's divorced parents seeing other people, and other fun situations.
The season begins with a bang. The episode "The Angry Family" is about the Barone family dynamic (constant bickering and fighting) being revealed to the public. While at an open house for Michael and Geoffery's school, the class was reading short stories they wrote to the parents. Michael's story was entitled "The Angry Family" and how mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa were always fighting. The opening sequence with the Barone's hearing Michael's story for the first time is an uncomfortable, but fun moment to watch. Michael's story forces the family into a session with Father Hubley and the school's counselor trying to resolve their indifferences. This episode is full of fun moments. "Odd Man Out" sees the return of Marco (David Proval), who was the father of Robert's season five love interest Stefania (Alex Meneses), finds himself in the middle of a friendship triangle with Frank and Marie. Both Frank and Marie are jealous with the amount of time they each spend with Marco. Ray sides with Frank and Debra with Marie. The men and women fight over Marco and it is simply funny how they objectify him.
"Ray's Ring" is a wonderful episode with Ray and Debra getting into one goofy situation. While away with Robert on business, they get stuck in the hotel room due to bad weather. Ray passes the time by spinning his ring and when he goes to the bathroom, Robert gives the ring spinning a try. Unfortunately, Robert loses the ring down a heating vent. At the airport, Ray gets hit on by a very attractive woman. When he tells Debra about it, she overacts and tries her luck with the single guys at the supermarket. The funny part is she doesn't get the same reaction Ray had. "Marie's Sculpture" is a racy episode where Marie presents the product of hours of hard work in art class. She produced an abstract sculpture that turns out to look a little too much like a portion of the female's private parts. What makes this a really fun episode is how everyone reacts when they find out exactly what the sculpture resembles.
In "Jealous Robert", Debra and Marie stage a chain of events to get Robert and Amy back together. They setup Ray's playboy friend Gianna with Amy. The plan was to make Robert jealous seeing Gianna and Amy together so that he would realize how much he wanted to be with Amy. Unfortunately, the plan backfired and Gianna and Amy hit it off and continued dating. This episode includes a funny flashback about how Frank and Marie actually ended up together. It's a hilarious back story. "It's Supposed To Be Fun" is an episode about the kids. In this story Ray does a poor job supporting Geoffery in basketball. Geoffery doesn't seem to understand the game and sort of skips around on the court. Ray mocks him and falls under heat from Debra and the basketball coach for being a bad father. In "Older Women" Debra's father Warren brings home another woman to the house for Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone is astonished the woman he brings is older than he is. How everyone reacts to Warren bringing home an older woman and not a younger is riotous.
"Raybert" is an odd episode where Ray lives vicariously through Robert. While at a bar, Robert is addressed by the bartender as Barone. A woman at the bar assumes he is Raymond Barone, Newsday sports writer. Robert goes along with it and pretends to be Ray, except a widowed version of Ray. Ray finds out and convinces Robert to try picking up another girl. They dub the creation Raybert, an unpredictable force to women. It's a fun episode and even gets better when one of Raybert's girlfriends stops by the house to find Debra alive and well. In "Season's Greeting" Marie and Debra work together to write a "detailed" Christmas letter to send out to the relatives. The letter is, however, slightly off from the truth as it makes Marie look like she is leading a wonderful life. The problem is Marie's writing makes everyone feel insufficient. So Debra and Marie work together to spice up the letter and make everyone feel good about their lives over the past year. Of course, it doesn't work out so well.
"Cookies" is a great episode where Ray is put in a situation he is not well-equipped to deal with. At a Frontier Girls meeting (a Girl Scout like organization), the troop leader Peggy hands out assignments of locations to sell cookies. Peggy puts herself in the most high traffic area, while Ray gets stuck in the worst. Ray ignores Peggy's assignments and decides to go there himself. While there, Peggy bullies him and Debra comes to the rescue. Ray going up against a bully and Debra coming to the rescue is a great bit of comedy. In "Lucky Suit", Robert is recommended by his superiors for a position with the FBI. Despite being a year from eligibility with NYPD retirement, he is willing to start over to have the chance as a fed. And for his big interview, he asks Marie to press his lucky suit. Sadly for Robert, she accidentally ruins the jacket. To make matters worse, Marie takes a proactive approach to helping Robert get the job by faxing, phoning, and visiting the agent interviewing him.
"Talk To Your Daughter" is a goofy episode where Ally asks where babies come from. But when Ray goes to Ally to answer her question, she changes the topic of discussion to the meaning of life. Unprepared to answer this question, Ray makes up some absurd answer to satisfy Ally's short term curiosity. The episode really starts to get fun when the cast sits down for a philosophical conversation about the meaning of life. "Call Me Mom" is a story about parental jealousy. Marie is overfilled with jealousy when she hears Ray call Lois, Debra's mother, mom. The episode is absolutely hilarious and gets even funnier when Debra tries calling Marie mom. The season finale is also great episode. It features three episodes "Mother's Day", "The Bigger Person", and "The First Time". In this three-part episode, Marie and Debra undergo their most heated argument. It ends with the two not speaking to each other and it has profound effects on the entire family. The story includes some great flashbacks into Ray and Debra's "first time".
Overall I was very happy this season six. The show continued to be a lot of fun with the characters getting into a variety of fun situations. Fans of the series should be more than happy with the continued fun.