ABC’s The Real O’Neals “The Real Book Club” #TheRealONeals

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Disclosure- I was invited by Disney to attend this all expense paid press trip but all opinions are 100% my own.


The Real O’Neals- “The Real Book Club” airs Tuesday April 19 (8:30-9:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network

Tonight’s episode of The Real O’Neals is a really funny one. We had the opportunity to screen it last week when we were in Los Angeles for the #CaptainAmericaEvent and the #ABCTVEvent as well as interview several of the cast members Noah Galvin (“Kenny” – @Noahegalvin), Jay R. Ferguson (“Pat” – @jrfergjr), Matt Shively (“Jimmy” – @MattShively1), Mary Hollis Inboden (“Jodi” – @maryhollis)

Here’s a little synopsis of the episode:

Eileen faces her book club for the first time after her family’s “outing,” but things take a surprising turn when instead of shunning her the ladies begin opening up – way too much – about their own problems. Kenny’s first trip to the “gayborhood” coffee shop is everything he’d hoped for, until Pat tags along with him to a gay dodge ball match.

“Really at its core it’s a family.  It’s a family that is going through the same things that all families go through. We just have a little more color to our family.”  Jay R. Ferguson

Jay’s quote sums up the show so well. While viewers might not experience the same exact problems and situations that the O’Neals do yet it is so relateable. I’m not Catholic, I’m not getting a divorce (thank G-d), yet I can relate to trying to seem like I have it all together like Eileen. I think most people will be able to relate to so much of the show.


(ABC/Vivian Zink)

Eileen’s friends don’t shun her and instead open up to her which is great at first until they start to share a little too much.


(ABC/Vivian Zink)

Pat takes Kenny to the Rainbow Grind gay coffee shop. Will Kenny find “his people” in the coffee shop?


(ABC/Vivian Zink)

Gay dodge ball. WHAT? Yes, gay dodge ball! So funny! See what happens when Pat hits the court.


Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

One of the first things I noticed about the actors we met from The Real O’Neals was just how well they all got along. Their rapport with each other was captured so well in the pictures below but it’s not just for show. Mary Hollis Inboden and Matt Shively told us how they all have so much fun together that they hang out with each other even off set when they aren’t filming. This is pretty rare for a cast as Mary shared, “We love our show, we feel very fortunate to be working because we’re actors and that’s hard to get jobs. And it’s really hard to get on a show where you really love everybody.  And we really do.” “It’s next to impossible. You should see our text conversations. We have a group text conversation that dates back to when we first started and it’s thousands, thousands of texts.” Matt interjected.

“There are six starring cast members of this show and that’s a huge group for everybody to get along as well as we do, we can’t stop hanging out with each other in our off time,” ~Mary.


Matt Shively and Mary Hollis Inboden Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

None of the cast had met or done a chemistry read or anything before they were hired. They all got their parts and then the first time they ever met each other was at the table read when they were ready to shoot the pilot. Matt told us, “ABC did a really good job at being like ‘well they’re probably work well together’. It was really crazy.”


Mary Hollis Inboden Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

How precious is Mary Hollis Inboden?!?!? She was so friendly and funny. It was like talking to an old friend. She’s so sweet she has responded to several of my tweets. She has a background in comedy and has lots of one liners in this episode as Matt pointed out.


Matt Shively Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

Matt is so cute in real life and his hair is much better than his character Jimmy’s hair. He joked that we should start a twitter campaign to get the show to change his hair. Mary told us that she thinks Matt is the best improviser on the show which is fine with Matt. He loves that the producers let him do his own thing. He goes rogue all the time and it works according to Mary.  In fact Matt’s even helped Noah go a little rogue, too- “When Noah would get like nervous and be like ‘I think I want to say this or I want to do that’ I’m like ‘Just do it. Do it the way they wrote it a couple times and then on the third shot just say whatever you want.  A lot of the times they’ll end up liking it more because it comes from your head and you are your character, so just let it happen’.”  


Noah Galvin and Jay R.Ferguson Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

Noah Galvin and Jay R. Ferguson also have a special bond and rapport with each other. They are so close that Noah rents Jay’s guest house and they carpool to work together. Noah and Jay also reiterated how they all hang out socially when they aren’t working.


Noah Galvin Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

Noah was so adorable. He told us that while he has favorite moments in each episode, his favorite episode is the grandma episode and I have to agree with him. That one is my favorite, too. If you haven’t seen it yet, go watch it online! It is hysterical. We asked Noah what he likes best about his character and he told us. “I like that he’s more book smart and I’m a little more street smart.  He’s like a little naïve. I’d say he’s like a true middle child he has aspects of both his siblings.  He has like Jimmy’s naiveté without being a downright idiot, he has Shannon’s like book smarts without being manipulative like she is.”


Jay R. Ferguson Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

Jay  was asked what he likes about his character and this is what he said, “One of the main reasons I was so excited about the show selfishly for my character was a dad that didn’t react in what we’ve come to know as kind of the stereotypical way of reacting to these types of situations, namely one of his sons coming out as gay.  He was the antithesis really of what we’ve come to know. He wasn’t angry.  He didn’t try to talk him out of it. I believe is a more contemporary modern version of how fathers do react to that sort of news nowadays  in this world that we’re living in.  To see that represented on television is a real privilege to get to play that.”

Make sure to keep an eye out for my next post on The Real O’Neals where we interview the Executive Producers of the show. Have you seen The Real O’Neals? What is YOUR favorite episode?

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