It’s been a habit of mine to watch reruns of favorite shows over and over every night. I watch lots of Seinfeld, King of Queens, Friends, Golden Girls and Everybody Loves Raymond. I do this because I don’t have to pay close attention all the time so I can also do other things, and I can still get a good laugh out of them. Somewhere along the line I stopped laughing at Everybody Loves Raymond…or at least at Raymond, the character.
When Debra married Raymond, he was a nice guy who didn’t think much of his looks and felt he was very lucky to get such a beautiful woman to marry him. But most of the show is about the marriage, and Raymond has not been the ideal husband by any stretch of the imagination. When you watch large doses of the show, a pattern starts to emerge about Ray’s behavior. The best thing I can say about him is that he has a good full time job and supports the family, he doesn’t cheat on Debra and he does everything his mother says. But, in virtually every episode he is not nice to his wife. He is thoughtless, he is selfish, he is lazy, he is hurtful, he lies, he manipulates her, he is rarely affectionate and never pays her a lousy compliment…shall I go on? As a wife and mother, I don’t find all that funny and I wonder why I ever did.
Examples? He just returns from a 5 day business trip and he and his friend scheme to lie and manipulate her into letting him go golfing. They pretend to have a fake conversation in her earshot about golfing and when doesn’t respond, they throw in it’s $100 off. Finally, Debra tells him to go golfing.
Then there is the time they return from vacation and he leaves a suitcase on the steps, expecting Debra to take it upstairs. It stays there for a month! Then he has a business trip and still refuses to touch the suitcase so he packs his clothes in a plastic grocery bag. For spite, he puts cheese in the suitcase so it will stink up the house.
He hates to go dancing, but Debra loves it. The perfect solution comes up! Robert, his brother loves to dance, so he and Debra start going out dancing. Ray gets jealous and decides to scheme and tell Robert that Debra doesn’t feel well so he can take her dancing instead. Problem is that Debra, Robert and Ray all end up in the same place to dance and the truth comes out. Once they find out Ray is jealous it ruins the dancing for both of them.
Ray never helps Debra out around the house. Instead, if there is anything to be done, he calls his mother in to do it. He wouldn’t get up in the middle of the night for their daughter, so he snuck in his mother to sleep over so she could do it. The plan backfired when Marie’s cold creamed face scared the granddaughter and she started screaming.
Then there was the episode where they come home from celebrating their tenth anniversary. Debra decides she wants to watch their wedding video, only to find out Ray taped a football game over it!
Episode after episode Ray proves what a jerk of a husband he is and yet Debra stays and loves him through it. When you add his across the street parents to the mix it’s mind boggling. Frank is an obnoxiously, rude bore of a man and Marie is an interfering, intrusive, critical, woman who barges into their home any time she pleases. It’s a wonder that Debra didn’t run for her life years ago. She gets no support at all from Ray when she is trying to deal with his mother. He always sides with his mother on everything. He has no backbone at all. So now, instead of laughing at each episode I find myself getting more and more annoyed.
I think they should rename the show, Everybody Used To Love Raymond, because when you watch episodes back to back, day after day, there is no way you’re going to like him, much less love him.