"Everybody Loves Raymond" turns all those '50s comedies on their heads. It's not the Donna Reed Show, not Leave it to Beaver, not Father Knows best. It's family life with all its good points and bad, all the love and frustration, and all the individual foibles. Raymond is a sports writer whose parents, the domineering Marie and the couch potato Frank, live across the street from him. His wife Deborah is beautiful but can't cook and comes under constant criticism from her mother-in-law. Ray's brother Robert is a policeman who is jealous of him because - well, "everybody loves Raymond." This show is hilarious - my favorites are numerous, but one of the best is the lost cannister episode when Deborah swears she doesn't have a cannister of Marie's and then it turns out the kids had it. It falls to Raymond to sneak it into his mother's house, so on Easter Sunday he wears a down coat to hide it. I also loved the tofu Thanksgiving turkey, taping over the wedding with a football game, the fly eating woman dating Robert, Robert hanging out with his black partner and walking around in a yellow suit, the colored condoms on Halloween, the girl scout cookie debacle, and dozens and dozens of others.
It was Ray Romano's goal to go out on top, so the series ended in 2005. It was a great run, a perfect ensemble cast, and will be enjoyed on DVD and in syndication for years to come.