22, 2015 Gender and Aging
Portrayal of Older Adults in ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’
Since this was the first time I have ever seen ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, I
thought it would be fitting to start by watching the first episode of the first season. This episode introduces the unique relationship between a middle age couple, Ray and
Debra and Ray’s parents Marie and Frank. Ray’s parents live across the street from his house, and the plot of this episode is how the omnipresence of Ray’s parents is becoming a nuisance in Ray and Debra’s marriage. While Ray doesn’t seem to bothered by the fact that Ray’s parents are always stopping at their home unannounced, Debra has very different feelings about this. She is often annoyed by the fact that she cannot catch a break from Marie and Frank’s judgmental, and belittling demeanor. In this episode, all that Debra wants for her birthday is an evening alone with her family without the presence of Ray’s family, but as Ray finds out, pleasing everybody is easier said than done.
The sitcom portrays Ray’s parents in a way that we can all relate to. When
looking at Marie, it is very easy for us to assimilate her with either an older relative, or friend that resembles her in many ways. Marie seems to be the matriarch of the family.
She carries a demeanor which suggests that years lived equal wisdom, therefore,
everybody around her can benefit from her advice. She does this by trying to micromanage Ray’s household; which deeply annoys Debra as she does believes she is capable of running her household without the input of her motherinlaw.
Ray’s father, Frank, is quite a humorous character, albeit the humor at the expense of his own reputation. Frank seems to have lost “his filter” for the things he says, and more importantly, the way in which he acts in public. Time and time again, he is being corrected by Marie and Ray, and being talked to as if he were a child. For example, in the first episode, he falls asleep on Ray’s couch with his pants undone. Ray is very embarrassed by this and tells his father “Geez dad, there you go again, buckle your pants up, can’t you act like