Married with Children
Episode: 101 - Pilot
Reviewed By: John P. Stevenson
This, the first episode of Married... With Children, introduces us to the Bundy clan:
Al, the overworked, neglected dad, just trying to fill the time until death; Peggy, his Oprah-
watching, couch-sitting, bon-bon eating wife; Kelly, their beautiful, if somewhat vacant
daughter; and Bud, a slightly sociopathic 12-year old. We also meet their new neighbors, Steve
and Marcy Rhoades.
Though all the pieces are there, this episode, like most from the first season, lacks
some of the bite of the later seasons. The casting was inspired, though, and you can tell that
the series is a winner. The chemistry between Ed OíNeill and Katey Sagal is excellent, and
though the children are only shown briefly, the relationship is firmly established with Budís
first line: "Die, Commie Bimbo!", as he slashes across his sisterís throat with a toy knife.
Though Christina Applegate and David Faustino werenít the first choices to play these roles, a
benevolent Providence conspired to place them in the right place at the right time.
Likewise, David Garrison is perfect as the newlywed, (and whipped), Steve Rhoades, and
Amanda Bearse is equally well-cast as his bride, Marcy. Though their personal chemistry isnít as
obvious as OíNeill and Sagalís, itís definitely there, and it grew as the series went on.
Donít worry about the plot or storyline of this episode; itís there only to serve as
an introduction to this dysfunctional cast of characters. Instead, concentrate on the interplay
between the couples, as they pair off to begin trashing the opposite sex. Al and Peggy square
off for battle using the Rhoades as surrogate combatants. By the end of the episode, weíre well
aware that the best is yet to come.
Rating: *** out of Five.
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