What’s Worth Watching: Crying Foul on The McCarthys

Sonja Flemming/CBS

The McCarthys, “The Ref” (Thursday, Jan. 22, 9:30/8:30c, CBS)

This multi-cam sitcom gets a bad rap amongst Gen Y-ers for its broader elements and laugh track. But as How I Met Your Mother (well, Seasons 1-4) and legions of sitcoms from the ’80s and ’90s have shown us, a laugh track doesn’t automatically equal terrible comedy. Sure, the abrasiveness of the McCarthy clan takes some getting used to. But there’s real heart underneath the yelling, and more laugh-inducing lines than on most vaunted single-cam comedies these days.

McCarthys‘ hero, Ronny (the quite charming Tyler Ritter), is based on creator Brian Gallivan (a Happy Endings writer alum), with Gallivan’s family and dating experiences providing much fodder for the show. Tonight, Ronny starts dating a referee, to dad Arthur’s (Jack McGee) dismay—not because he has any qualms about his son dating men, but because said ref clearly has it in for Arthur’s high school basketball team.