Dennis Quaid on the ‘Very Sweet’ & ‘Real’ Family in ‘Merry Happy Whatever’

Greg Gayne/Netflix

The holidays are the time of year to reunite with family and give thanks … that you don’t have to see them every day.

In the new comedy Merry Happy Whatever, Dennis Quaid stars as Don Quinn, a widowed cop and the patriarch of an eccentric Philadelphia clan. As the Quinns come together in the days before Christmas, Don’s youngest daughter, Emmy (Bridgit Mendler), arrives from Los Angeles with her new boyfriend, Matt (Brent Morin, above right, with Quaid and Mendler), a struggling musician. Matt goes to extreme and embarrassing lengths to impress Don, who has set impossibly high standards for folks hoping to enter the fold.

“Everyone has their own dysfunctional part that they play in the family,” Quaid explains. “It’s very sweet, but at the same time, it’s real. People can identify with it. You go back to visit your family at Christmas or Thanksgiving, there’s always that warmth, and there are also the problems that go with that.”

Those issues aren’t exclusive to the holidays, of course. Quaid, who’s never before starred in a multicamera comedy, says potential future seasons of Merry Happy Whatever could cover events like the Super Bowl, the Fourth of July or “any [other] time families get together.”

Merry Happy Whatever, Series Premiere, Thursday, November 28, Netflix