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Rodney aired from September 2004 until June 2006 on ABC.
Stand-up comic Rodney Carrington , who specialized in " redneck" humor starred in this family comedy as Rodney Hamilton, an amiable blue-collar dad in Tulsa ( Carrington's real-life hometown)chasing his dream of becoming a stand-up comic. Rodney's wife ,Trina ( Jennifer Aspin), was not so sure about his quitting his job at the fiberglass plant for such an uncertain future, but ultimately she supported him, as did his two sons , coming-of-age Jack ( Oliver Davis) and cute younger Bo ( Matthew Josten). Charlie ( Amy Pietz) was Rodney's man-hungry sister-in-law and Barry ( Nick Searcy) his best friend. Much of the humor revolved around Rodney's goofy exploits ( like walking into the local Wal-Mart naked , on a dare), practicing his material at the local Blue Goose Grill and other unlikely venues, and trading barbs with Trina's slimy father, used-car-dealer Carl ( Mac Davis). By the end of the first season Trina had lost her job at the bank and was working for her father, which made finances even tighter, but then Rodney got his first big break and went off on a country tour. In the second season Carl's dealership fell on hard times, and that along with Rodney's increasing touring ( including a trip to Afgahastan to entertain the troops) put new stresses on the family.
A Review from The New York Times
TV REVIEW | 'RODNEY'
Gee, Honey, Who Can Resist an Okie With Twangy Charm?
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
Published: September 21, 2004
Rodney" is no "Roseanne," but it is a lot like "Reba."
ABC's new sitcom, which begins tonight, is centered on the twangy charm of a real-life country-western comic, Rodney Carrington. The network seems to be following a fashion trend set on WB, a network that is home to "Reba" and "Blue Collar TV" (describable only as "Hee-Haw" Lite).
After years of sardonic urban sitcoms, this season's fashion statement suggests that Okie humor is the new black.
And that doesn't help "Rodney." The best sitcoms built around a stand-up comic - Roseanne Barr, Jerry Seinfeld, Bernie Mac - introduced a fresh, incongruous voice to the classic sitcom formula. "Rodney" is so formulaic that it all but crushes Mr. Carrington's special appeal. And he does have an offbeat charm, even buried beneath wooden dialogue and a deadeningly loud laugh track.
In fact, the first scene in which Rodney Hamilton, a husky factory worker, disappoints his long-suffering, pretty, blond wife, Trina (Jennifer Aspen), is so much like another ABC sitcom, "According to Jim," which stars Jim Belushi as the husky husband of a long-suffering, pretty, blond wife (Courtney Thorne-Smith) that viewers could mistake "Rodney" for a "MAD TV" parody of the other ABC sitcom.
This of course, raises a diversionary question which is the television equivalent of the riddle of the sphinx: Why is it that so many sitcoms feature an overweight, lazy and downwardly mobile husband who is married to a pretty and trim go-getter? ("The King of Queens," to name but one.) In real life, for the most part, fat, balding husbands are pretty evenly matched to their spouses; those with smart, pretty wives have compensatory virtues, like wealth or fame. There are plenty of theories: one is the tribal impulse to respect tradition, which in this case traces back to the primeval television days of "The Honeymooners."
But it is just as likely that the scenario works because it serves interlocking male and female fantasies: men must enjoy the suggestion that no matter how much they let themselves go, they will still retain the affections of a youthful, spunky, good-looking woman. Women may well find consolation in the small-screen illusion that other women's husbands are just as bad.
In the series, Rodney, the father of two, works at a fiberglass plant in Tulsa, Okla. He quits when threatened with a promotion that could impinge on his true vocation, performing at the Goose, a local redneck dive. His wife objects to his pipe dream, but seems pretty tolerant of his other bad habit: idiotic bets. Rodney wagers a friend on a golf putt, and the loser has to shop at Wal-Mart naked. Rodney loses.
Mr. Carrington slips in snatches of the country-western songs he uses in his comedy act, though the ones on the show are not nearly as raunchy. And the show suddenly becomes more fun. "Hey, ain't it great to be a man/you know I am my biggest fan" he sings in a cowboy hat and strumming a guitar at a backyard barbecue party. "I thank God for my hibachi grill and cold beer in a can."
Rodney has a crudely patronizing father-in-law, who wants to employ him as a salesman at his used-car dealership, a trampy sister-in-law, and various hokey Okie friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, none of the supporting characters add an original twist to the show. "Reba" is successful not just because Reba McEntire is a popular country-western singer; she has some amusingly original sidekicks like the divinely idiotic Barbra Jean (Melissa Peterman), the Rubenesque blond second wife of Reba's ex-husband.
Rodney Carrington does not have interesting characters or good writing to rely on. He is riding on his popularity as a singer-comedian and how that translates on television. Mr. Carrington is very likable, and has a winning way of flashing a disarming smile as he delivers a deadpan punch line.
Glimmers of his laid-back country comic style occasionally pop through the paint-by-numbers dialogue. In one scene, he is driving home after a bar fight and starts to pray. "Lord, it's Rodney. I know we haven't talked in a while. Actually, I do all the talking. You never talk." He pauses for a half-beat. "Sorry, I don't mean to sound like your wife."
ABC, tonight at 9:30, Eastern and Pacific times; 8:30, Central time.
Ric Swartzlander, creator and executive producer; David Himelfarb, executive producer. A Touchstone Television production.
WITH: Rodney Carrington (Rodney Hamilton), Jennifer Aspen (Trina Hamilton), Amy Pietz (Charlie), Nick Searcy (Barry), Oliver Davis (Jack Hamilton) and Matthew Josten (Bo Hamilton).
To watch clips of Rodney go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rodney+%28tv+series%29
For more on Rodney go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodney_(TV_series)
For Tim's TV Showcase go to https://web.archive.org/web/20130406183112/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/rodney.html
For the Official Site of Jennifer Aspen go to http://www.jenniferaspen.com/
� Date: Tue April 26, 2016 � Filesize: 88.3kb, 2612.8kb � Dimensions: 2400 x 3000 �
Keywords: Rodney Cast