After a successful freshman season on CBS, Kevin Can Wait decided to shake things up and kill off one of its main characters. Despite being a sitcom, the creative team wrote off the series matriarch, Donna (Erinn Hayes), and brought on Leah Remini's Vanessa as the show's female lead. If you recall, Remini starred as Kevin James' on-screen wife throughout King of Queens.
Following this shocking switch-a-roo, it was easy for fans to think that the writers were trying to force Kevin and Vanessa into a relationship, hoping to rekindle the magic from King of Queens. Three episodes into the new season, and it looks like that's exactly what's happening. Before long, Kevin and Vanessa are going to get together.
In the premiere, Donna's death was casually brushed-aside like it wasn't really affecting Kevin all that much. Sure, he doesn't know how to pack a middle-schooler's lunch, but that becomes more of a punch-line than an actual struggle. Kevin is just a man's-man who has no idea what to do around the house, which is where Vanessa comes in.
Kevin's ex-police partner, whom the Gable children have barely any connection to, is suddenly now a part of the family. Vanessa comes in and out of the house without anyone giving it a second thought, she tells Kevin how to raise his kids more often than not, and she does everything she can to try and be the "fun"adult influence to the Gables. With just four episodes under her belt, this makes absolutely no sense in the world of the characters.
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None of this would be a problem if Kevin had gotten a new wife or girlfriend after Donna's death. Those situations are real, and families find themselves adjusting to a step parent all the time. But Vanessa isn't a step parent, she's Kevin's boss.
The show is trying to slip Vanessa into the lives of the Gables, just a little bit at a time, making the audience feel like the two are already a couple. Then, when the characters share an "accidental" kiss in a few weeks, no one will think twice about it. The second half of the season will probably be a story about the two falling in love, realizing that they should have been together all along, and all of the characters will think it's cute.
But it's not cute. It's weird, and kind of off-putting.
Despite the lack of logic, thought or reasoning, this has always been the end game. This relationship has been a given since Remini was given the role. We all know that it's coming. It would be a whole lot better if the show came right out and put the two in a relationship, rather than stretching this song and dance out for months at a time.
Kevin Can Wait isn't fooling anyone. The sooner the series realizes that, the better off it will be.