The Drew Carey Show

From Academic Kids

The Drew Carey Show was an American sitcom starring Drew Carey, set in Cleveland, Ohio. In the series, Carey played an assistant manager of personnel at Winfred Louder, a local department store.

Among the other actors in The Drew Carey Show were Diedrich Bader (Oswald Lee Harvey), Kathy Kinney (Mimi Bobeck Carey), Craig Ferguson (Nigel Wick), Ryan Stiles (Lewis Kiniski), Christa Miller (Kate O’Brien), her replacement Cynthia Watros (Kellie Newmark), and last but not least, Drew’s brother Steve (in the show) John Carroll Lynch.

The Drew Carey Show ran for nine seasons (September 13 1995 - September 8 2004) on ABC.

See also: List of The Drew Carey Show characters

Characters

Drew Allison Carey - The protagonist. Fortysomething assistant director of personnel at a department store in Cleveland. He's very much the lovable loser, though it should be noted that he's the most successful of his group of friends.

Lewis Kiniski - Forms a double-act with Oswald. Lewis is the tall, lanky, blond, insane one. Lewis can be counted on to say bizarre and offensive things nonchalantly. Possesses an IQ of 180. He's a janitor in his forties that works for a company called DrugCo. He notes in one episode that due to accidentally releasing a virus into the population he was busted down to janitor from a position that required he wear a labcoat. It's uncertain if he was a scientist or lab assistant, though it's possible he was joking. At one point he posed as Drew to take his physical for him, and inadvertently ended up taking a psychiatric exam as well. The results showed him to mentally unstable, possibly criminally insane.

Oswald Lee Harvey - Lewis's shorter, dark-haired friend. He's the dumb one of the double-act. That tends to be his only distinguishing characteristic. At one point he was training to become a nurse, but proved unsuitable.

Kate O'Brien - Friends with Drew, Lewis and Oswald since they were kids. Kate's main characteristic is that she's a bit of a tramp. She and Oswald almost got married at one point, but she called it off when she realized she was in love with Drew. Drew and Kate were married for a short time, although this was illegal, as Drew had just become married. Kate left at the begining of the eighth season, marrying a Marine and moving out of Cleveland.

Nigel Wick - Drew's boss after the first season. Crude, boisterous and offensive. He was also a cocaine addict before he was forced to go into rehab. Wick dominated every scene he was in and was the focal point of the show for a while. He was the favorite character of many fans. For some time, he and Drew were in a homosexual marriage in order for Mr. Wick to get his Green Card and Drew to get his Job back. When he first appeared on stage in guest episodes in the last two seasons he was greeted with thunderous applause.

Mimi Bobeck - Mr. Bell's, later Mr. Wick's, assistant. She is an overweight woman who wears a lot of make-up. However she has a very high self-esteem and works as a nemesis for Drew. Her character can be seen as an attack on societal norms of beauty, much as the main character of Rosalie Goes Shopping is. Later on she becomes more of a friend to Drew and a good, if unconventional, mother to Gus.

Steve Carey - Drew's crossdresser brother. He falls in love with Mimi and they eventually get married. In later seasons the concept of Steve being a crossdresser is abandoned entirely with little explanation. He leaves, along with Kate and Wick, during the early seventh season. Plotwise he ran-off on Mimi.

Kellie Newmark - An old friend of Drew's from high-school. She was a housewife who was left by her husband. When Drew met up with her again she was working as a stripper. She took Kate's place on the show, but the character was much different. Kellie was probably the only genuinely nice person on the show, and was horrified at many of the goings-on that our characters had come to take for granted. She was also the only liberal character on the show, the others either being conservatives or being completely oblivious to the world of politics.

Eras

The Drew Carey Show ran for nine years. Like many shows with long runs, the show's run can be broken down into several generally-agreed upon "eras"

Moon Over Parma/Chemistry Titles Era (1995-6)

The first season of The Drew Carey Show was significantly different from the rest of the series. Drew and Mimi worked under a Mr. Bell who existed only as a voice on Drew's speaker phone. Other characters who appeared exclusively in this era were Drew's hillbilly neighbor Jules and his family. Drew's first girlfriend Lisa was introduced in this season, though she stayed with the cast for the early episodes of the next season. Many of the episode titles were related to chemistry in some way. No explanation for this was ever given, and the tradition was abandoned at the end of the season. Buzz Beer, beer that had caffeine and tasted like coffee, was invented by the main character's in the last episode of the first season. The concept stayed with the series until the very end.

Wick Era (1996-2002)

The second season was notably different from the first. The opening theme "Moon Over Parma" was replaced by "Five O'Clock World" by The Vogues. This also introduced the concept of the music video-like opening as the cast danced around the various sets of the show and sung the song. In the first episode Mr. Bell was fired, the second episode he was replaced by Nigel Wick. Nigel Wick was one of the show's most outrageous characters. Like Lewis he had a tendency to slip truly bizarre or patently offensive things into casual conversation. Nigel Wick, however, was nowhere near as staid as Lewis. Nigel Wick was probably the first British character to appear on an American sitcom that wasn't an upper-class, refined stiff. In other words, he wasn't a stereotype. He was crude, boisterous, and offensive, and he quickly stole the show from the other characters. Lisa and Drew moved in together early in the second season, but it didn't work out. But this allowed the introduction of Speedy, Drew's dog who stayed throughout the end of the series. Steve, Drew's transvestite brother, was introduced during this period. He quickly fell in love with Mimi and they had a child, Gus. Drew was promoted several times, taking away Wick's job. However Wick always managed to return and take Drew's job back from him. At the end of this era Wick and Drew were co-managers of the Winfred Louder department store. Drew was also fired once, but got his job back by marrying Wick in Vermont, allowing him to get his green card. This was also the era in which series regular Kate and Drew got romantically involved. They were on the verge of getting married, but they called it off when they realized they didn't feel the same about the prospect of children. This era of the show is generally considered to be the show's best era. It's easily the most recognizable. The pinnacle of this era was probably in the spring of '01 when Drew fell into a coma and traveled through the inner-recesses of his mind, and later the afterlife. This era of the show was also known for its special events episodes. Virtually every season had two such episodes: "What's Wrong With This Episode?" and "Drew Live". The first contained a large number of mistakes, the person who could compile the largest list and phone them in would win a prize. The second was a live show that was recorded four-times over for each time zone, heavily featuring cast members from "Whose Line is it Anyway?" because of their improvisational skill. There was also the season 5 finale "A Very Special Drew" in which the cast indulged in manipulative and syrupy melodrama in an attempt to get an Emmy nomination. By far the most extreme was the Drew Carey's Back-to-School Rock 'n' Roll Comedy Hour which was shown a few weeks before the first episode of the 2001 season. The show was a series of sketches which was far closer in content and tone to Saturday Night Live or MAD TV than The Drew Carey Show.

Neverending Store Era (2002-2004)

In the fall of 2002 the show returned, but it had become obvious to the producers that the formula was wearing thin. The concept of Winfred Louder and our character's jobs there was abandoned completely. Drew got a job at the company that rented its building, an internet start-up department store called "Neverending Store". Mimi gets a job as well, and Mr. Wick gets the only job he's qualified for--janitor. However Wick stopped appearing all together after a few episodes, Steve was also phased out in the same way. The most notable change, however, was when Kate O'Brien, one of the show's main cast, left. She was quickly replaced with Kellie, an old high school friend of Drew's who had been working as a stripper. Drew's bosses were a set of twenty-some internet geeks. The combination of high intelligence, low social skills, and hacker naivete created a very different sort of humor for the show. However they weren't the main focus. Like in the first season, Drew's life outside the office took center-stage once again. Tony The Bus-Driver became a main fixture, appearing in virtually every episode of the last two seasons. He was a welcome addition to the cast, acting like a smart-alecky bartender that Drew could tell his problems to. (One of the first lines he uttered in the series: "There's only one reason a man doesn't want to go home at the end of the day: ugly children.") In the eighth season Drew decided that he would get married a year from the date he set; a day which would coincide with the last episode of the season. Drew couldn't make the deadline, but he would realize in the process that he was in love with Kellie. The eighth season was put in a dead timeslot on Monday nights. It was yanked mid-season and the following episodes were shown during the summer. In what was almost assuredly a unique event, ABC was forced to finance a ninth season, even though they had effectively canceled the show. The ninth season did not show during the fall of 2003, but ended up getting shown in the summer of 2004. Drew's last season felt very different from the rest of the show. ABC left the cast and crew alone as they made the season, since it seemed they never intended to show it. The directors started experimenting with one-camera set-ups, showing us that the sets were completely built, there actually were fourth walls in most rooms, and the rooms were actually linked together. The writers were equally as brazen, as they had Gus burn down Mimi's house, forcing her to move in with Drew. Drew and Mimi's mutual hatred of each other finally vanished and they became true friends. The season ended with Drew getting Wick's help to open up a department store, using the vacated building that Neverending Store left behind. However, Drew is quickly kicked out of his job as store manager by Wick, who has been given his job by the project's sole investor: his father-in-law. Mimi is also relieved of her vice-presidency and made Mr. Wick's assistant, Drew becomes the assistant director of personnel. Drew goes and sits at his desk, the surroundings are now the same as the Winfred Louder set we hadn't seen for two years, and Barry Manilow's "Looks Like We Made It" starts up. The actual final episode follows as Drew and Kellie's first child is born, scant moments after the two are married. The final scene is Drew playing pool on his backyard pooltable in the rain; the same scene that ended the first episode. He looks up at the camera and says that it's been nine years, what else can he say? The series ends with a montage set to "Cleveland Rocks".

External links


fr:Le Drew Carey Show

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