A Netflix original sitcom, Merry Happy Whatever, is the holiday comedy about the Quinn family getting together for the holidays. Denis Quaid plays the dad Don, a widower with four grown-up children. When his daughter Emmy brings her boyfriend home for the first time things don't go exactly to plan.
Emmy has been living in LA with Matt and Don is not impressed when he first meets him. Refusing to give his blessing for Matt's impending marriage proposal, it only spurs Matt on to try harder to get Don to like him. On his side are the other two ‘outlaws', Todd and Joy, who are married to two of the other Quinn siblings. They also happen to be the two best and funniest characters in the show. By the way, the bar isn't set too high for that accolade. As comedies go it helps to actually like the characters. Not so with Merry Happy Whatever.
Don is an over-bearing control freak who is deeply unlikeable. Oldest sibling Patsy is a doormat who seems desperate for some sort of daddy approval. Even the most meager crumb of acknowledgment that she exists is enough to make her day. Kayla (Ashley Tisdale) has been cast as the mean girl attention-seeker who, also desperate for daddy's approval, refuses to come out of the closet. And that leaves Sean, the only son, who despite having a wife and children of his own refuses to say anything that will diminish how his father sees him.
What you basically get with Merry Happy Whatever is four grown adults who revert back to being needy, approval-seeking children, whenever their dad is around. Even the ‘outlaws' have to meet secretly in…wait for the shock and awe…a bar! Don doesn't drink alcohol which means, you guessed it, nobody is allowed to drink alcohol. In fact, a couple of episodes in I genuinely thought this show was made and/or sponsored by Pepsi given the outrageous number of times Denis Quaid had to say the brand name (insert eye-rolling emoji here).
It really is the kind of show that you will either love or loathe. To give it some credit, it does get better as it goes along but only just. And that's if you can get passed the awful canned laughter track that accompanies every single mildly funny quip or remark made. If you can tune that out, and wait for some character growth it eventually becomes watchable. Better shows include Family Reunion, The Ranch and Grace & Frankie.