Series / Grounded For Life

Grounded For Life is a 2001 sitcom from FOX. The Dom Com starred Donal Logue and Megyn Price as Sean and Claudia Finnerty, an Irish American couple who lived in Staten Island, New York, while raising their three kids, Lily (Lynsey Bartilson), Jimmy (Griffin Frazen), and Henry (Jake Burbage) and dealing with Sean's shady and eccentric younger brother Eddie (Kevin Corrigan). The show also starred Richard Riehle as Sean and Eddie's father Walt for the first two seasons (Recurring otherwise), and Bret Harrison as next door neighbour Brad O'Keefe from season 3 onwards (Recurring otherwise). The show heavily featured cutaways, but unlike Scrubs or Family Guy, the cutaways were frequently used to show flashbacks to events that had previously taken place off camera and these flashbacks would frequently be revisited to show the events from another perspective. In other words, the flashbacks were like the ones from Titus, only Titus also had some What If? scenarios and scenarios shown through a Magical Security Cam ("Dad Cam," "Minimum Wage Cam," "NASCAR Cam," etc) along with the flashback ones.

It lasted 5 seasons with 95 episodes.

This show provides examples of:

  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Lily.
  • Brother Chuck: Henry's actor moved east with his family, so his character was dropped. He was still alluded to from time to time but never shown.
  • Buxom Is Better: Claudia - In high school, she faked being ill in gym class to avoid having to do activities that would result in her Gainaxing, much to the dismay of the boys.
  • Dear Negative Reader: After spending the entire episode trying to win over a blogger who wrote a bad review of the bar he and Sean owned, Eddie wound up writing one to the critic. He even declared that he'd started his own blog, for the sole purpose of insulting the critic.
  • Dom Com
  • Flash Back: Most episodes start about halfway through the story, so a significant part is told in flashback.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Subverted in the episode "Space Camp Oddity", where Brad says that he had a girlfriend at Space Camp, and brings up several lame excuses when people want to meet her. Eventually, she appears, played by Mila Kunis.
  • Grounded Forever
  • High School Sweethearts: Sean and Claudia in their youth; Brad and Lily.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Brad O'Keefe to Lily. He assumed that her emotions were divided between himself (whom she barely noticed and openly discouraged any kind of advance) and her boyfriend (who she was all too ready to get hot and heavy with). Eventually he decided to "back down" and openly referenced the concept that they were in a "love triangle" to the boyfriend, whose only concern was "The two end points don't touch, do they?". Eventually subverted, because Lily and Brad wound up in a relationship for most of the show's run.
  • Made Out to Be a Jerkass: Claudia finds out that Eddie had an adult movie shot at the house and bans him from the house. Of course, when the kids find out, they side with their poor uncle. It even has lampshading
  • Mafia Princess: Claudia learns her uncle is in the mob.
    She's a mafia princess. She's too close to know the truth.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Sean took his kids to the amusement park. It was "Gay Day" there and everyone was wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. Guess what he was wearing...
  • Name's the Same: Invoked. In the last episode, Claudia gives birth to a second daughter and they decide to call her Rose to carry on the flower motif they already had with Lily. Everyone just assumes they named the baby after the woman from Titanic, so they decide to change the baby's name.
  • Oireland: The Finnertys are of Irish descent. A later (small) plot point, in that Sean and Eddie bought a bar, and used their heritage to their advantage on St Patrick's Day, by touting the fact that their bar was run by a legitimatly Irish family, as opposed to their corporate rivals.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Sean confronted Lily's boyfriend because he thought he slept with her. It turns out they just got tattoos together.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Lily and Brad big time by the end of Season 3.
  • Second-Hand Storytelling: Flashback, too, in each episode.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: Eddie is shown to reverse the roles, putting on the female's shirt/blouse the morning after. In one episode, when Eddie goes off with another girlfriend for the night, it's even said "You know, he'll really look good in that blouse."
  • Stacy's Mom: Lily's male classmates all have the hots for Claudia, a fact that makes Lily very jealous.
  • Stripper/Cop Confusion: In episode 110 - Catch Us If You Can, Claudia is throwing a bachelorette party for one of her girlfriends while Sean incites a mob of angry Yankees fans for catching a fly ball still in play. A cop shows up who Sean thinks is here to control the mob outside the house, but he is a stripper.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Claudia when she became pregnant with Lily.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Henry, the poor boy believed anything he was told - For example, Jimmy once told Henry he was a robot and that's why there aren't baby photos of him.
  • Written-In Absence: The actor playing Henry isn't in the final season. In the final episode, Walt casually mentions that "he's around here somewhere".