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Still Standing
Still Standing.jpg
Title Screen
Format Sitcom
Created by Diane Burroughs
Joey Gutierrez
Starring Mark Addy
Jami Gertz
Jennifer Irwin
Taylor Ball
Renee Olstead
Soleil Borda
Joel Murray (2004-2006)
Opening theme "You Make Me Happy" by Will Hoge
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 88 (List of episodes)
Production
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 21 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Picture format 4:3
Original run September 30, 2002 (2002-09-30) – March 8, 2006 (2006-03-08)
The cast of Still Standing

Still Standing is an American sitcom television series. It debuted on CBS on September 30, 2002, and ended March 8, 2006. Lifetime obtained the United States syndication rights to the show in February 2005 and now airs every weekday on Lifetime and in syndication on cable networks and various broadcast stations. Still Standing aired for four seasons and won three awards over that time. Will Hoge sang the show's theme song.

Contents

Plot

A working class couple in Chicago try to instill good values in their three kids, Brian (Taylor Ball), Lauren (Renee Olstead) & Tina (Soleil Borda), but their own past experiences often conflict with the lessons they try to teach to their children. Judy Miller (Jami Gertz) is the attractive wife who was wooed by Bill (Mark Addy) when he duplicitously dated Judy's less attractive friend. Judy started dating Bill when she noticed him to be sensitive. Bill noticed Judy in front of the lockers located by the principal's office, wearing a tight red Aerosmith t-shirt and jeans with her right pocket ripped.

Judy and Bill were both popular in high school and they never outgrew that teenage mentality. Neither one has the level of maturity to teach their kids right and wrong, often causing a role reversal between the parents and the children. Judy's unmarried sister, Linda (Jennifer Irwin) continuously butts heads with Bill.

Main characters

  • Bill Miller (Mark Addy): The want-to-be cool father of the Miller family, he is often perceived as an overweight, lazy, Homer Simpson-like character. Bill has a tendency to take part in "macho" activities such as watching sports, drinking beer, and working on carpentry projects. Bill is not the most intelligent person in the bunch and only spent six weeks in college, but he does well working at a Sears-like department store's toilet department. He tends to play the "good cop" when parenting his kids. However, he can sometimes be overprotective with his eldest daughter, Lauren, when he gave the captain of the football team player advice and then he asked Lauren out, he ruined the date. He also ruined Lauren's thirteenth birthday by telling the boy Lauren liked that she liked him. He often calls her Pumpkin.
  • Judy Miller (née Michaels) (Jami Gertz): The mother of the Miller family, she is a good-looking woman in her late 30s, trying not to lose touch with her younger self and trying to be the "cool mom." She often goes to a hair dresser who Bill also went to for a period of time. Judy works as a dental assistant. She is more intelligent than Bill (marginally) and often joins in his schemes after seemingly having foiled them. She tries to be loose with her daughters, but Lauren loves to break the rules, so she often finds herself being the one person she does not want to be like: her mother. She can often be overprotective with her son, Brian, whom she calls Bri Bri. She never realized he was growing up until he did. When Brian begins to not want to hang out with her, she gets him sick by giving him the sippy cup of juice that her youngest daughter, Tina, who had just gotten over a cold, drank. In the Miller household, this cup is referred to as a "Sicky Cup." Normally she is happy when Brian gets a girl (something she thought he would never do) but when she sees his girlfriend, Bonnie, is taking over his life, she becomes overprotective causing Bonnie to break up with Brian.
  • Brian Hops Miller (Taylor Ball): Eldest offspring and only son of the Miller family, Brian is a gifted (he is the valedictorian) but relatively unpopular high-school student; widely regarded as a geek, nerd, or lame (usually by his parents). Although he is straight, Brian's sexual orientation has been questioned several times by his parents because he reads Vogue magazine (he justifies this by saying that "sometimes those models wear see-through clothes, and it gets cold in those studios"), twirls a baton, and quits his brief tenure as a high school football place kicker to join the cheerleading squad (ultimately revealed as his way to interact with cute girls). It is also mentioned in one episode, when Bill and Judy come to Brian for help, that he is afraid of clowns. In later seasons, he is neglected and even ignored by his parents. This is ironic when one considers the amount of times the two parents mention their future reliance on Brian's success due to his intelligence. He loses his virginity during his junior-senior summer while on an exchange programme in Italy; he and his father are both glad that Brian lost his before Lauren did. At the end of the series, Brian is admitted to University of Chicago, his top choice. He is called "Bri-Bri" by his mother, much to his dismay. His excuse for not being called Bri Bri was that he filed his own tax return that year. Although, when Judy got him sick, he wanted to hang out with his mom all day. He tries to be cool, but he is not, which disappoints his father.
  • Lauren Barley Miller (Renee Olstead): The hormonal, spoiled teenage older daughter of the Miller family, Lauren is one of the popular girls at school. She gets in trouble for breaking her parents' and the school's rules. She is not smart, nor does she apply herself as much as her brother does. Her parents expect she will amount to little more than a cocktail waitress. Lauren is shown to have a talent for the arts; in one episode she is found to be a gifted singer, and in another she stars in the school play (although she does not seem to be any good at clarinet, making her parents hide it from her). She is called "Pumpkin" by her dad, she's embarrassed by it. She also a Big Blink-182 fan.
  • Tina Kathleen Miller (Soleil Borda): The youngest child and mismatched daughter of the Miller family, Tina could be described as an obnoxious second grader. Tina's family sees her as clueless, but viewers see that she is one of the most clever in her family. In a few episodes, Tina is also portrayed being unafraid to take a practical joke to the next level. Sometimes she tends to be the "creepy child" of the family.
  • Linda Michaels (Jennifer Irwin): Judy's younger sister, Linda spends much of her time hanging around the Miller house, much to Bill's dismay, although at the end of the episode "Still Helping Out," Bill, viewing Linda from behind as she is exercising mistakes Linda for the shapely Rose Grundy, an attractive ex-Schultze Beer girl, only to learn of this awkward case of mistaken identity when Linda turns around, much to Bill's chagrin, as Bill appears sick to his stomach after the ordeal. She suffers from low self-esteem and high self-pity. Eventually she marries Perry, a singer in a Foghat cover band. Though she has a guestroom for when her mother comes to town, Helen prefers to sleep on the couch at Judy's, much to Linda's dismay.
  • Daniel "Fitz" Fitzsimmons (Joel Murray): Bill's best friend, credited as so for seasons 3 and 4. He works with Bill as a salesman and has a gay son, Scotty, who hit on Brian and is team captain of the high school baseball team.

Guest and recurring roles

  • Perry (James Patrick Stuart): Linda's husband, a musician who performs in Reno, NV. He intentionally uses a fake English accent which was useful when he first appears on the show as the singer in a Foghat cover band. In Reno he becomes the "Captain" as one half of a Captain and Tennille cover group.
  • Marion Fitzsimmons (Kerri Kenney): Fitz's wife. She is considered controlling by Fitz. She is very much portrayed as not on the same page humor wise with Fitz, Bill and Judy, which is one of the factors behind her and Judy not always getting along. In one episode, Kenney also portrays Mary Simms, a volunteer at Tina's school.
  • Gene Michaels (Steven Gilborn): Judy and Linda's father. He is an avid collector and connoisseur of model trains.
  • Helen Michaels (Janet Carroll seasons 1 and 2; Swoosie Kurtz seasons 3 and 4): Judy and Linda's mother. She favors Judy over Linda. Her character portrayal differs based on the actress; she is more motherly when portrayed by Caroll, but outgoing and fun when portrayed by Kurtz, thus, changing the mentality of the character during the seasons.
  • Al Miller (Paul Sorvino): Bill's father, a retired steelworker. When Bill was younger, Al left Bill and his mother (Louise) with little or no money, creating the main dynamic between Bill and Al. Later in the series, when Al is set to get remarried, his fiance reveals that Al is in reality a multi-millionaire who has been lying to Bill for years.
  • Louise Miller (Sally Struthers): Bill's manipulative mother who moved to Chicago after her divorce. She manipulates those around her by guilt-tripping them. Her controlling nature with Bill sets her constantly at odds with Judy. On numerous occasions Louise and Judy vie, usually as a result of Judy finally snapping at Louise for her manipulativeness and Louise's subsequent hurt feelings. Many times they fight, to make up and then fight again. She eventually dates and marries Johnny.
  • Johnny (Clyde Kusatsu): Louise Miller's new love interest and eventual husband. He is very wealthy, having bought Louise an expensive car. He is Japanese, which is addressed when he first meets Bill and Judy at a Chinese restaurant and Bill mistakes Johnny for a waiter.
  • Bonnie (Ashley Tisdale): Brian's girlfriend.
  • Becca (Lauren Schaffel): Lauren's best friend. She is also very afraid of Judy. In one episode, Lauren reveals that Becca's parents went to a marriage counselor, but unfortunately the counseling soon lead to group therapy, which soon turned into a cult that partook in perverted sexual acts of group orgies and wife-swapping.
  • Ted Halverson (Kevin Nealon): The Millers' religious neighbor. He and his wife tend to be "overachievers" who often compete against Bill and Judy, though often before Bill or Judy know there is a competition. Mrs. Halverson is usually the voice of reason and dampens Ted's competition after he has gone too far. The Halversons also believe that a mother should be at home and not working as evidenced by numerous allusions to Judy "doing what she can" considering she is a working mother.
  • Matt Halverson (Shawn Pyfrom): Ted's son and one of Lauren's boyfriends.
  • Shelly (Julia Campbell) and Terry (Justine Bateman): The Millers' lesbian neighbors, and mothers of Chris. Adding fuel to Bill's fantasies, Shelly is a flight attendant and Terry is a nurse. On more than one occasion it is shown that Terry finds Judy attractive, prompting Shelly's jealousy.
  • Chris (Sean Marquette): Lauren's love interest in several episodes; Shelly and Terry's son. He has extraordinary handyman skills which his overprotective mothers rarely allow him to utilise.
  • Kyle Polsky (Todd Stashwick): Bill's irresponsible, immature neighbor who has a large collection of toys and is related to the (fictional) famous and wealthy Polsky beer family.
  • Carl (David Koechner): Bill's best friend during seasons 1 and 2. Works with Bill at the department store.
  • Maxwell "Mack" McDaniel (John Marshall Jones): Bill and Fitz's friend during seasons 2 and 3 (6 episodes). Mack works with Bill and Fitz at the department store.
  • Jeff Hackman (Chris Elliot): Also works with Bill. Sometimes called Jeff Hackman "Never-Pay-Ya-Backman".

Episodes

Each of the episode titles begins with the word, "Still", with the exception of the pilot.

Nielsen Ratings

Season Timeslot (EDT) Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 Monday 9:30 P.M. September 30, 2002 May 12, 2003 2002-2003 #17 14.41
2 Monday 8:30 P.M. September 22, 2003 May 24, 2004 2003-2004 #28 11.82
3 Monday 8:00 P.M. September 20, 2004 May 23, 2005 2004-2005 #48 9.95
4 Wednesday 8:00 P.M. September 21, 2005 March 8, 2006 2005-2006 #87 7.0

Critical reception

A 2002 Entertainment Weekly review gave Still Standing a "D" grade, calling it an "apathetic" show that "does zip to freshen the Fatty-Gets-a-Family formula."[1]

Notes

  1. ^ Still Standing review, Gillian Flynn, Entertainment Weekly, September 2002

References

External links

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