It’s officially after Halloween, which means it’s officially Christmas time. Drug stores are rapidly changing their “Seasonal” aisles, city streets are stringing up lights, and Netflix is dropping a whole bunch of holiday content for your jolly streaming pleasure. So for this Thanksgiving (aka “Pre-Christmas”), why not spend some time binging a new Netflix Christmas series about a dysfunctional family — after, you know, binging a bunch of food with your dysfunctional family? The streaming service is dropping every episode of Merry Happy Whatever on Thanksgiving day, and we’ve got the official trailer below.
Dennis Quaid, who just might be playing the same “barely keeping it together” character he played in The Intruder, loves his family very much. And spending Christmas with them is of the utmost importance, no matter who else is crashing their “G-rated” party. In this case, that happens to be Matt, played by comic and Undateable alumnus Brent Morin, an aspiring musician dating Quaid’s daughter Emmy, played by former Disney star (and another Undateable alumnus) Bridgit Mendler. When the young couple heads to Emmy’s hometown for Matt to meet them, all kinds of “jolly on the surface, miserable underneath” shenanigans ensue — some involving fellow former Disney star Ashley Tisdale.
The show, a multicam sitcom, comes from multicam sitcom vet Tucker Cawley (Everybody Loves Raymond). It certainly isn’t reinventing any sitcom wheels, with its familiar jokes and tropes getting a familiar laugh track reaction. But if you need something agreeable to stream with your family come the holidays, this just might do the trick.
Set during the happy but hectic days before and after Christmas, Merry Happy Whatever follows Don Quinn (Dennis Quaid), a strong-willed patriarch from Philadelphia doing his best to balance the stress of the holidays with the demands of his close-knit but eclectic family — and his family doing their best to manage him. But when youngest daughter Emmy (Bridgit Mendler) arrives home from L.A. with a new boyfriend, struggling musician Matt (Brent Morin), Don’s belief that “there’s the Quinn way… and the wrong way” is put to the test. From Emmy Award-winning creator Tucker Cawley (Everybody Loves Raymond), Merry Happy Whatever is a hilarious and heartwarming comedy that proves while family may not come wrapped up in a neat little bow, it sometimes can still be the greatest gift.
Merry Happy Whatever stars Dennis Quaid, Bridgit Mendler, Brent Morin, Siobhan Murphy, Adam Rose, Hayes MacArthur, Elizabeth Ho and Ashley Tisdale. Guest stars include Garcelle Beauvais and Tyler Ritter. Tucker Cawley serves as creator, executive producer and showrunner, alongside fellow executive producers Aaron Kaplan, Wendi Trilling and Dana Honor. Quaid acts as executive producer as well.