The “Gary Unmarried” cast took the outlines of familiar sitcom characters and and gave them new twists and comedy dimensions. This short-lived series (2008-10) followed the exploits of painting contractor Gary Brooks (Jay Mohr), newly divorced from Allison (Paula Marshall), after fifteen years, and two children, Tom and Louise. Though the series didn’t last, the show earned a devoted following for its honest of view from the divorced dad’s perspective.
Jay Mohr as Gary Brooks.
Mohr has enjoyed a long, if sometimes unsteady career in Hollywood. From stand-up, to the hallowed halls on Saturday Night Live to character parts in box office blockbusters like “Jerry McGuire.” The guy has been around, and known his share of, shall we say, less successful outings. Remember 2009’s “Lonely Street”? Nobody does. What those years of experience do give Mohr, is sharp timing and a comedy club veteran’s twitchy intensity. As unmarried Gary, Mohr displays a nice mix of “little bit lost” and a lot irritated, a quality many will remember from their own divorced dads. In his inevitable arguments with his ex-wife, he captures the aggravation, but also that small bit of yearning, that always hangs around our former bedmates. Jay Mohr may not have had a hit with this character, but at least he got to encourage his teen son to bring a girl home. That’s not something Mr. Brady would do!
Paula Marshall as Alison.
Brooks Marshall had a respectable, long career as supporting actress. A familiar face, she has been a reoccurring character on many series, like Kate Tinsley on “Nip/Tuck,” or Sonja on “Californication.” As Gary’s former wife, she hits all the right anger-inducing buttons. That’s what exes are for on a series, but you can also see that they shared good times, too. As a 40 year old mother of two, she certainly looks good, which is always a nice quality in the female lead.
Ed Begley Jr. as Dr. Walter Krandall.
The fabulous Mr. Begley has been brightening TV screens and movie parts with his befuddled, zen detachment from wherever he happens to find himself. The calm quality is the perfect counterpoint to the always aggravated Mohr. Begley plays the Brooks’ former marriage counselor, who is also engaged to Alison, the ex-wife. Begley’s “Gary Unmarried” run may have only lasted for the first season, but while he was there he was the perfect nemesis for Mohr.
Ryan Malgarini as Tom Brooks.
Malgarini already survived as childhood with Lindsay Lohan, or at least, playing her younger brother in “Freaky Friday.” As Gary’s teenage son, Ryan comfortably trades barbs with Mohr, without veering into the “joke robot” rhythm of so many sitcom teens these days. Maybe that’s why he won the 2010 Young Artist Award for Supporting Actor (along with his “Gary Unmarried” sister, Kathryn Newton.
Kathryn Newton as Louise Brooks.
Louise is no fashionista boy chaser that usually stands in for a replica of a teen girl. She not on Team Edward, because she’s too busy being Team Gandhi. Louise wants to save the world, maintain straight A’s and watch C-Span for fun. Newton gives this very serious girl, a wonderful fun side, which was why she also won 2010 Young Artist Award for Supporting Actress. She recently made the transition to feature films with 2011’s “Bad Teacher.”