The show depicts the lives of Dave and Vicky and their three children as they live their lives in Long Island, New York, dealing with normal family issues. Dave is a middle class Jewish insurance salesman. He is often portrayed as insensitive and cynical, and sometimes as a paranoid, overprotective and hypocritical bigot. His family (especially Larry) find it difficult to accept his behaviour. Dave is constantly scolded and insulted (and even punched once) by Larry for always picking on him. It is established toward the end of season one that Dave is the way he is because he had a father who constantly badgered him. Dave's wife Vicky is an attractive Italian Catholic part-time receptionist at a Doctors' office. Generally levelheaded, she usually spends her time dealing with Dave's unreasonable behavior, but can be quite obnoxious herself.
Of their three children, the oldest is Hillary (Kaylee DeFer), a typical 17-year old who frequently misbehaves, trying to get away with bad behavior behind the backs of her parents, who often regard her with suspicion. Second oldest is 16-year-old Larry (Kyle Sullivan), an odd misfit given to emotional outbursts (such as when Vicky denies him permission to see Brian Boitano star as Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings On Ice). Larry is often seen with his best friend Kenny. Initially Dave believes that the boys are both gay, but it is later revealed to the audience that while Larry is not gay, Kenny has a secret crush on Larry. Dave, and to a lesser extent Vicky, often treat Larry's flamboyancy with wary eyes. The youngest child, the pubescent 14-year-old Mike (Dean Collins), must deal with issues such as masturbation, dating and underage gambling. His character is portrayed as tougher and more cynical than Larry's.
The series frequently breaks the fourth wall between segments of an episode, during which Dave or other characters deliver a rant or other comment directly relating to the scene.
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