When Leah Remini joined the cast of Kevin Can Wait between Seasons 1 and 2, producers said that there would be some will they/won't they between Remini's character Vanessa Cellucci and Kevin James' Kevin Gable. This made sense because Remini was brought in to recapture the glory days of The King of Queens, the long-running, well-liked sitcom on which James and Remini played spouses. Also, because the writers unceremoniously killed off Kevin's wife Donna (Erinn Hayes) due to a lack of ideas for her character, adding in a will they/won't they plotline would give the show some narrative gas.
But Kevin Can Wait had its second season finale Monday night, and it was no will they, all won't they. If Vanessa and Kevin ever get together, it's going to take a loooooong time.
The season finale was about Kevin getting his band from the '80s back together. The band was called Smokefish, and other members included Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. Vanessa realized that back in 1989, before she knew Kevin, the lead singer of Smokefish — Kevin — had a chance meeting with her boyfriend after a show and talked him out of proposing to her that night. In 2018, she looked up that boyfriend and found out that he was a rich CEO who still had rock-hard abs in his 50s. In the final scene of the season, she punched Kevin in the stomach for ruining her life. Then they went and got lunch.
It was decidedly unromantic, which is how it's been all season. Kevin and Vanessa are co-workers and friends, kind of. They don't really like each other. Any time there's a suggestion that they get together, they react with revulsion. In one midseason episode, a client at Vanessa and Kevin's security firm asked if Vanessa and Kevin were together, and Vanessa reacted like that was the grossest thing she'd ever heard, saying "nononononono!" Vanessa even set the client up with Kevin, which was his first date since Donna died.
It's weird that there's no romantic relationship between Vanessa and Kevin. That's not how traditional sitcoms like this are supposed to work. The producers said their relationship was going to be like Sam and Diane from Cheers, and it's not. It's more like a tamer Archer, with Leah Remini as the mommy-boss and Kevin James as the immature son-employee. Kevin James and Leah Remini still have great chemistry, but it's not being used to its full potential.
It also means Donna died in vain. She was supposed to die so that Kevin could find his one true love, Vanessa. Instead, he's just going on dates with incongruously beautiful women and bickering with Vanessa over how he's spending the business' money. We thought this was going to be a King of Queens reboot! If they're going to bicker over money, make it domestic!
Maybe the original plan was going to be a will they/won't they, but then Kevin James changed his mind. The writers are making the show up as they go along, as evidenced by the fact that they killed off Kevin's wife between the first and second seasons. Maybe in Season 3 they'll get bored with not having them date, so they'll fall in love. Why not? They'll just do whatever they think is funny. Maybe they'll make Chale (Ryan Cartwright) an astronaut.
Kevin Can Wait has not been renewed for Season 3 yet, but it probably will be.
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