Outspoken 71-year-old Irish expatriate Francis "Pop" Cavanaugh is the glue holding together his tightly-knit, yet constantly bickering, clan, who mostly all reside in the same house in a middle-class neighborhood in South Boston. That is, except for flashy, oft-divorced daughter Kit, who left the family years ago to chase her dreams of show biz. Stardom eluded Kit -- whose success was limited to the showgirl circuit -- and, after an absence of two decades, she returns home to try to mend ways with her crotchety, widowed father and act as mother figure for her conservative, widowed brother Chuck's four children: Father Chuck, Jr., a twentysomething priest who comes off more like a used car salesman; Mary Margaret, a shy, 16-year-old wallflower who's trying to find her way around the dating scene; and smart-mouthed 10-year-old fraternal twins, Kevin and John. Together, the adults all manage a family owned and run business, the Cavanaugh Bros. Construction Company. Even with critical
James returns, and he and Pop dig up the past concerning their childhood rivalry over the affections of a girl.
When Kit's ex comes to town, Kit realizes she still has feelings for him.
Chuck can't swallow his pride when Kit outdoes his efforts at the construction company.
The Cavanaughs think a week in a monastery is just the thing that will teach them to get along.
Pop's plan to help Kit fight a tax audit gets him in hot water with the I.R.S.
When Kit struggles to quit smoking, the rest of the clan agree to give up something of their own to support her.
A politician rejects Pop's offer to handle his campaign, because he's too busy setting his sights on Kit.
Father Chuck, Jr. is in a bit of a bind when the homeless shelter where he was helping out is forced to closed down suddenly. He's managed to find a new home for everyone, save for one person, and asks Pop if they could stay with him temporarily. Pop reluctantly says yes, only to learn that there's two people: a Hispanic woman, Rosa, and her infant son, Bob. But when Rosa (who barely speaks any English) overstays her welcome, Pop and Kit begin to suspect that the Father's motives aren't entirely pure, and Rosa is a scam artist. They get one right -- Father Chuck, Jr. goes on to announce that he's resigning from the priesthood, so that he can marry Rosa and be the other kind of father. Although everyone takes the news hard, only Pop is so angry about it that he nearly disowns his grandson. Pop's increasing feelings towards the baby cause him to eventually have a change of heart... at the same time that Junior has his own about the marriage thing.
The family think Mary Margaret has been bitten by the acting bug, but she's actually been bitten by the love bug after gaining a crush on a boy who's choreographing her school play.
Deciding Chuck has had enough time to grieve over Nora's death, Pop gallantly sets him up on a blind date. Since Chuck doesn't have the backbone to do so, Kit tells Pop that he has no right to play matchmaker for his son, especially since Chuck is too shy to be fixed up. Despite Kit's protests and Chuck's desire to remain a one-woman guy, Chuck ends up going through with the affair... albeit with a toupee. Although his date, Bonnie, is better-looking than he is, and a good ten years younger, the two of them have a couple things in common -- her mother fixed her up, and she's no more confident on the dating scene than he is. But he comes home from their dinner date feeling like he did everything wrong, starting with his failing to admit to her that he's balding. When Pop apologizes to Chuck for meddling, claiming that he didn't want to see him end up alone like he is, Chuck nervously sees Bonnie a second time, sans the hairpiece -- after which he learns that she knew all along, and like
It's Pop's 72nd birthday.
James tells the family that he is getting married. But is he?