'Kevin Can Wait' awkwardly handles the death of major character

Erinn Hayes Kevin Can Wait

The show's EP Rob Long promised this was being done "out of respect" for Donna, who is a fictional character, and during the opening moments of last night's Season 2 premiere, we got to see the extent of that respect: An exchange lasting less than 20 seconds in which the series's minor time jump was noted ("It's been over a year since she died", noted Kevin's daughter Kendra, played by Taylor Spreitler).

Fans were shocked; even How I Met Your Mother's contentious finale reveal of a big death had more sensitivity, and people hated it. How quickly will Kevin connect with Leah Remini's character?

In June, Erinn Hayes, the actress who played the wife of Kevin James' character on the CBS sitcom, announced that she wouldn't be returning to the show.

What did you think of how the show handled Donna's death?

"We haven't seen you, we miss you", a postcard from Donna's gym read. Give me that. I will call them right now. She got two brief mentions, one that confirmed it's been over a year since she died and one where her daughter said she wished Mom was there, which was kind of weird because she could have been there. "They shouldn't still be sending this". "We're just missing one thing", Kevin says, adding, "She'd be very proud of you". That was it - no mention of how she passed or what had happened since.

Kevin then makes a joke to note throw out the postcard because there's a coupon on it that he wants to use.

Kevin Can Wait airs Mondays at 9 pm on CBS.

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