Sunday, 10 April 2016

The Family - Review (ABC)

By Gregory Robinson
I have always believed that when a new television show has a bland title; one should expect a bland show and vice-versa. For example, ABC’s incredible drama series How To Get Away With Murder immediately gives prospective viewers a glance into the show and persuades them to watch. Who is getting away with murder? Why are they getting away with murder? And more importantly, how are they getting away with murder? ABC’s new mystery drama, titled The Family has a bland title and is on the threshold of being a bland show, despite its relatively intriguing plot.

The Family reveals nothing about its plot so I’ll explain it for you. The show revolves around politician Claire Warren (Joan Allen) whose son Adam (Liam James), who was presumed, murdered years ago, returns home. However, there is looming uncertainty regarding whether Adam is who he says he is… It is an intriguing plot which sounds like it combines the perfect ingredients for yet another intense ABC drama we have all come to love. On the other hand, the theme of a missing individual returning home as become an all too familiar trope as of recently with many TV shows such as MTV’s Finding Carter and the Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt all following similar plotlines. But what should have set The Family apart from it contemporaries is the fact it was created by Shondaland alum Jenna Bans who, based on her credentials, should know how to create a twisted and rousing drama. The Family is certainly twisted but rousing, it is not. The Family’s approach to its interesting concept is a bland one; it is plagued with predictability and unneeded confusion, such as following a dual timeline which has also become an overused TV trope. It seems as though HTGAWM is the only drama worthy of using dual time lines due to both The Family and another cheap ABC drama, Quantico using the same approach which ultimately partly causes the creative downfall of both shows.

While on the topic of plotlines, there are many useless ones within The Family which take up far too much time on the show. First of all, the men on the show are weak and senseless. The father, John Warren (Rupert Graves) is having an affair with the officer, Seargeant Nina Meyer (Margot Bingham) who is investigating his son’s presumed murder. The eldest son, Danny Warren (Zach Gilford) is an alcoholic and lowkey slob who is sleeping with a journalist who is using him for the latest scoop on the family. The eldest daughter, Willa Warren (Allison Pill) who is managing her mother’s political career, is obviously psychologically challenged while Adam is, well... coping I guess. Oh, and the paedophile who was convicted of “murdering” Adam happens to live across the street from the family and spend his time dismantling sandwiches and trying to buy puppies

The Family is intended to be ABC’s latest thriller although it is seriously lacking in the “thrill” department.

The Family has been cancelled!

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