Today is International Day of Families – a day that celebrates the importance of family and a great incentive (if you need one) for you and your family to spend some quality time together.
But if you’re not sure how to get all your relatives in one room without them arguing with each other, fear not: we’ve picked five of our favourite TV series about perfectly imperfect families that are guaranteed to bring yours closer together.
This show has become something of a contemporary sitcom classic. Following the lives of Jay Pritchett and his family, which includes his second wife, their son, his stepson, and his two adult children from his first marriage and their families, it manages to cover three different types of families (nuclear, step-, and same-sex). With such a big family, you’re bound to find at least one character you can relate to.
Although the quality in writing may have gone downhill as the series has progressed, it’s an easy, light watch to enjoy with the fam.
Think your family has it rough? Take a look at the Hecks, a family that has learned, from a lifetime of experience, to make do with the little they’ve got. The series is unique in that it focuses on a working-class, middle-aged mum living in a small town with her husband and their three children.
Constantly finding humour in difficult situations, The Middle reminds us that no family is perfect, and it’s getting through the tough times together that strengthens our bond. It is well-written, unashamedly real and eerily relatable – especially if you grew up with siblings. Now in its ninth and final season, this show is a hidden gem in a sea of family sitcoms.
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Lost in Space
If you’re looking for something a little less close to home, try Netflix’s re-imagining of the 1960s series Lost in Space created by Irwin Allen (which itself was based on the 1812 novel The Swiss Family Robinson). Besides being physically far from home, the challenges the family in the show have to deal with are a world away from those we face in everyday life.
Set 30 years into the future, the series follows the Robinsons, one of a few families selected to start a new life on a space colony. On their way to the new world, their ship veers off-course and crash lands on an alien planet. As they work together to survive in the strange new environment and figure out a way to get to the colony, you’ll see how much a well-oiled family can get done.
This is Us
Before you start watching this series, make sure you have a box of tissues close by because you’re going to need it. The series follows the lives of a unique set of triplets and their parents. Primarily taking place in the present day when the three siblings are adults, the show flashes back to the 80s, from their birth to when they are children. Each episode reveals a new piece to the puzzle of the family’s complicated history. And if that’s not enough to get you hooked, the crazy plot twists and cliff-hangers will.
No round-up of family-centric shows would be complete without mentioning The Simpsons. This iconic nuclear family has been around for years; with 653 episodes (and counting) since its debut in 1989, this long-running series is a testament to the popularity of the show and its genre.
It’s comforting to know that there is a more dysfunctional family out there than our own. Yet at the same time, the characters – despite being two-dimensional and yellow — still manage to be relatable – perhaps more relatable than we’d like to admit.