Estella had wondered if PARENTHOOD and MODERN FAMILY would be in a war against each other since they were both shows about families. And then I realized something…family shows are coming back at us faster than a speeding Magic Bullet (those things are amazing BTW, I want to make a mango smoothie later).
Back in the day, TV series really catered to family appeal. There was: The Brady Bunch, The Patty Duke Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Happy Days, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Bill Cosby Show, Who’s the Boss?, Growing Pains, Family Ties, The Adams Family, Leave it to Beaver… And then some 90’s shows had that theme a la BLOSSOM, THE FRESH PRINCE OF BELL AIR, FAMILY MATTERS, STEP BY STEP and FULL HOUSE…. But there hasn’t been a ton of family-centric TV like that in the last decade… Unless you count reality TV. And please, let’s don’t.
Most recent TV shows have focused on plots where parents are only periphery fixtures, or people become family units because of their jobs or close-knit friendships. And I like a lot of those shows, too (see: GREEK, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, LEVERAGE, HOUSE, FELICITY, COUPLING U.K., SKINS, THE OFFICE, FRIENDS, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER).
But please take note of the slew of recent shows that don’t just have a couple of related family members in them (SAMANTHA WHO?, ARCHER) but are centered on a specific family as the central premise:
- LIFE UNEXPECTED
- COUGAR TOWN
- MODERN FAMILY
- THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (There is emphasis on several different families.)
- NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE
- TWO AND A HALF MEN
- THE MIDDLE
Established or older shows with the same “Family” theme:
- SUPERNATURAL (Although everyone wants the two brothers to get it on, which makes me uncomfortable since they’re DIRECTLY RELATED.)
- ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT
- EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND
- THE SIMPSONS
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