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August 28, 2015

You'll Want to Hang Out With These Four TV Families

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 15th 2010 2:02PM
Family is really important, although these days on television, we're seeing more and more groups that are sort of like family, friends or office mates or co-workers that supply the support and love of a traditional clan, but don't have share any DNA with one another. But there's nothing quite as dysfunctional and compelling as a real family, the old-fashioned type with lots of siblings, some aunts and uncles, maybe even a set of grandparents.

Currently, there are four traditional families on TV that would be a lot of fun to hang out with. They're all different kinds of family, but they could all provide just the kind of craziness to create a really good time. Check it out:

Cool Times With 'Modern Family' -- The Dunphys and the Pritchetts represent a very upscale family and modern family, but they are completely dedicated to each other and spending time together as family. They're also pretty well off, so you could count on any party with them to include really great food -- probably catered -- and lots of cool accouterments, too.

Techie Phil will always supply the camcorder, plus any other high-end toys needed, and just to keep things real, Jay has that old-school style. He's the one, remember, who still invites the grandkids over for pajama parties that include popcorn and Western movie DVDs.

There's also a good chance that a Dunphy-Pritchett get together will have some flair, whether it's Cam's deciding to do his Fizzbo clown character, or Manny and Gloria sharing some colorful Colombian traditions, like the pan flute. All things considered, you'll have fun in a very modern way.

parenthood_peter_krause_nbcHaving Fun and Shedding a Tear With the Bravermans on 'Parenthood' -- From Zeek on down, the Bravermans are sort of a post-era hippie clan, and not just because they all were more than happy to share a joint when it was discovered at the family house.

The Bravermans are a really big family, four siblings and plenty of kids, even some that were previously unknown, like Crosby discovering he's Jabbar's dad. Since they're all living in the same city now -- Berkeley -- the Bravermans have been spending a lot more time together.

If you were to join them, be prepared for some high energy activity, you know like swimming at an indoor Olympic size pool or acting like the Kennedys and opting for a vigorous game of touch football. The latter hasn't happened yet, but it's probably just a matter of time.

One thing about hangin' with Bravermans, though: make sure you have Kleenex. There's a tendency to get a little over-emotional, and if the tears start to flow, you'll want to be ready.

The Lowered Expectations of The Heck Family on 'The Middle' -- Some families are very uptight. You know, the type where you have to use just the right silverware and wear nice clothes at the dinner table. That's not the way it is for Frankie Heck's family. They're all about just chilling out and not sweating the details. In fact, you better like fast food because the only meal that's not brought into the house in paper bags in breakfast -- which is usually cold cereal.

But that's okay, because Mike and Frankie no how to enjoy the ordinary. Chowing down in front of the TV is not only okay, it's encouraged. Or maybe you'd like to hang out in the basement and play pool without worrying about spilling on the table. The Hecks believe in togetherness, too, so if you're there hanging out, you're probably going to be rubbing elbows with Aunt Edie and Aunt Ginny... and their dog, Doris, too.

Whine and Wine With the Walkers on 'Brothers and Sisters' -- If intelligent conversation, political arguments and plenty of food and wine are your thing, you will find spending time with the Walker family a blast. Don't plan on keeping anything in your life a secret, however, because Nora and her children are proficient at pushing and pestering you about everything from the scar on your cheek to your choice of running shoes. And once one knows something, they all do. It's not telephone, it's tell-a-Walker.

But the plus side of being at one with the Walkers is that you'll have a doctor (medic) at your disposal, not to mention a lawyer and all the political connections you could ever want.

Kitty and Robert could even introduce you to John McCain or Sarah Palin because they're Republicans in a nest of liberal Democrats, which makes every hot button issue a chance for a knock-down, drag out debate that's usually more exciting than most dinner chit-chat. And the wine never stops flowing, as well as the fruit and veggies from Ojai Foods.

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Great shows, so different yet so similar: they're a wonderful protrait of family social interaction in wildly varying situations. I never miss them!

April 18 2010 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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