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My family is a great comedy with some hilarious lines and scenes. The characters are: Ben, played by Robert Lindsey, Susan, played by Zoë Wanamaker and three children, Nick, Janey and Michael, played by Kris Marshall, Daniela Denby-Ashe and Gabriel Thomson.
Nick in my point of view seam to be the punch line in most jokes, he is an older teenager and is also an unemployed lay about. Janey is the fashion girl who is worried about her looks and she is about 15-16 and micheal who is 12 and is a hard studier who tries to stand up for him self, with two older sibling to compete with.
Ben is a dentist and a family man who also seams like a good comedy actor, susan is too big headed which is quite funny, nick is full of funny acts and jokes, janey is a good actor who adds to the programmes, and micheal plays a big part in the programmes.
My Family is a modern TV Comedy classic. In short is based around a typical family, the Harper family, consisting of Dad, Ben, played by Robert Lindsey, Mum, Susan, played by Zoë Wanamaker and three children, Nick, Janey and Michael, played by Kris Marshall, Daniela Denby-Ashe and Gabriel Thomson respectively.
The family do normal things, the parents go to work, the children go to school and Nick, well Nick doesn't really do anything. Each character however, like in a normal family, is utterly unique and I think that is what makes the programme so wonderful to watch. Furthermore the character traits given to each character are also so believable and many people, I know I can, will be able to relate to them.
There's Ben, a pessimistic dentist who's eternally grumpy and simply wants the kids to move out, especially Nick. In contrast to him there's Susan who is caring yet controlling and dreads to think what might happen to "her little babies" should they ever move out. Then there's Nick, the eldest son, who is quite simply a little bit thick. He is constantly thinking up hair-brained schemes to keep him amused but never seems to do anything helpful - like get a job. Next up is Janey, the middle-child and only girl, she's a money grabber who Ben has quite quaintly termed "the shopper from Hell". Finally there's Michael, who's a little bit of a nerd. In fact on reflection maybe he's not, maybe he's just the normal one who keeps his head down in a family full of mad people.
All in all however the characters are perfectly scripted and wonderfully acted and their individual personalities really shine through. Furthermore the rapport between the family members is brilliant and at times I can see my own family in them, especially when they're arguing at the tea table or battling over whose turn it is to clean up. The Harper family's main problem is that they rarely all pull in the same direction and it is this that makes the show so hilarious.
The one thing they do pull together for, or possibly more correctly against, is Susan's cooking, which is the focal point for many a joke in the Harper family. Nick eats anything, include Toad in the hole when the sausages have run out, nicely termed "Toad en Vacance" by Susan, but even he will eagerly agree along with the others that the day, 'What's for tea?' is answered with 'Take-away' is a good day.
Each episode is self-contained but like most TV shows earlier episodes and events are sometimes mentioned in future episodes or series. Each episode is however extremely funny. The main comedy often doesn't simply lie in the events that occur but more in each family members reaction too it. As you watch more and more episodes you will notice how there is a pattern to their reactions. Don't however think this is predictable because this is definitely not the case. In fact I often find myself laughing more when I think I know what they are going to do as the expressions they pull and the one-liners that appear are simply comic genius. More importantly however they are comic genius that can be related to as more often than not you'll have said on the sly or if not at least thought most of what they are brave enough to say to each other.
This series is definitely one of the best and will have you laughing for hours. It consists of 8 thirty minute episodes on one disc. There are unfortunately no special-features on the DVD but it does contain subtitles in English for the Hard of Hearing. My favourite episode in quite possibly the first "The serpent's Tooth" were Ben's gets all in a rage because Janey and Susan are seeing a different dentist. This episode is split your sides funny, as is the rest of the series.
The DVD box holds on it the one line, which I think perfectly, sums up the Harper family "A modern, outwardly dysfunctional family... engaged in constant psychological warfare."
My family is a very funny series about a typical English family consisting of 5 members. Ben Harper who is the father figure who takes a bad attitude to life. Then there is Susan who is played by Zoe Wanamaker she is the normal one. Then there is Janey who is always into boys. Nick who is really stupid and Michael who is very brainy. On series 1 there are the following episodes;
- The Serpents Tooth
- A pain in the class
- Droigt a signor ben
- The last resort
- Farewell to alarms
- Death and ben take a policy
- The awkward phase
- Much ado about Ben
They are some of the funniest TV episodes in the world I really love them and they are suitable for all of the family but there is a bit of sex references. It is rated PG and runs for approx. 229 mins. Which is great value for money. The RRP on this product is 19.99 but I got it for 11 on ebay and it is one of the best DVDs I own.
Thanks for reading Ste-G123
Having lived abroad for many years, there is many a sitcom that I have missed, My Family being just one of them. Although I have caught up with later series, Ive never seen the first one and so after a recent windfall, I decided to treat myself. The fact that Im a huge fan of Kris Marshall made it all the better.
At first glance, the Harper family is fairly normal. Ben Harper is a dentist, his wife, Susan, is a tour guide and their three children, Nick, Janey and Michael are the usual awkward teenagers always demanding money and embarrassed by their parents. However, nothing seems to go quite according to plan in their household. Ben and Susan are loving parents, but they dont seem to have much of an idea of how to control their children. Nick has already left school, but shows no signs of finding a job. Janey spends more time on boys and clothes than her school work; whereas Michael, perhaps the most sensible family member, chooses to lock himself in his room with his books most of the time to avoid the rest of his eccentric family.
I enjoyed watching Jericho last year, in which Robert Lindsay, who plays Ben Harper, plays an unsociable detective in fifties London, so very different from Bens character that it is hard to believe they are played by the same man. Ben Harper is a reluctant family man who would really rather his children didnt make quite such an impact on his life, but his love for them still shines through. As a comic actor, Lindsay is a natural; but the fact that he is also so good as the frankly miserable Jericho intrigues and impresses me beyond words.
The impish Zoe Wanamaker plays the role of Susan, the matriarch of the family. Another versatile actress, Wanamaker does an excellent job in whatever role I have seen her in. Susan is a rather dippy character, who seems to have fallen into motherhood by accident rather than design, but who loves her children deeply, almost to the point of obsession at times. Her desire to protect Michael in particular, causes great embarrassment on the part of her children. There are times when she over acts, but its all good fun and fits in well with her character.
I absolutely love Kris Marshall in whatever he does. In My Family, his character, Nick, is a waster who has various money-making schemes, none of which are well thought through and none of which are successful. He is the wackiest of all the characters and is therefore the one that probably stands out the most. This is the show that made his name and the fact that he has now left the show means that I am much less eager to watch it. I can imagine that some people would find him annoying; personally I love him. I have seen him in roles that are less obviously comic, which he also does well, but I cannot imagine him in a completely non-comedy role unfortunately, I think he has stereotyped himself. Whatever, he makes this show for me.
Daniela Denby-Ashe as Janey has a hard job to keep up with such talented actors, but she does very well as the teenager from hell. At the age where she finds her family deeply embarrassing and has frequent teenage strops, Daniela does a very good job in the role.
Michael is played by Gabriel Thomson. His role in this first series is fairly minimal, but he does show the potential that he later fulfils.
Running time: 229 minutes
Disappointingly, there are no extras.
This is a light-hearted comedy with quirky British black humour built into it, which for me, gives it an edge over other sitcoms of the same period. The quality of the actors makes up for the silliness that sometimes seeps in. It is the sort of sitcom that I can watch time and time again; when Im in need of something light and silly to watch, this is the ideal show.
In this world of families living miles apart, it is refreshing to watch a show where the family, despite their differences, still live together and in their own way are very close. Later storylines bring this out even more; for example, Janey becomes a single mother, but her family are still willing to take her back into their home and support her.
I probably wont buy DVDs of any further series, but Im certainly glad Ive got this one in my collection. Recommended for when you need something relaxing that doesnt need too much concentration.
The DVD is available from play.com for £14.99.
Ben, a dentist, and Susan, the worst cook in the world, are certainly loving, caring parents they just have a problem showing it. Ben seems to be confused as to how much time and money his kids demand from him. Susan has to juggle motherhood, a career and a husband and doesnt have enough time to manage everything, including improving her cooking skills. Nick is always working on his next hare-brained scheme to keep himself amused. Janey, like any other normal teenager feels that her parents are seriously embarrassing whilst Michael keeps his head in his books to get away from the noise.