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Psychological warfare at its funniest
My Family - Season 1 (DVD)
Member Name: MI9to5
My Family - Season 1 (DVD)
Date: 29/05/08, updated on 29/05/08 (68 review reads)
Advantages: Funny, funny, funny
Disadvantages: No special features
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 ZoŽ 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."
Summary: Laugh 'til you cry
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