HOLLY BYRNES OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

IF you take Kim Kar­dashian out of the pic­ture, TV mar­riages have never looked more re­al­is­tic. Long ago, those watch­ing at home were con­fronted with im­ages of the per­fect part­ner who looked noth­ing like the he or she sit­ting next to them on the couch.

Think Mike and Carol Brady, who com­bined their two clans on The Brady Bunch, with­out the need for a Fam­ily Court-ap­pointed me­di­a­tor.

Or Mar­ion and Howard Cun­ning­ham, her tied up in apron strings, him dish­ing out fa­therly ad­vice his kids took se­ri­ously.

In 2011, thanks to shows such as Modern Fam­ily, Off­spring and Packed to the Rafters, par­ents come in pack­ages that are less than per­fect. And don’t we love them for it.

Take Modern Fam­ily’s Phil and Claire Dun­phey, rais­ing three chil­dren with all their flaws and fum­bles.

Ditto, same-sex par­ents Mitchell and Cameron on the same show, whose en­thu­si­asm for rais­ing daugh­ter Lily more of­ten than not makes up for their in­ef­fec­tive­ness.

Try­ing your best is what it boils down to; for­get what the guide books say is the take-

Re­al­ity bites: Robert Lind­say home mes­sage. Which brings us to Ben and Sarah Harper, the hus­band and wife in BBC com­edy se­ries My Fam­ily.

Mid­dle-class den­tist Ben (Robert Lind­say) and tour guide Sarah (Zoe Wana­maker) bitch and moan, snark and snipe at each other con­stantly.

When she signs the cou­ple up to a new age mar­riage re­treat, the laughs are sure to fol­low.

Thrown out of the course, the cou­ple re­turn home pledg­ing new vows.

His: ‘‘ I will never stop find­ing new ways to an­noy you’’, and hers: ‘‘ to mock you mer­ci­lessly at ev­ery turn’’.

Sounds like do­mes­tic bliss to me. My Fam­ily, ABC1, 8pm

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