Too much drama for one fam­ily

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gaming -

TH­ESE two words tend to make me want to smash my tele­vi­sion with that heavy meat mal­let in the sec­ond drawer in the kitchen: fam­ily drama.

Think about your own fam­ily, if any. Is there ma­te­rial there that’s up to the chal­lenge of a TV se­ries?

Pick up the kids. Make din­ner. Pay the bills.

Or­gan­ise the cos­tumes for the school con­cert. I’m about to slump into a coma I’mso bored.

But we both know this ground has been cov­ered by ev­ery show in the his­tory of the uni­verse. And not just dra­mas. Come­dies too.

It’s dif­fi­cult though, be­cause there’s that thing called re­lata­bil­ity, a vain no­tion mean­ing we want to watch our­selves as much as pos­si­ble. Not pret­tier nor more in­ter­est­ing ver­sions. Which partly ex­plains why fam­ily drama The So­pra­nos – last week voted the best writ­ten se­ries ever in a big im­pres­sive poll in the US – never quite worked here.

So I’m also kind of con­cerned for The Time of Our Lives. This is as fam­ily as fam­ily dra­mas get. Two broth­ers and a sis­ter and their re­la­tion­ship ten­ta­cles.

I’ve watched the first two episodes, so why am I dy­ing to watch the third episode?

Let’s start with the great cast. Plus ev­ery­one’s been put in a job where they’ll have to min­gle with peo­ple from the out­side world (school coun­sel­lor, bar) which fam­ily dra­mas are of­ten fright­ened of, like they’re One Na­tion or some­thing.

What worries me is it’s on the ABC on a Sun­day night. Has this be­come the do­main of Call the Mid­somer Wives to the ex­tent that an at­trac­tive, lib­eral 21st cen­tury se­ries will be an alien con­cept? It’s pos­si­ble.

The other thing is, we find out a lot about this fam­ily in the first episode. It’s al­most too good. There’s only so much drama in a fam­ily. Un­less some­one gets sick, and that never plays well on TV.

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