TV Review: “The Family” (2016 -) ★★★★


After writing the screenplay for ABC’s “Scandal”, “Flesh and Blood” and “Grey’s Anatomy”, Jenna Bans comes forward as the creator of quite an interesting series, “The Family” starring Joan Allen as the lead actress. It follows the Warren Family, who suffers a great loss after a beloved son and brother, Adam, is killed by their neighbor, Hank. However, the big surprise strikes the family 10 years after the tragedy occurs, when Adam all of a sudden appears at the police station alive, but with many bursts, scarves, and psychological damage from which he probably won’t be able to recover soon. The person who was wrongly accused in murder also spent 10 years in jail. But the question is, what’s next?

Series begins with Nina Meyer (Margot Bingham), a former sergeant, and now the police captain who tells that “Cops always have two cases. One, that can ruin them, and the second one, that will propel them above.” Saying that, she appears to be the person who resolved the 10-years-old case that helped her to get promoted. Claire Warren (Joan Allen) holds a press conference, now as a Major of Maine, who gets the shocking news that her son is in a local hospital. A few minutes earlier, presumed dead, Adam goes to the police station to look for Nina Meyer, whose name he somehow knew.

Next, the overjoyed family arrives at the local hospital to meet Adam. In the meantime, using flashbacks, the viewer is constantly taken back to the events that occurred 10 years before, after the disappearance of Adam. From those flashbacks, we find out many ugly facts about the family; Willa Warren, Adam’s sister (Alison Pill) helps to send an innocent man to prison; John Warren (Rupert Graves) has a quite serious argument with his wife, indicating the unhappy marriage they have; and Nina Meyer, back then a police sergeant, allows herself to be fooled. Of course, that happens because of her romance with John, who seems never to have cared about his, supposedly dead, son.

While the Warren family plays ‘Role Model’, the game that occurs after Adam’s appearance is what will make you use your imagination. That, largely due to the well narrated plot, and richly written characters, you find yourself, more or less, caring about.  By the time when you will reach to the final minutes of the pilot episode, you will no longer sympathise with the Warren family, or even worse, will think, they somehow are responsible for the events that happened a decade ago. Of course, here I just use my imagination, which means, the series is good enough to make anyone guess what will happen next.

In conclusion, ABC’s “The Family” begins with a bang, and hopefully, won’t lose our high anticipation in upcoming episodes. The performance is something that won’t leave you disappointed, while the story itself, as I have mentioned before, is well narrated. It has many lead characters, and many more to come, to keep you busy throughout the season. Let’s just hope Jenna Bans will keep up the good work, as she continues delivering her twisted series, which can turn into a huge success.

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