In my latest book, A Beginner's Guide To Family Life, each of the three main characters' family is very different. Last week, I shared ten family-based films that displayed a variety of family set-ups, and today I'm sharing ten family-based TV shows, from thought-provoking dramas to snort-out-loud comedies, both old and new.
An hilarious show about the lives of a group of school gate mums (and a dad) as they juggle parenthood, jobs and school commitments. You'll laugh. You'll cringe. You'll laugh some more.
There are lots of different family set-ups in this mockumentary sitcom, all revolving around Jay Pritchett and his children, Claire and Mitchell. It's ridiculously funny (and sometimes plain old ridiculous).
Two families are joined together when old childhood sweethearts, Alan and Celia meet up after decades apart and rekindle their relationship. Both are widowed with a daughter, who couldn't be more different from the other, and they clash from the very first meeting. But can they put aside their differences for the sake of their parents' happiness?
Two families - one from Barry Island and the other from Essex - are brought together when Gavin and Stacey meet over the phone at work and decide to meet up in real life. I've seen them a million times, and I'll probably watch them a million more.
A British sitcom classic following the mishaps of brothers Del Boy and Rodney Trotter. With unforgettable episodes with the chandeliers, Batman and Robin, and the bar scene.
Who'd have thought that watching a family sit on their arses watching telly could be so entertaining? It took me by surprise back in the late 90s. It was hilarious. And it still is, all these years later, even though I've seen the episodes over and over again.
I was really late to The A Word - I only started watching on catch up during Lockdown 1. But as soon as I did, I was hooked and binged them all. It's a fantastic series (once you get over the fact that Christopher Eccleston is playing a grandad) about a family coming to terms with their son's autism diagnosis. And the soundtrack is amazing.
There's some wacky family dynamics going on in this one, with secret children, back-stabbing left, right and centre, and a fierce loyalty despite it all.
Another classic (God, I feel old typing that) about fifteen-year-old Will, who's sent to live with his aunt and uncle to keep him out of trouble.
The Rose family are filthy rich. They're also vain and self-absorbed. But when they lose their fortune, they're forced to move into a motel in Schitts Creek, where they find themselves part of a community. It's such a fun, heartwarming series, and I swear you'll never hear Tina Turner's 'The Best' in the same way again.
So that's my list of 10 family-based TV shows. If you'd like to read my book about the dynamics of family life, you can find out more details below:
You can choose your friends, but you're pretty much stuck with your family.
Ruth has everything she never dared to hope for: a husband who adores her, a beautiful home, and a job she can just about tolerate. And now she's having a baby. But having zero experience with babies and a pregnancy that isn't quite as blooming as the magazines claim it should be, how will she cope with this stage of her life?
Quinn loves her family, but she sometimes wishes there weren't quite so many of them living under the same roof. But is she ready to fly the nest and build a whole new one with her boyfriend?
Richard's life is pretty great, until a visitor arrives on his doorstep and turns his whole world upside down.
A whole lot of drama.