Fatal Fourway – Which is the Best TV Family?


Aoife Valentine – The Gilmores (Gilmore Girls)

So while you all may have said that Snape was a terrible choice, having decided to choose his roles in more eh, credible films which aren’t about magic and awesomeness, you were all wrong. You may have made fun of my choices consistently for being less cultured than yours, but a Harry Potter reference in an online poll? Let’s not pretend any of you ever even stood a chance. Also, Snape is very awesome anyway.

Awesome in a less magic way however, is Gilmore Girls. Sure there’s no Hogwarts, but then again, there’s no family or TV in Hogwarts anyway, so Gilmore Girls was the next best thing. Very much like the comfort food of television, it’s cute, homey, and even Stars Hollow has a quirky charm that makes you want to live there a little bit.

More than that though, Lorelai is the greatest mom, even if she speaks ridiculously fast and spouts random pop cultural information bytes at truly inopportune moments, and you know her and Luke are meant to be, even if that’s not what the script is saying in alternate seasons. Why even mention Rory? Her pretty little optimistic face says it all. Whatever, Sister, Sister. No one cares about Roger.

George Morahan – The Simpsons (The Simpsons)

The Simpsons have been around longer than most of you reading this; they have probably helped to shape your views on religion, politics, culture, and miniature flags, and may have had some hand in preparing you for life in the contemporary western world. This should not be the case. They are fictional; they are not your real family. However, television and The Simpsons go hand in hand, and therefore a generation supposedly raised by television has been practically raised by the Simpsons. The Simpsons care about you, you see.

The Simpsons are television’s best family because of their influence on many of our lives. I’m sure a lot of you have a Homer quote at the ready for trying times, or believe your respective mothers to have mastered the ‘Marge Simpson Disapproving Grumble’ – their presence is undeniable, which should be kind of scary when you think about it, but knowing they’re still around after twenty-two years is somewhat reassuring.

Like all real people, the Simpsons have gotten worse with age, but that should not sway you from voting for them; there’s life in them yet. They’re not as venal as the Bluths; they don’t talk as fast as the Gilmore Girls; they don’t have annoying names like Tia or Tamara, and they are by no means perfect, but that doesn’t stop them from being the Best. Family. Ever.

Dermot O’Rourke – The Bluths (Arrested Development)

“And now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them together.” It is quite difficult to pinpoint one aspect or person of Arrested Development’s Bluth family that makes them not only the most dysfunctional on-screen family, but also undoubtedly the best.

For the majority of TV families there is always one family member who is the “best one” or the “funniest one” that anchors the show and from whom almost all the jokes or storylines emanate. For shows like The Simpsons and Sister Sister, it’s easy but for Arrested Development it’s different.

While none of the family is ‘likeable’ in the traditional sense, each individual member shines when it comes to comedy and are hilarious in their own right. From G.O.B to Tobias, each one has their own idiosyncrasies that make every line of the show quotable. However, it is things like each Bluth having their own version of the mocking chicken dance or the clever little intra-family subtle jokes peppered throughout that makes the Bluth family a cut above. So, get on to Facebook and “Save Our Bluths!”

Jon Hozier-ByrneThe Landry/Campbells (Sister, Sister)

The Simpsons are the clichéd nuclear family, indeed, they originated as a satire of the patriarchal family present in American sitcoms since networks began. Even Homer’s job is a play on the nuclear family trope. The Bluths, although disfunctional, follow the same basic family structure. I am a man, and have therefore never watched Gilmore Girls, but I assume that it is equally dull. The Landry/Campbells however, now there is an interesting family.

Tia and Tamara, identical twins seperated at birth, are adopted by the straight-laced Ray Campbell and wild seamstress Lisa Landry respectively. After a chance meeting in a clothing store, the girls Parent Trap their respective guardians into moving in together, and with that, the keystone of our childhood television staples was born. The Landry/Campbells, or Lambells, are a socio-economic cross section as viewed through the optics of two teenage girls, who happen to be able to stop time when the narrative calls for it. And it had Lisa Landry, possibly the greatest comic character since Charlie Chaplin played Buster Keaton while wearing Groucho glasses.

Oh Sister, Sister. I never knew how much I missed you. And now everbody knows, I ain’t ever gonna let you go. Sister, Sister.