One of the newest – and most fun – television series coming to Disney+ this month is Weekend Family.
Weekend Family is an eight-episode French comedy series created by Baptiste Filleul. The show follows the exploits of a chaotic, endearing, blended family over the course of each weekend. Fred (Eric Judor), has custody of his three daughters every Friday, Saturday and Sunday – three daughters who are very different from one another and who also each have different mothers. Fred’s daughters – Idealistic Clara (Liona Bordonaro) aged 15, quirky Victoire (Midie Dreyfus) aged 12, and demanding Romy (Roxane Barrazuol) aged 9 – keep Fred on his toes, as do their mothers, Fred’s three ex-wives (played by Annelise Hesme, Jeanne Bournaud and Annabel Lopez), with whom Fred maintains friendships.
To complicate matters, Fred’s best friend Stan (Hafid F. Benamar) gives often-poor-but-well-intentioned advice on all topics, including Fred’s situation with his girlfriend, Emmanuelle ‘Emma’ (Daphné Côté). Fred has fallen in love with Emma and wants her to move in with him. Emma is a PhD student, a Canadian émigré with no experience parenting, and at least a little overwhelmed. With the support of Fred and the questionable advice of her best friend, Cora (Sephora Pondi), Emma must put her books and theories aside and find her own way as stepmother to this unique weekend family.
I watched Weekend Family in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it very funny. Eric Judor is extremely entertaining as Fred and the writing for the show is clever. After first hearing what the show was about, I admit it sounded to me like it could be messy or overly complicated with so many characters getting significant screen time. However, it is neither messy nor complicated. The comedy alone makes it worth watching and, at 30 minutes per episode, it is quick to get through. It is also appropriate for families to enjoy together or, alternatively, if you just want something quick and easy to press “play” on and have a laugh.
Weekend Family also sheds light on themes that are helpful for all families to explore or revisit. Family, compromise, communication, privacy, social media and technology are just some of the topics encountered in a light-hearted and fun way. While the show is undeniably comedy-based, it tackles important issues like how to talk to children – and to one another – in difficult or challenging situations. Coming from what was once considered a traditional or nuclear family, Weekend Family also opened my eyes personally to other family compositions, as well as their triumphs and tribulations. The series is ultimately fun and frenetic, as well as a great learning tool and reminder that family – in all forms – is what is important.
Still not sure whether Weekend Family is for you? Here is a breakdown of the episodes to give you a little more information on what to expect which might help inform your decision:
Episode 1. Fresh Start
Fred and Emma are madly in love but since Emma is due back to Canada to finish her thesis, Fred hasn’t told his kids. When they find out, Romy plots to keep Emma and Fred apart. Which means that neither Fred nor Emma know that the other wants to stay together.
Episode 2. Zero Waste
As they drop off the girls on Friday night, the three exes invite themselves at Fred’s for Sunday Brunch in order to get to know Emma. Clara imposes a “zero waste” challenge on the family: no one is allowed to buy anything for the whole weekend. Romy is beside herself because she’s lost her binky and Emma is convinced it’s her fault.
Episode 3. Double Axel
Marie-Ange gets the family a virtual assistant, which Vic and Romy are delighted about. Clara learns to respect Emma’s privacy. Romy, completely addicted to an online game, is furious when she finds out Emma mentions her in her thesis. The tension is at its height when Fred inadvertently spills water all over Emma’s computer.
Episode 4. The Deep End
This weekend, Fred is ill so Emma has to take care of the girls all by herself. Vic has a synchronized swimming competition this Sunday and is nervous because of her tyrannical coach, Clara insists on going to an environmental protest on Saturday night, and Romy plays nurse at her father’s bedside.
Episode 5. The Neighbors’ Get Together
At the neighbors’ get-together, Emma realizes that her new thesis advisor is none other than the rigid president of the freeholder’s association, who’s also not a fan of Fred’s annoying and noisy family. The girls come up with a plan to make sure he takes a liking to Emma. Clara gets a letter from Alexis.
Episode 6. The Ranch’s Farewell
Clara wants to get rid of her childhood things and sell them at the flea market this Sunday. Romy struggles to welcome changes in her family dynamic. Vic gets help from Emma to help her little sister express her feelings. Emma has doubts about her career path. Fred must accept that his eldest is growing up.
Episode 7. Back to Nature
The family, Alexis, Stan and Marie Ange go on an adventure in the Fontainebleau forest for Vic’s birthday. The program: a Treasure Trail and then back to the lodge for a “truth or dare” party. Emma gets a phone call with a tempting offer that could change everything…
Episode 8. Do Over
It’s Mothers’ Day weekend. Emma has doubts. The girls are worried that their father and Emma are breaking up and surprise them to rekindle the flame. Clara sends a text to Alexis by mistake and Emma gives her piece of advice to give her the courage she needs.
Weekend Family is produced by Elephant International’s Sandra Ouaiss, Dorothée Woillez and Nathalie Madjar. Pierre-François Martin-Laval and Sophie Reine are co-directing. Géraldine de Margerie and Nour Ben Salem are the head writers.
Weekend Family premieres on Disney+ on March 9, 2022.