ABC has become the go-to network for scandalous drama series, such as any of the TGIT programming (including Scandal), but they are also making a bid to be your destination for suspenseful mysteries. With shows like American Crime and Secrets and Lies, audiences are constantly trying to figure out what really happened. Such is the case with the network’s latest mid-season opener, The Family, which premieres on March 3rd.
Ten years ago, the Warren family was shaken when their youngest son Adam went missing. Presumed dead, the family continued on with their lives and in the present day, mother Claire has become the town’s mayor. They become the center of media attention once again when Adam reappears, but is this boy really who he says he is?
The Family has an intriguing premise that instantly caught my attention last Fall and I was excited to see it. I’m happy to report that the show exceeded my expectations. The Warren family has a myriad of problems and Adam’s return couldn’t have come at a worse time. The show bounces back and forth between ten years ago and present day, focusing not only on each family member (minus Adam), but also on Sargent Nina Meyer who handled the missing child’s case.
Casting is very well done, particularly Liam James who plays Adam. He manages to pull off aloof and endearing at the same time, which is no easy feat. I was excited to see Allison Pill cast as the daughter and she shines in this role. But the emotional weight of the pilot is put on the parents, expertly played by Joan Allen and Rupert Graves.
Thematically speaking, The Family comes at a very poignant time. The world was shocked in 2013 when Amanda Berry turned out to be alive and her story partially inspired Netflix’s sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The Family goes the serious route, with Adam’s disappearance explained as a boy kidnapped and sexually abused for the past decade. However, the real shock is the fact that this boy might not be their son and that his stories may be fabricated.
I was hooked on The Family after the first ten minutes and I expect this thirteen-episode season to hold my attention through its entirety. ABC is targeting TGIT audience members with it’s March 3rd premiere date, although the network has yet to reveal what night the show will regularly run on. But in a world of DVR’s and on-demand, I highly recommend that you make time for family… to be specific, The Family.