My Family (TV Series 2000–2011) Poster


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My Family, great slapstick humor.
paul_bedward24 October 2012
A great British sit com series that has evolved with the aging of its stars. The series is based on traditional British slapstick humor revolving around the relationship of family members and their close friends and work colleague's. Basically great humor that can be watched as repeats and still enjoyed by the wider family group. One thing to note is how some of the cast members, including family members just suddenly disappear. Nick the eldest son is one of the key characters in the early episodes and plays a brilliant character who drives his father Ben quite insane with his poorly thought out schemes. Nick suddenly disappears as the series progress and unfortunately it is a loss that affects the program as a whole.
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Great comedy!
My Family is a great comedy. It's rare these days that a sitcom can stand the test of time but this has lasted 4 years all ready ad is still as funny as it was to start with, and it was funny to start with which is also important. It's very exaggerated but very much based in real life and everyone can see trademarks of their own families in the Harpers.

The characters are excellent and well portrayed. Firstly there's the mother played by Zoe Wannamaker, who as Jonathan Ross once said, has a strange kind of sexiness. She's the woman with the mad hair and a kind of Witch like, everything in the pot, attitude to cooking, with each episode having her come up with new disgusting recipes like Roast Chicken with chocolate topping. Then there's Ben Harper the father but not head of the household it must be said. Played superbly by another comedic veteran, Robert Lindsey. His sarcastic and biting delivery to everything is hilarious and the banter between him and Wannamaker is the centre piece of the show. Also superb is Kris Marshall as the eldest son Nick, the gormless, unemployable idiot who is the bane of his father's existence. Marshall plays him superbly and generally Nick has had some of the best scenes in the whole of the run. The most recent series was unfortunate as Marshall has reduced his role to an occasional cameo because essentially he is becoming too old to play the part. Marshall is 31 and Nick is only in his early 20's. Marshall can pass for that because I thought he was Nick's age but also at some point it is inevitable someone aspiring to be a respected actor would not want to become to related to a certain part and become typecast. Gabriel Thompson is also very good as the youngest Harper, the geeky Michael who throughout the series has grown into a sort of amoral shady businessmen, taking friends and family for mugs and making money off them. Daniella Denby Ashe plays the daughter and like Marshall is now an extended cameo. She's the bitchy, spoilt little IT girl who wants things for nothing and is now a mother herself. The newest family member is Abby played excellently by Siobhan Hayes who is another gormless idiot.

This is one of the finest examples of recent British sitcom and certainly relatable worldwide. Excellent stuff!
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iluvmax6661 October 2001
Not an original summary really sums up how I feel about this great comedy. Robert Lindsay is hilarious (and strangely attractive) as the incredibly cynical Ben and Kris Marshall just as funny as Nick. However, in my opinion the star turn is Zoe Wanamaker ( v. sexy) and words dont do her justice. Watch out for the funeral scene in the new series where she is taking 'unprescribed' flu medication and is to put it bluntly, stoned. Her performance here is understated and fabulous, not staggering around, just glassy eyed wierdness. Please watch this (and the repeats on UK Gold) It wont tax your brain and we all need a good laugh sometimes :-) The scary part? I see some of my family in them!
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Yes. it is surprising!
MEG-4030 June 2001
Robert Lindsay on our TV screens at present in two roles so vastly different from each other- Captain Pellew of Hornblower fame and as the "insane" dentist - father - family man of My Family! I am a great fan of RL ever since first seeing him in Nightingales, another quite insane comedy of quite a different calibre.

After last seeing Zoe Wannamaker as the love of Adam Faith it makes a change to see her as less 'Ms' Prim and Proper and more as 'Mrs' Avant Gard Dentist's wife. She does both so well in my opinion.

Anyway, I love My Family, it will appeal to an audience who likes the humour of Seinfeld mixed with the madness of someone of the ilk of Lenny Henry and it does really work. The wit is very clever, very in your face and not as subtle as english humour can be at times but nevertheless it is great fun.
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Sharp British Comedy
tim170124 September 2003
It's not often we brits make a comedy that can travel well, but the universal truths within my family make it travel and will make it timeless to boot, Robert Lyndsy is amazingly dry, and Zoe Wannamaker shines in every episode, the long suffering family head makes us all smile by recognising our everyday problems and life obsticles with great punch and hillarity, US viewers may think this is a flop due to how many episodes there are, but it is far from a flop, UK seasons usually only last 6 episodes, My family is now in its third season with a fourth in production, Not to be missed, i am eagily awaiting the bbc to release this on dvd! well done auntie beeb, more comedys like this please!
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This series rocks! Worth a watch!
neighbourinblack3 August 2004
Just wanted to say that this series is really great! I've followed it for a long time now and seeing as I live in Canada and only get to watch it on YTV, I didn't really get to see Season 5 until recently which completed not that long ago apparently. It basically cycled through Seasons 1 through 4 several times. My girlfriend recently bought me Season 2 from the BBC website on DVD. It's in widescreen format which is the way most programs are aired in England, at least they were during my brief stays in England. This is really good because I get to see My Family the way it was intended. Season 1 was only available in Fullscreen for some reason. Oh well, I'll probably buy it anyway. I've recorded all of the episodes so far off YTV with my digital recorder so I can put them on DVD, but they have those annoying "Next: Are you being served?" and "Next: The New Addams Family" advert things pop up every now and then. It's really worth a watch. I think Ben Harper is a great character, his sarcastic and often offensive comments are really refreshing. I think Nick is really funny, too, with his dumb comments and crazy antics. Janey is gorgeous(but not nearly as nice as my oh so wonderful girlfriend)! Abi's pretty cute in a weird sort of way. Michael is a fun character, too, he reminds me of a cross between Lisa Simpson and I don't know, some jerkwad. Roger Bailey, though, he's alright in some episodes but just plain annoying in others. I agree with one of the reviewer's comments on how annoying his voice is. My favourite memories probably include the Halloween episode where the officer said something like, "Oh no, it's the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse. Death, Famine, Pestilence and Wensleydale.", the entire Exorcist spoof, especially the part where Nick says that he sprayed Ben with holy water mixed with the urine of virgins and Ben returns a disgusted look and also the whole jury duty episode where Ben meets that woman named Joanna Elton-Johns and he introduces himself as Ben Judy-Garlands. Funny funny stuff. I highly recommend this series to anyone who wants a good laugh and especially Canadians who want something different from the typical North American sitcom.
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Britains favourite family
studioAT15 January 2011
My Family is the most popular British sitcom of the last decade with millions ignoring the snide remarks and put downs from critics and enjoying the misadventures of the Harper Family.

Robert Lindsay and Zoe Wannamaker carry the show with ease and are supported by and large with great writing. Daniella Denby Ashe and Gabriel Thomson also deserve credit having been a part of the show since it began.

Not every episode is a classic and some of the newer characters brought in like Roger and Alfie have had limited success.

The show although still has its moments but has never really recovered from the departure of Kris Marshall as Nick. The idiot son stole the show in the first few years and I think if fans of the show had a wish it would be for him to return to the family nest.
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StayinFrosty19 July 2004
"My Family" follows the day-to-day foibles of the Harpers, a British family of five. There's Ben (Robert Lindsay), the dentist who seems to loathe his life and family. Susan (Zoë Wanamaker), his tour-guide wife who prides herself on her open mind and is an awful cook but doesn't let it hinder her culinary style. Janey (Daniela Denby-Ashe) is the fashion magazine-reading, self-admittedly shallow teenaged daughter. (In season 4, Janey goes to college and is replaced by the vacuous Abi (Siobhan Hayes), Ben's cousin's daughter, for just as much fun). Michael (Gabriel Thomson) is the youngest son, who seems to be the brightest of the bunch. All of them are funny but the character who really shines, is the oldest son, Nick (Kris Marshall). Every scene with Nick is comic genius; from his quest to make money through various schemes and an assortment of jobs to his seeming inability to be troubled by anything.

The writing is good, with a variety of entertaining stories. I'm watching re-runs so there are many I have yet to see but I've found every episode that I have seen amusing. The actors are well-suited to their roles and all do a fantastic job. There are a few running gags as well, including Nick's quest for the perfect job, as mentioned, and some Harry Potter references that have popped up since Zoë Wanamaker appeared in the first Potter film. Since I've mentioned it, I might add that under other circumstances, Gabriel Thomson could easily have played Harry himself.

I'd highly recommend checking it out if you can. The show's episodic enough that one can start watching at any point.
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A day in the life of the Harpers
stamper18 December 2002
The Harpers are not what I would call a model family, but I think that they are in a way a realistic family. Of course, the situations are exaggerated, but the basics are very realistic. Just look at Susan's clinging behavior towards college going daughter Janey. Janey thinks her mother is being annoying, while Susan thinks that it is fun if she and her daughter are able to spend some time together. Now not every mom is as goes as far as Susan, but believe me, some parents really know how to break your biscuit. The exaggeration of these and other typical daily events, the great actors and the fact that you see how much the individual family members love to hate each other, make this series a must see. If you enjoy this show, also try Men behaving Badly (UK version) and Fawlty Towers.

9 out of 10
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Avoid this show!
matthewwoods-119 January 2009
This so called "comedy" demonstrates how far the British sit-com has fallen in recent years (with a few notable exceptions). The jokes are all very obvious and predictable, with punchlines telegraphed well before they are delivered. My girlfriend enjoys this, but I'm afraid I've not yet been able to sit through an entire episode, try as I might. Being from Australia, I'm not really familiar with the actors other work. I've been told that they are quite famous and well regarded, but I honestly wouldn't employ a single one of them for so much as a haemorrhoid cream advertisement. The two leads chew the scenery as though they're rejects from a bad Christmas pantomime. I'm very angry about the time I have wasted trying to watch this show - do yourself a favour and don't make the same mistake. Avoid!
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Laugh a minute
rjhey20 April 2003
I can be in the foulest mood, but just watching an episode of "My Family" can bring a smile back onto my face. Ben is hilarious, with his angry moods and "don't give a damn" attitude, Susan with her awful cooking and power to dominate, Janie with her ever practiced money grabbing techniques, Abbi with her extremely dumb blonde act, Michael with his seriousness and finally Nick with his stupid ideas and quick, quirky one-liners. The funny thing is, I can look at the Harper family and it reminds me completely of my own
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Funny Enough
Razo Imprie6 January 2011
I have been watching this since I was 5 and it first came on. I grew up with it and it is part of my life. I have all but 1 seasons and though it was good to begin with by season 4 my father looked ready to kill, him not being a fan of programs that are darn predictable.

By the fifth series the originality is wearing off and the episode conclusions are easy to predict. The plots are corny and only a few make you laugh out loud. That said, it is still something that is undemanding and easy to watch, something to watch when you are sick and have hours of lying on the couch to get over with.

Watch it if your bored or want something to drone in the background while you are doing something else. Otherwise, stay clear of this comedy monstrosity.
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not awful
kclambeth3 May 2007
When my family first started it was fresh, funny and had good story lines. The characters were Ben a dentist, his wife Susan, his eldest son Nick, daughter Janey and son Michael. The interaction with the family members was strong, Nick had us all laughing with his cheeky grin and crazy schemes, Susan was the overprotective mother and Ben hated everybody.

Early episodes were well written and funny but when Nick and Janey left it went downhill. Michael was really funny but didn't get a lot to do and Ben and Susan just became extreme versions of their former selves, there was no funny friction anymore between Ben, Nick and Janey because they had gone and instead we were given a new character; the totally pointless and dull Abi who was just a idiotic copy of Phoebe from 'Friends.

With the arrival of Abi, it seemed Susan and Ben became more boring, story lines became predictable and samey and then came Roger, Ben's colleague at the dentist's and he was just pointless too, just like Abi; dumb and uninteresting.

A sitcom also needs heart and watching Ben never showing emotion to his kids, never feeling worried or proud of them is annoying, he didn't even show it to susan. i didn't think he should be slushy but one episode where he wasn't a complete grumpy dad would have made his character that bit more three dimensional.
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Symbolises the decline in the quality of British sitcom production!
manchester_england20049 January 2009
Britain has a long history of sitcom making that dates all the way back to the late 1950s. The heyday of British sitcom production was probably the 1960s and 1970s, with such TV shows as STEPTOE AND SON, DAD'S ARMY, ARE YOU BEING SERVED?, ON THE BUSES, GEORGE AND MILDRED, MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE, RISING DAMP, PORRIDGE and countless others being very popular examples.

Since the heyday of British sitcom production, there have been big changes. Whilst British sketch shows and stand-up comedy shows have still been going strong over recent years, the situation comedy has fared less well. The past 20 years has seen a notable decline in the standard of British sitcom production, with MR. BEAN being a notable exception.

MY FAMILY symbolises the decline in British sitcom production. It is simply an abuse of the word "comedy" to pass it off as such. On dozens of occasions, I have tried to view an entire episode of this TV series and have never succeeded. I've endured a few clips every now and again whilst going through channels but simply cannot bring myself to see an entire episode of this show. Even MY HERO, another modern sitcom, fares better than this rubbish. And that show isn't much better.

The biggest problem with this excuse for a comedy is Robert Lindsay. His acting is bad enough as I found out from a really terrible TV show named Jericho, which not surprisingly disappeared into total obscurity after one short series. But, his comedy skills are even worse. He is simply not funny and his presence on the screen is incredibly annoying for most of the time. His character merely seems to appear on the screen during the middle of a very mildly entertaining scene and utter ridiculous remarks that are simply not funny and completely out of context with what is happening, but are strangely always followed with the obviously canned laughter. He basically utters insults at his family and the audience is expected to find this tripe funny. His character is not in the least bit likable and nearly always contains expressions on his face that are kind of a cross between misery and sarcasm. See the show and you'll get my meaning.

Zoë Wanamaker might be good as an actress, but comedy is clearly not her forte. Having said that, she is much less annoying than Mr. Lindsay and probably manages to say one thing funny in an entire episode. In fact, I long for her presence on the screen during Mr. Lindsay's scenes just so her character can send him off somewhere.

The other characters are not really worth talking about. They are supposed to represent fragments of a "disfunctional" family. Instead they come across as total morons who no one wishes they were unfortunate enough to have as relatives. The actors playing them clearly have little talent and have made very limited career progress outside of this TV show. One of them got out after a few series and has done some acting in very boring "drama premieres" aired on ITV 1. Two others have worked on the TV soap opera, EastEnders. As for the actor playing Michael, he looks like a Harry Potter reject who missed his way.

The scripts for this show are absolutely terrible. Let's just say that whoever penned them is no John Cleese. As another commenter has said, the individual episode plots are terrible and focus on very simple objectives such as "what should I do this weekend?". The individual jokes and gags (if you can call them that) are all predictable, poorly-timed and poorly-executed.

Overall, MY FAMILY symbolises the Americanisation (read dumbed-down culture) of British sitcom production and is not worth the time or the effort of even the most die-hard fans of traditional British comedy.
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I'm so pleased with this Brit-com. Although, I don't know how many episodes there are, I think we are only seeing the first block, here at home. I do hope there is other blocks. It's so refreshing, the acting, and comedic timing, is bang on. The series, does carry some of the american strategy, but it's the popular british wit, that connects the two. Hope to see more of this series.
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special flavor
Armand4 April 2013
a BBC product. so, spiced humor, precise frame for ordinaries problems, good actors and special situations. result - an adorable series. but this is only a sketch of My family. its charm is result of great attention to details. the humor is like a mirror for each viewer. and Zoe Wanamaker is amazing as wife and mother who build measure in her family. like the performance of Robert Lindsay as head of a strange group who becomes, only accidentally, a real is not an exception - many films presents situations about slices of ordinary society but, in this case, something is different. its flavor who discovers, like old Commedia dell''arte, the errors and conflicts, crisis and solutions of each day in warm light.
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a wild and crazy family
blanche-223 August 2013
Robert Lindsay and Zoe Wanamaker star as the parents of Kris Marshall, Daniela Denby-Ashe, and Gabriel Thomson in "My Family," a very successful British television series that lasted 11 years.

Unfortunately only the first few seasons are available on disk thus far, but it is a very funny and lively series. Lindsay and Wanamaker are terrific pros as the head of the Harper household. The beleaguered Ben Harper is a dentist and iffy housewife Susan, who definitely can't cook, is a tour guide. Nick (Marshall) has a new job every episode. I think the funniest episode was when Susan's boss stayed overnight and the next morning, Nick tried to take some bacon and Susan told him it was for their house guest. Then Ben finds Susan's boss dead. When he announces it, Nick asks, "Can I have his bacon?" Michael (Thomson) grows up on the show, and when the disks stop, he is developing an interesting life as a chick magnet and a wheeler dealer. Janey is in college, and the situation is not without problems.

Kris Marshall is still in the show when the disks leave off, but I can imagine it was rough going without him. He added so much humor to the show. The writers must have had a blast with that outrageous character.

Highly recommended. Not every episode is spectacular, but it's still a wonderful and well-acted series.
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Worse than Torchwood
BoultersCanary9 September 2008
How this execrable series ever got commissioned is a complete mystery. The scripts are possibly the least funny of any sitcom ever (well, since 'Are You Being Served' anyway), Robert Lindsay and Zoe Wannamaker seem to be phoning their performances in from another planet and the 'actors' playing the kids are a total talent-free zone. The humour is about as sharp as a spoon. The whole programme is strictly division three.

Torchwood, this object, Bonkickers...... What's WRONG with the Beeb these days? They're turning into ITV (A channel that has NEVER had a remotely funny sitcom!).

Just chuck the whole lot and show repeats of Blackadder, I Claudius and Fawlty Towers.
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Still think it's rubbish, though.
i_love_it5 June 2004
QUOTE ------------------- Heather-Lily (The_Lady_Of_Darkness)

"They also think the acting is crap, but let me remind you that everyone can act its just some people aren't good at it." ------------------- Roughly translated, this reads: "they think the acting's crap, but some people are crap actors". Er, good point.

Why is this show still on TV? Surely there's loads of material that could be shown instead, but is relegated to a later time slot or whatever. I think this show is so contrived and almost completely predictable. It's the TV programme I hate the most! I don't think it I would hate it as much if there didn't seem to be such a fanbase for it, but there inexplicably is. Shame!
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Reason why I love Brit shows
fritz25256 February 2005
I LOVE THIS SHOW!!! Its so funny! This family isn't really that perfect nor bad. Its just an average family with some unfortunate events stuff. I think Micheal is so funny but sometimes u just wanna give him a slap on the head for being so stupid. My fave character however is Abbey--the cousin. She reminds me so much of Phoebe from FRIENDS. She was a really good casting and one of the best character in the show I think. How come their daughter (I forgot her name), wasn't in the show then later showed up? Whats up with that? Did something happen or what? Thanks to YTV (a channel here on Toronto) for having this show lined up in their schedule from Monday to Thursday.

Anyway, thats all folks. Just wanted to leave my mark here as one of the fans of this show.

GO LEAFS GO!!! Bring hockey back!!!
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Why is this so popular?
i_love_it3 November 2002
I can't understand why people find this series so funny. It has a good script, and Kris Marshall and Zoe Wanamaker are funny, but for me it's all a bit predictable. I think the youngest son is far too cocky and fake to be that funny, and although Robert Lindsay is a fine actor, I just don't think he fits into this role that well. Some parts are quite funny, but I certainly don't believe it's a top British comedy. But it is a matter of taste I suppose!
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Typical Brit Humour?
BiBscarab28 September 2002
People who praise this type of Comedy would also view "The Good Life" and "Hi de HI" as milestones of Great British Comedy. In other words..they would'nt know a good laugh if their life depended on it!. The way the creators have tried to americanise the show is laughable, dont get me wrong there are some excellent american comedies doing the rounds but when we try to do comedy the same way it just doesn't work. If this show's being exported abroad im not surprised people still associate our style of comedy with Monty Python, which isn't the case anymore. I realise that we all have our own tastes, but for those of you who watch "My Family" give yourself a treat and watch "The league of Gentlemen" "The Office" or "Phoenix Nights" to name a few because these shows are currently at the front of the British comedy Queue. Admittedly some of these shows might not fall under the Family viewing category, but lets be honest, safe middle class bland situation comedy's just aren't funny
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geoff-7124 January 2005
Notwithstanding the two leads (Robert Lindsay and Zoë Wanamaker) constantly overacting, the primary flaw in this show is the unpleasantness of the father, Ben Harper. He hates his wife, children, grandchild, patients and everyone around him, and continually projects a desire to kill himself and/or everyone else.

This comes not from a sort of amusing world-weariness that might arise from raising three children, and, in Ben Harper's case, still being a dentist at age 50. On the contrary, the character is aggressive, abusive and narcissistic.

The other characters aren't very amusing either. The wife ignores the children, living in a fantasy world where she is a perfect wife and has a perfect husband. The entire family hates her cooking and tells her at every opportunity. The elder son, Nick, is desperate for love and concocts endless wild schemes to attract his father's attention, and most likely has a form of depression or bipolar disorder. The younger son couldn't care less what happens to the rest of them.

While unpleasant characters in sitcoms are not new (cf Married with Children, Simpsons), the fact that this show presents such a bastard, who has ruined his family with his self-centred and belligerent behaviour, and wraps it up in a twee, 'hilarious-dysfunctional-family' sitcom is quite disturbing.

The only way this show is worth watching is to blank out everyone except Kris Marshall as Nick and enjoy his antics without worrying about the dark underbelly of life in the Harper household.
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There is a God!
dhunter06126 March 2011
My Family = puerile, unimaginative DROSS. A total non-comedy, aimed at the bland, humourless lets play it safe PC brigade. However its not all bad as today i read (in the Daily Telegraph) no less ......Its been AXED!!! and just to hammer out how bad it really was, heres a quote from said newspaper " My Family has a large team of writers working on the scripts. Despite this Wanamaker and Lindsay (both highly respected) admitted in an interview in 2009 that they've occasionally refused to perform because the material was so poor. "Out of 100 episodes maybe we've done 10 that you can say are really good shows," said Lindsay." ... Street party's are being arranged up and down the country as i type. oh joyous day!
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