Sons & Daughters (TV Series 2006– ) Poster

(2006– )

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A brilliant show that wont last
Nick McDougall5 April 2006
When this show first started it had the rather lofty legacy left by Arrested Development to live up to, due to various comparisons made by TV critics. This proved fairly unfortunate considering the die hard fan base that surrounds Arrested Development, but at the same time it is not altogether unexpected.

Certainly the two shows bare many similarities. Both are about comical situations that arise from immediate and extended family relationships, and both have a large ensemble cast. Character roles are also very similar between the two shows, Don the struggling actor uncle is much like Tobius the struggling actor uncle, Carrie the sarcastic teen far more mature than her two parents is much like Maeby Funke, Henry the awkward teenager resembles George Michael, and in the center Cameron is relied upon to hold his family together much the same as Micheal Bluth did.

However, that being said co creators Fred Goss and Nick Holly still manage to create a show where every character feels original, realistic and sympathetic. The absurdity of the situation never outshines the emotions of the people within that situation, the humour of an episode never eclipses importance of the relationships between the members of the Walker and Fenton family.

The partially improvised scripting helps this show break away from the normal verbal patterns witnessed in other sit coms, where its generally just examples of feed line, punch line, pause for laughter, feed line, punch line pause for laughter, repeat ad nausea. instead their dialog flows more naturally, overlapping, stuttering and fumbling. Somehow it's truthful, relatable and still very funny.

As the first season nears its end it saddens me to think these characters probably wont be returning to TV screens, due to fairly poor ratings. 11 episodes is barely a blip on the radar for most shows, and its not nearly sufficient in the case of these characters who have so many more stories to tell and so much more history to reveal. If there's any justice in the world we will be seeing much more of Sons & Daughters, but unfortunately we live in a world where American Idol is the most watched show on TV, so justice clearly went out the window.
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Complex and crazed but very compelling
larajane9 March 2006
I downloaded this show because, well, apart from living in England and thus not having ABC, I download most new shows, but I rarely bother getting the second episode unless it's really good. I wasn't expecting much from this, the title isn't especially gripping, and anyway is the title of a lame duck Aussie soap from way back :) However, about 5 minutes in, my friend and I simultaneously announced 'wow, this is actually really good!' and now, having seen the first two episodes, I am really impressed. We both were.

Sadly, however, it will probably be cancelled because it demands too much of a lazy, apathetic viewer. It has more than 4 characters, it has overlapping dialogue, it has actors who look like real people (gasp) instead of blow-up dolls, and it requires a (hear the bell toll, Fred) sense of irony to appreciate the comedy. Shame you guys didn't make this in Europe - you would be set for life :/ I hope it lasts though, the kids are great, it had some laugh-out-loud moments, and enough acidic humour to keep me chuckling after the credits roll - more than I can say for Two and a Half Men and their ilk. I liked that I didn't know any of the actors too, star vehicles are tedious affairs. I loved Arrested Development, and while I don't accept that this is a rehash or replacement of that show, I do see some similarities. It is intelligently written, it's different, and I hope that people give it a chance, before writing it off, just because it isn't what we're used to.
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This television show was perfect.
Mark (cosmicity)19 July 2006
One of my favorite shows of all time, One of the biggest network crimes against the American public: cancellation of this show after not even airing the 13 episodes that were made. Up there with "Freaks and Geeks" and "My So Called Life" as shows you just can't believe didn't become a massive success. (Maybe I'd add "Firefly" to that list, but I'm a bit of a SciFi geek and that show maybe didn't have the scope...)

If you have not seen this show, it is a MUST SEE. No question. Every character is fantastic. The dialog is brilliant. The plots are bizarre and completely relatable at the same time. In a nutshell, it's the kind of show you wish you could have made.

Ugh. It just hurts me to think about this being canceled. What message does that send to the outrageously talented people that made it? Hang it up? If they can't succeed, WTF!?

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The funniest sitcom of 2006
hoosfoos227 July 2006
This series was excellent. Never in recent years ,has there been another network sitcom where the cast of characters were so genuinely quirky and not forced.The actors were very good at owning their characters in such a short time. The writing was unique, because the punch-lines and timing were not typical. Maybe it was canceled because there was no laugh track. Some might say that it was a failure. I would say not because every episode was well crafted. Their is an assumption that Americans need another dumbed down formulaic situation comedy. This should make any human being with more than two Gray cells to spark together very sad. If an audience were looking for a show that had wit ,great writing,good acting,improvisation and comic timing,this was it. Given time, this could have been another Seinfeld. It is my hope that they at least release the season on DVD. One of these networks might get the idea some day ,of testing some of their shows that are on the fence, by putting them on their websites and see how many hits they get. Time will show just how good this show really was. maybe our sons and daughters will appreciate it.
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This Show ROCKS!
smmagdaleno17 April 2006
This is absolutely my FAVORITE new show on television and I really hope the network gives it the chance it deserves. However, by running it against American Idol, ABC pretty much signed its death warrant. I'd started watching Sons & Daughters because American Idol has been such a disappointment this season. Now, after having talked up the show for WEEKS, I got my family and co-workers to watch, only to find that each of the ten episodes has already run and there are no upcoming episodes scheduled. This show and the actors on it are brilliant. I do see the similarities between this and Arrested Development, but I'd also compare it to Curb Your Enthusiasm since some of the dialog is improvised. This show is wonderful and I sincerely hope ABC sees its way clear to give it a "thumbs up."
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great show, fun and entertaining to watch
nancy-siegel31 March 2006
I have enjoyed the action and intensity of the show and it's characters. I have found most episodes humorous and enjoyable to watch.

The characters have their own individuality.

Liz is a sincere character that women can relate to. Cameron's teenage son adds an interesting dynamic to the family unit.

Sharon and Don episode with the sex drought was entertaining.

Ezra on the show is great and I love how natural he is with his lines.

keep the season rolling it's great.

the relationship between family member keeps you connected at all times.

i will continue to follow this show. it new and not dated. cant watch CSI or desperate housewives.
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Well executed, and fun!
under_Whelmed29 March 2006
To the guy who said "get rid of this show"

As soon as I started reading your negative response to this show I thought to myself; "I bet he prefers shows like Home Improvement". Sure enough. It says a lot about your taste, and of course you would not enjoy a show like Sons & Daughters. You prefer rehashed one liners and plot devices. (how many times did that guy screw up a macho'd up home improvement??) This show is not groundbreaking, but it is infinitely more entertaining than the Home Improvements and Yes Dears of the world.

For those mourning the death of Arrested Development I suggest you give this show a chance. It may not live up to such high standards as that show, but it is more entertaining that most other comedies on the air.
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Another good show that will be canceled
Philo_Kvetch22 March 2006
I was a fan of "Significant Others" which was broadcast on Bravo a couple of years ago and which had Fred Goss in the cast. I found that show very entertaining due to it's talented cast, witty writing and lack of a laugh track. I like this show even more. While some viewers seem to find Goss irritating, I think he's great. What a pleasure to see Max Gail again! As a matter of fact, I think the whole cast is superb. Their facial expressions are spot on and the dialogue (either written or improvised) is head and shoulders above the usual sitcom fare. I remember reading somewhere that this show is just a placeholder for something else on ABC which means its lifespan could be pretty short. That would be a shame since this the best thing to come down the pike since Arrested Development and we know what happened to that worthy effort.
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Embrace the New and Unknown
jim horn25 March 2006
I realize that everyone has an inherent right to express their own opinion. And, I guess if you don't like Sons & Daughters, you really don't like it. My concern is that Mr. Goss and Mr. Holly are pioneers in the wasteland of current, every-shows-a-reality-show network television. As such, they are bound to present new and heretofore unexperienced moments in television watching. History teaches us that we, as a species, fear the unknown. Therefore, we really don't want to know about it at all, let alone experience it. But, Fred and Nick are giving it to us anyway. And it's wonderful. If you read the ABC blog and the IMDb boards, the show is cultivating a base of excited, open-minded individuals thankful, ecstatic even, for the fresh, new and exciting television brought to viewers by Sons & Daughters. For those afraid of television that breaks the formula, I beg you to give it another chance. Keep an open mind. If we didn't have pioneers, would the west have been settled? Would Hollywood have been built? Would television have been born? And even if you still hate Sons & Daughters, perhaps you could allow for the fact that this show may just open the door for a whole new format of network situation comedy or dramedy, as the case may be. And you may just fall in love with those shows looming in the not-to-distant television future. Subsequently, you would have Fred Goss and Nick Holly to thank for your future favorite flavor of network TV. So, try to set aside your ignorance and your fear and embrace the new and the unknown as the catalysts to positive change. And, in those regards, in the here-and-now, give Sons & Daughers a chance. (This goes for you, too, ABC!)
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Hamilton Ohio
tripled66109 March 2006
I hate all the shows on free television, but this is a show I can watch. The show is about a family not for the family, and I think there are too many bad shows that are considered for the family. This show takes an unusual look at a dysfunctional family that is as real as Hollywood can get. I noticed in the first two episodes there were references too Cincinnati, and the bowling alley had Hamilton Bowl above the pins. I wonder if the family is supposed too be living in Hamilton, Ohio. Living in the Cincinnati area Hamilton, Ohio is only a 30 minute drive from Cincinnati, Ohio. I love this show and I didn't think I would ever say that about a show on any network channel. Long Live South Park! and Howard Stern
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3/28 episodes
ediehurda29 March 2006
FRED husband and I are BIG fans of this show. The issues and the cast are great, the whole concept is ingenious and much needed on today's monotonous television lineup. I have not missed one episode since its first airing.

The last "set" of episodes left me a little disappointed for the following reasons. Both episodes tackled back to back, separate, but serious issues. Colleen's "heart attack"/reconciliation with Wendall and then the loss of Cameron's job. The second episode did not have any reference to the heart attack, nor the reuniting of Colleen and Wendall, which felt choppy to me.

In addition, the fact that Whitey did not make one appearance in episode two seemed odd, not even a reference to his character. He has had a consistent enough role that his absence seemed odd. Not to mention, for those viewers who crave the variation of humor this show offers, his absence is disappointing, especially to your younger viewers who don't necessarily relate to the "adult" issues. His subtle elements of humor and outlook lightens the subjects beautifully and meshes with this show so well, I found myself waiting for his appearance and disappointed when his character never appeared.

These two episodes almost looked as if they were paired up in error, they didn't seem to flow at all. I really hope this show makes it, I find it extremely entertaining and a breath of fresh air. Wonderful job!!! Can't wait till next week!
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My favorite television show, maybe ever!
beforedave8 November 2006
Regrettably, I admit to watching a lot of television. I often avoid the networks, for I find value in about 1 to ever 10 shows. Sitcoms often make my want to lie down by their lack of intrigue. Sons & Daughters was funny and intelligent. It was as much a drama as it was a comedy, without feeling like one. Somehow the show moved me emotionally each week. I miss the show. I miss the comical realities. And like an ex-girlfriend, if I end up seeing any of the characters in another show or on screen somewhere else it will break my heart by putting the nail in the coffin of my hopes that this show will come back. When I think of Sons & Daugthers, I think "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Meets "Arrested Development") Arrested Development lasted 3 seasons on networks, somehow through the multiple sporting events it had to stay on hold for. I was a big fan and I never knew when or if the show was playing. I thank god it lasted 3 seasons. S&G unfortunately didn't make it through one. Shows like AD and S&G are on major networks never have a real chance. They should be on cable like CYE, where they would thrive. I wish there was a way to download or purchase all episodes. Anyway, Sons & Daughters is for me, all things needed in a sitcom and more. You cannot get a better mix of TV elements. Regrettably, I admit to watching a lot of television. I often avoid the networks, for I find value in about 1 to ever 10 shows. Sitcoms often make my want to lie down by their lack of intrigue. Sons & Daughters was funny and intelligent. It was as much a drama as it was a comedy, without feeling like one. Somehow the show moved me, and I miss it. I wish there was a way to download or purchase all episodes.
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Probably the best prematurely cancelled show ever.
NurgleTheUnclean15 October 2006
I remember hearing radio spots for this show that were funny enough that I chuckled in the car. The actual show was even funnier. Normally you have a favorite character in a show, but this one it's nearly impossible to pick one. Every character brings so much to the show, from Cameron's Larry-David-esquire-always-in-troubeness, Sharon's condescending rivalry with Cameron, Don's quirky nerdiness, all the kids and their peculiarities, the parent's banter, and Whitey's explanation of a pastie being the difference between going to jail and a legal dance show. The show had a HBO/Showtime feel to it without the profanity and nudity. I can't say enough good things about it. Every episode was a gem.

I simply couldn't believe that this show was cancelled after only 10 episodes. There were more laughs in 10 episodes of "Sons and Daughters" than in every episode of "Friends" combined.
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bring this show back
summer_blue_fish23 July 2006
The show was funny and good need to bring it back i miss it also it had lots of laughs and very funny actors. Need to bring the laughs back and family drama and the good plot and I just want to see this show and laugh at a funny show all day and not change the channel.The thing wrong with they let the shows go away to fast if the shows is not about rich and good family times the show was very good and need to be brought back. I love this show why did they let it go I didn't see anything wrong with it but it was really funny. ABC need to give people a chance that why I start loving CBS it so funny and have good shows the only good show on ABC right now is Grey Antone and desperate housewives nothing else.
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Missing Cast Member
awriter24 April 2006
Why isn't Trevor Einhorn listed as Henry Walker (Cameron's son)? He's a major cast member and as deadpan funny as Henry as he was playing Frederick Crane (Frasier's son) on Frasier. Everyone else is listed on IMDb but him.

The only way to find him is by doing an episode listing guide - but that doesn't make much sense since he's been in every episode since the show started a few weeks ago.

The really strange thing is that he wasn't listed as a cast member when Frasier was actually on the air - I checked after laughing my head off at the "Bar Mitzvah" episode.

I guess it makes sense that he might have been listed as a "guest star" on Frasier since he was only in occasional episodes, but not on Sons & Daughters since he's a major cast member.

Any idea why this might be so?
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wacky family sitcom
SnoopyStyle13 June 2016
It's the wacky Ohio family of Cameron Walker (Fred Goss). He and his wife Liz (Gillian Vigman) have a couple of young kids and he has weird teen Henry with his previous wife. His mother Colleen (Dee Wallace-Stone) and stepfather Wendal Halbert (Max Gail) have racist great-aunt Rae and Cameron's half-sister Jenna (Amanda Walsh). Jenna has a kid with her loser ex Whitey (Greg Pitts). Her boss Wylie Blake (Desmond Harrington) likes her but he's too normal for her. Cameron's other sister Sharon (Alison Quinn) and her husband Don Fenton (Jerry Lambert) have smart daughter Carrie (Eden Sher) and dim-witted nice son Jeff (Randy Wayne).

The big gimmick is that this is partly improvised. I don't think it's a good selling point but it does give this a single-camera-comedy feel. The only way this adds to the comedy is some behind-the-scene improvisations to close out the episodes. It has no laugh tracks nor a live audience. It definitely goes down the newer way of doing network sitcom. It's a little uneven. I wouldn't let the older couple split up. Couples should fight but they must always end up in love. It's funny that they don't have sex. It's an opportunity for them to talk inappropriately with the family but they can't actually split up. It's good that they quickly recovered. These wacky family members have good potential. They should have let it play straight and air it in a better time slot.
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Get Rid of This Show!
charlie_jacksmom22 March 2006
No offense to anyone, especially any of the actors. My comments are never meant to be taken personally. But I can't stand this show! I guess I'm just tired of watching family comedy shows that have nothing but dialog where family members can hardly ever have a nice thing to say at each other. Thank God Still Standing is being canceled. I have never seen such stupid parents! My point is please bring back the writers that gave us great family comedy shows like Home Improvement. Yes they had their moments, but the parents at least showed they liked/loved each other. Roseanne started out that way, but by the 2nd or 3rd season every other line between the family members was crude and rude. The same with My Wife & Kids. Started out good, but fell apart when the parents turned stupid. What ever happened to the writers that wrote shows about the situations of the families? That's why they called it "Situation Comedy". Not "Let's see how many insulting lines we can write about how families talk to each other". I'd divorce my family! I'm sure some of you won't agree with me, but that's my opinion. Maybe that's why so many people are turning to reality shows. I don't know. I have a great sense of humor and am a true TV fan/couch potato.
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Goss manages to recapture a bit of the fun of "Significant Others" in his own creation, a series marred only by understandable Freshman season kinks
liquidcelluloid-114 July 2007
Network: ABC; Genre: Improv Comedy, Family; Content Rating: TV-14 (some adult content and language); Available: Universal HD; Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4);

Seasons Reviewed: Series (1 season)

Don't let the the bizarre, self-indulgent opening still store that warns us that the dialog in "Sons & Daughters" is partially improvised or the much-promoted praise of Lorne Michaels (he's an Executive Producer for crying out loud) scare you away from this show. If you've got it, flaunt it, I suppose. And if you're Fred Goss, one of the breakout comic stars of the neo-classic "Significant Others", you've got a free-pass from me to flaunt it all day long. Goss' looking befuddle at all the insanity around him and repeating in shock something odd he just heard never fails to make me laugh.

As creator and star of "Sons", Goss goes back to the improv well and makes a Judd Apatow-style attempt to recapture the magic of a much-loved first series with his own original concoction. That concoction is an elaborate dysfunctional family series in which he is the befuddled glue at the center of ongoing feuds between mothers and fathers, sisters and mothers, wives and children. Gosss does exactly what he does best. Keep your eyes peeled for some "Others" crossover actors just to add to the fun.

Wackier than "Everybody Loves Raymond", more down to Earth than "Arrested Development" and if you're thinking "Sons" is a rip-off of either show then that only goes to prove how few of these adult family comedies we get. "Sons" is like nothing on network TV right now. Goss' Cameron is more competent than the wuss-bag sitcom dad, he and his wife Liz (Gillian Vigman) actually appear to like each other, the kids are not played as cute, there are no secret crushes and the parents aren't wild, sex-crazed old people. And specifically referring to that last thing, Gross actually manages to top - yes, top - "Others" creator Rob Roy Thomas' 2nd improv series; the embarrassing Fox sitcom "Free Ride".

The stories are tight enough to be satisfying but loose enough to let the characters live free and have fun, but it is only sporadically hilarious. Jerry Lambert scores absolutely huge laughs just about every time he walks on screen as, Don, the self-involved thespian husband to Cameron's sister Sharon (Alison Quinn, blessed with one of TV's funniest voices since the fake one Megan Mullally slapped on Karen Walker). My favorite bit in the series is a lightening strike of both Goss's act and Lambert's act, when the two get into it over Don's financing a play with his own money in which he gets out one line and dies before the end of the first act. On top of that, he flubs the line.

The best episode finds Cameron dragging his son away from a "Lost" marathon and to a party, where he ends up trying to impress the kids himself. The rest of the show could easily be this funny. If it would just rely a little less on "Office Space's" Greg Pitts as Cameron's other sister's (Amanda Walsh) ex-husband Whitey and a whole lot less on Eden Sher as Cameron's sexually sophisticated little niece (10 times creepier than the sex-crazed old couple cliché).

Fun to watch, but not laugh-out-loud funny. But at the end of the day, the reason "Sons and Daughters" brews just below the temperature of comic combustion but never quite reaches it can all be chalked up to typical first season kinks. Looking at it deeply, there is really nothing wrong with the show per say, nothing that a full season order and maybe a 2nd wouldn't iron out. Given the time for such fresh-faced young talent to gel together more and the stories to tailor to their strengths and you've got a recipe for a show that could have been as solid a cult entry as "Significant Others". Way to go, ABC. In the meantime I eagerly await what Fred Goss will bring us next.

* * * /4
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Excellent Sitcom
atomius2 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is by far the best American sitcom of the 2000s. It follows the lives of a large family in suburban America, involving the expected dilemma and problems one would anticipate in a family based comedy, but with so much more. The brilliant mix of improv and scripting gives it an edge unlike most other shows. This sure beats According to Jim or Reba any day. The families antics are hilarious, and this show is certainly worth watching. Such a pity it was cancelled so quickly, but that's what seems to happen to good shows these days. The realism/office-esquire humour derived from non-laughter-track-based 'gags' creates many threads of amusement in this highly enjoyable rope. If only they hadn't cut it.
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