With the holiday season in full swing, many television shows have gone on hiatus helping us all to take a look back at the year that was 2016 and the programs which brought us joy.
But while we’ve highlighted various areas of the TV spectrum, one thing that has dawned on us is, even though this is a time for family, more often than not, those fictional family units we’re drawn to week in and week out don’t really get the recognition they deserve — and that’s a shame.
Whether you have a home to travel back to or are spending the season alone this year, it’s a safe assumption that — one way or another — we all have our own TV family we look to for guidance, even in a vicarious manner.
As we prepare for the weekend, the Screener staff pooled their own picks for TV clans we’d love to spend the holidays with. From an offbeat sci-fi outlier to a modern take on an ’80s action classic, here are five worthy (and unique) families worth sharing in the festive spirit.
Clone Club, ‘Orphan Black’
The family with the most to offer, to my mind, is “Orphan Black’s” family of waifs and geniuses, sex workers and serial killers, angels, pill-poppers and murderers. It’s right there in the show’s title: The yearning to create something out of nothing, love out of isolation, identity out of destruction.
The family we don’t choose and the family we’d build for ourselves, so often considered in dramas as two polarities, become the same thing — indescribably beautiful, in my opinion. Making beauty out of broken things, whether it’s Felix’s (Jordan Gavaris) innate ability to bond with every clone he comes across, Sarah’s complex and brutal loyalty for everyone she knows, Allison and Cosima’s — and now, MK’s — journeys outside their comfort zones, Helena and Rachel’s unceasing determination to conquer the space between us, or Krystal’s determination to be the greatest human being who has ever existed.
Plus, you’d not only be spending your holiday with Tatiana Maslany, already the ideal, you’d be spending time with six or seven of her. Every holiday thus counts as infinitely many, putting your time to the most efficient use possible: The greatest gift you can give yourself, no matter the occasion — as I’m sure Allison would agree. — Jacob Clifton
The Goldbergs, ‘The Goldbergs’
Not only would it be amazing to help Adam Goldberg (Sean Giambrone) make some kind of holiday-themed video, wear one of Beverly’s (Wendi McLendon-Covey) awesome sweaters, hang with the JTP and Barry (Troy Gentile), sing yuletide karaoke with Erica (Hayley Orrantia) and light the menorah with Murray (Jeff Garlin), but spending the holidays with the Goldberg family means we’d also get to time-travel back to 198-something. Where do we sign up? — Andrea Reiher
The Murtaughs, ‘Lethal Weapon’
Growing up in a small Jewish family, I never truly got to experience what Christmas was like — let alone how other families celebrate the season. Now as an adult, who has partaken in many a holiday get-together, I have to acknowledge the refreshing connection The Murtaughs have on FOX’s “Lethal Weapon.”
Each week we’ve watched as Trish (Keesha Sharp) and Roger (Damon Wayans) open their hearts and home to the very damaged Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford). But, it’s also worth noting the moral and ethical foundation the two have built under their roof. It may sound trivial within an escapist series such as this, but that stability and mutual respect make them perfect parental TV role models. Here exists a love and support between each member of the family that needs to be called out. Plus, how could you go wrong when you have Roger Murtaugh churning out some epic ribs on the grill? — Aaron Pruner
The Pearsons, ‘This is Us’
We’d give an arm and a leg to have Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) as our mom and dad, and not just because we’d get to be part of the ‘Big Three’ chant. The Pearson family can be a complicated mess, but all in all they’re a warm, loving family who we’d be pretty stoked to spend the holidays with. — Lindsay MacDonald
The Wests, ‘The Flash’
In this crazy, mixed up comic book show world, you can always count on Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) to keep TV’s most endearing family together. Who doesn’t want to be a West? No matter what kind of danger is threatening to destroy the planet, they always seem to look on the bright side and end up hanging out together in the living room, sharing a pizza and talking about what’s troubling them. Sure, there’s the whole “foster siblings dating each other” thing but you can deal with that, right? — Chris E. Hayner