I occasionally go through my parents' DVD collection, and from time to time I come across some really interesting shows. Such as "Family." This is a drama from the seventies. It took me a while to get past the clothes, the cars and the slang, but once I did, I found myself getting wrapped up in the characters. The show centers on the Lawrences, an upper middle class family living in a California suburb. I identified most with the teenaged son, Willie. In many of the first-season episodes (the only season my folks own), he catches hell from his father Doug, mostly for wanting to make his own decisions about his life. There's the wife, Kate, an openminded, sympathetic woman who doesn't shy away from confrontations with her husband over their kids. The marriage of the older daughter, Nancy, is slowly unraveling, and the younger daughter, Buddy, is just coming into adolescence. They face death, divorce, blindness, homosexuality, burglary and alcoholism, but none of it ever felt like soap opera to me. My mom says she is ashamed to admit that she loved "Family" as a kid. I don't know why. This is a good drama, with some very good acting.
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