Scheming mothers, unscrupulous fathers, covert KGB agent spouses—we’re spending some quality time this Family Day (Feb. 9 in B.C., Feb. 16 in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario) with clans that are more Borgias than Brady Bunch. (Don’t worry, we added in some warm-and-fuzzies, too.)
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After a two huge Golden Globe wins (Best Series, Comedy or Music, and Best Actor, Comedy or Musical, for star Jeffrey Tambor), Transparent has gone from streaming darling to must-watch TV. Centering on the gender reassignment of a divorced father of three, Morton Pfefferman (who becomes Maura), the show was inspired by creator Jill Soloway’s father, who came out as trans a few years ago. With Bruce Jenner’s upcoming reality TV series on his transition into a woman, many are hoping 2015 will be a milestone year for LGBT awareness.
Dynamo Olivia Pope is known for her beautiful coats, passionate rallying cries and undying loyalty to her white-hat Gladiators. And although much is made of the love triangle with Jake and President Fitz, it’s her relationship with her omnipresent and intimidating father that creates the boldest, most dramatic moments—and gasp-worthy plot twists that have made Scandal the phenomenon it is.
Set in the Reagan ’80s, The Americans mixes international espionage with the banalities of nuclear family life. After years in an arranged marriage, Russian husband-and-wife spy team Elizabeth and Philip Jennings (played by real-life couple Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) must navigate the Cold War abroad—and at home, with increasing complications brought on by their feelings for America, their taut marriage and their two children.
Sons of Anarchy
While we won’t get to enjoy Charlie Hunnam in Fifty Shades of Grey, his backside gets plenty of play on Sons of Anarchy. As does his dark side—he plays Jax Teller, the heir to an outlaw biker gang, unofficially controlled by a manipulative and brutal matriarch played by the brilliant Katey Segal. With notes of Hamlet, it’ s a pulpy and operatic look at a violent criminal underworld. (And did we mention Charlie Hunnam’s butt?)
It recently came to a teary series finale, but it made us cry all along, didn’t it? Parenthood weaves around the Braverman family—two parents, four children, and several grandchildren—as they cope with life’s delightful messiness. The rambling, rapid-fire dinner table banter, the imperfect and evolving relationships and the shifting sibling dynamic make for a sentimental journey. To quote from Twitter, “I’m going to miss certain Bravermans more than I miss some actual people I am related to.”