I loved this sitcom when it was on the BBC. It lasted for quite a long time, but by the end of the show’s run it certainly seemed to run out of ideas. The ultimate ending of the series seemed rather unsatisfying.
The characters were well done, with Kris Marshall being a particular delight in the early series before he left for bigger and better things. I feel like they wasted the potential of Gabriel Thompson as Michael. He was a really interesting character and he grew up onscreen so as a result there must have been quite the struggle to write storylines for him after the stereotype of the ‘nerdy kid’ ran out.
Some of the secondary characters of the series were rather good in the episodes but they obviously had less development than the main family. I wish they’d written a proper exit storyline for Alfie Butts, the weird Welsh lodger living in the Harper house. He obviously wasn’t a main character but he was still rather loveable. Writing Abi out of the story by packing her off to a nunnery seemed a bit dull, if only to make the dullard Roger avaliable and open to further scorn within the narrative.
Situation comedies have been done before and since. Outnumbered did it to varying degrees of success but the format didn’t work. In the instance of My Family, some moments in the series in retrospect are very dated indeed. Further efforts by the same writers didn’t offer up the same success. It probably just came out at the right time, when the interest of the audience was piqued.
MY RATING: **** / *****