My Family, The Sitcom of Our Time
Posted by Beep the Meep on Mon, 28 Mar 2011.
"My Family", the sitcom of a middle class dentist, his wife and his children, has been ended by the BBC after ten years on air. This premise could be seen as out-dated and 1980ish, that it should be set in Surrey and star June Whitfield. However, Frank Barron, its creator, and his writing team put their mark on the format. They developed a new writing formula, featuring a range of writers, replacing the traditional British method of one or two writers who write every episode.
The show starred Robert Lindsay as lazy dentist "Ben", Zoe Wanamaker as control freak house wife "Susan", Kris Marshall as the idiot son "Nick", Daniela Denby-Ashe as boy loving and shoeaholic "Janey", Gabriel Thomson as geeky "Michael", Siobhan Hayes as dumb blonde "Abi", Keiron Self as Abi-loving dentist "Roger Bailey Jr", and Rhodri Meilir as Welsh farm boy "Alfie Butts". Each character has flitted and floated out of the show, Marshall left the show in 2005, Hayes and Meilir were introduced in 2003 and 2005, respectively, and both have left, in 2008 and 2009, Bailey had a guest appearance in 2002 and returned the following year as a regular and Denby-Ashe left in 2002 but returned in 2004. All in all, the only people to appear throughout the run have been Lindsay, Wanamaker and Thomson. The strong cast and characters, noticeably Ben, Susan and Nick, is probably going to be the thing that is best remembered about My Family.
The writing has differed through the years, with series 2-5 being the strongest in terms of episodes, this again mainly down to a hilarious performance by Marshall whose pure smile as he'd enter the scene had the studio audience in hysterics. It has become clear that show was starting to run out of the ideas and I suppose it’s best to end a good series on a high, rather than let it carry on, running out of ideas.
My Family will return for it's final series in the spring on BBC One
Pictures © BBC