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Series / Family Tree

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Family Tree is a television series running on HBO in the USA and BBC2 in the UK, created by Christopher Guest. The show stars Chris O'Dowd as Tom Chadwick, an unemployed and recently dumped man who decides to use his free time to investigate his genealogy.

Provides examples of:

  • The Cast Show Off: Nina Conti, who plays Bea, is a professional ventriloquist and Monk is one of her regular characters.
  • Childhood Friends: Pete. The fact that Tom has remained friends with Pete for so long speaks to how little he has going on in his life.
  • Companion Cube: Bea treats her puppet monkey Monk like he's a living creature. She completely breaks down when separated.
  • Country Mouse: Tom's family rediscover that they have relatives in the country. Tom's father even announces that he's a "city mouse".
  • Manchild: Pete, much to Tom's frequent embarrassment.
  • Meet Cute: Tom meets a pretty girl when he witnesses her traffic accident and stands up for her.
  • Minor Insult Meltdown: Tom's father and a country relative seem to be getting along perfectly until they disagree on whether modern policemen deserve respect. Their relationship instantly turns cold and bitter.
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  • Mockumentary: As with all Guest productions, the show is presented in documentary format, with frequent cut-aways to talking head interviews.
  • Ruritania: Keith's eccentric wife Luba comes from Moldavia. She discusses many bizarre beliefs and customs from her home country.
  • Show Within a Show: Tom's father Keith loves terrible British sitcoms.
  • Stylistic Suck: The sitcoms that Keith watches are all broad, mass-appeal schlock.
  • Women Are Wiser: Subverted. When Bea is first introduced, she's driving Tom around and giving him sensible advice about his hopeless life choices. Only in the next scene is it revealed that she constantly carries around and speaks through a hand puppet.