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Series / The Family (2016)

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The Family is a 2016 ABC TV drama.

Adam Warren, the ten years missing (and presumed dead) son of the mayor of Red Pines, Maine, reappears at a police station one night. His family, consisting of his mother, Claire; his father, John; his older brother, Danny; and his older sister, Willa; are seemingly delighted to have him back. Unfortunately, his return is met with skepticism by some; and slowly things begin to unravel.

Due to low ratings, the show was cancelled after only one season.

The Family contains examples of:

  • Ambiguously Bi: Bridey. She runs a "lesbian lifestyle blog", and sleeps with Willa, but also with Danny. It's left unclear whether this had anything to do with attraction to him or if it was purely to get closer to the Warrens.
  • The Atoner: Hank, who was once convicted of a sex offense after exposing himself to a boy. He sees himself as a monster for being attracted to children, actively avoids being alone with children, and voluntarily chemically castrates himself because he's disgusted by his urges.
  • Cliffhanger: The series ended on one due to its cancellation with Bridey dead, presumably at Willa's hands, and Adam revealed to be alive. He's coming back to reclaim his life from Ben.
  • Driven to Suicide: Subverted. Hank planned to kill himself in prison over serving a life sentence for a murder he didn't commit, but couldn't go through with it.
  • Fair Cop: Detective Nina Meyer is quite stunning.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Doug Anderson, aka the Pock-Marked Man (as he's listed in the credits). He's a friendly, charming man who no one would ever imagine is a serial kidnapper and rapist of children. Naturally, that helps in luring his victims.
  • Fingore: Clements tells Jane to cut his thumbs off so he can escape the shackles he's in, but she can't go through with it completely.
  • Frame-Up: Willa framed Hank to insure he was convicted of Adam's murder. It turns out he was innocent. Hank later makes it look like John beat him up as revenge for crossing him.
  • Freudian Excuse: Discussed when Nina interrogates Doug and brings up the theory that pedophilia is caused by an individual's own sexual abuse as a child. He dismisses the implications.
  • Gay Conservative: Willa, who's a closeted lesbian and Republican.
  • He Knows Too Much: It's implied that this is why Bridey was killed in the finale. Especially because Bridey is a member of the press, and therefore absolutely cannot be trusted.
  • Ignored Confession: Willa says she was "At a cheap motel with a dirty stranger" after John asks where she's been. It's technically true, but they both laugh it off.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: Double Subverted. Ben is left handed, but Adam is right handed. Ben does begin using his right hand while posing as Adam, but uses his left when he goes out at night and believes no one is watching him. Detective Meyer follows him one night and observes the discrepancy.
  • Lingerie Scene: Nina is shown in her bra as she takes her shirt off while moving toward sex with Hank, which also gives the viewer a look at her cleavage.
  • Lipstick Lesbian:
    • Willa, who is never anything less than properly feminine. She's also completely in the closet and before getting involved with Bridey doesn't seem to have been in touch with her sexuality at all. It later turns out her brother Danny knew all along.
    • Bridey too is a feminine lesbian (or perhaps bisexual woman) with long hair and mostly wearing pretty skirts with blouses.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: Hank is unable to perform when he brings a woman home and she starts to give him fellatio, because of the chemical castration meds he takes.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: John has sex with Nina the first time while they're in the police interview room.
  • Miscarriage of Justice: Hank was wrongly convicted of murdering Adam because he was a registered sex offender who lived near him, and Willa planted one of Adam's ships in a bottle in his house.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Hank's mother asks if he's gay due to his lack of interest toward women. He's actually a pedophile, though he hates it.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Bridey gets involved with Danny, then his sister Willa as well. Danny is not happy when he finds out, mostly because he thinks Bridey is just using her to get information.
  • Not Actually His Child: This is invoked by Willa to explain why Ben's DNA doesn't match John, claiming he's the result of an affair which Claire had. It isn't true though.
  • P├Ždo Hunt: Adam's return re-opens the investigation into who kidnapped him in the first place. This is also how Hank Asher was originally convicted, as he was seen speaking to Adam the day he was kidnapped and was a registered sex offender who had exposed himself to a boy in the past.
  • Really Gets Around: John started having sex with a ton of women he met on his book tours, despite being married to Claire. Apparently losing a son made him very sympathetic to them. He later starts a longer affair with Detective Nina Meyer, who's investigating the case.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Willa considers Ben this. When she discovered how much he knew about Adam, she talked him into posing as him so that her family could go back to normal, just like she always wanted. Claire also eventually starts seeing Ben as this after discovering he's not actually Adam.
  • The Reveal: Willa faked the DNA test which showed Ben is Adam.
  • Sequel Hook: The first season ends with the reveal that Adam is still alive, he knows Ben took his place, and he wants his life back.
  • Sex Slave: Adam and Ben were kept as this by Doug.
  • Straight Gay: FBI Agent Gabe Clements, who is not obviously homosexual at all before he mentions his husband.
  • Time-Shifted Actor: Young Adam, Willa, and Danny, as well as Young Ben.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Black female detective Nina Meyer and Latina Bridey Cruz (who's also a lesbian or at least bisexual) were the only two people of color in the main cast.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Hank beats himself up to frame John for it and gain revenge on him.

Alternative Title(s): The Family