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Related post on Anime SE: What are anime series that focus on a family as well as their individual lives?


Not just arbitrary family series or movies like maybe Frozen but something that really focuses on the daily lives of the parents and the children. (So exclude a family stranded on an island or something like Umineko.) I actually think of mainly The Simpsons and Family Guy and then I thought of more examples.

In comedy:

  • The Simpsons, Family Guy, Modern Family, Young Sheldon (spin-off of The Big Bang Theory), Joey (spin-off of Friends)

  • Raven's Home but not That's So Raven because in That's So Raven, the parents' interactions are mainly with the children. (But maybe Cory in the House? I forgot.)

    • Anime: Spy x Family, Wolf Children, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (at least if you consider the entire franchise since not really for the individual installments)

Outside comedy:

  • The Borgias (at least Showtime. I don't know about the others), The Sopranos (Based on what I read. I haven't seen), The Godfather, Dexter New Blood (but not Dexter!), The Kennedys (I think? Not so familiar with this series or with US history in general.)

I tried looking up TV Tropes, but I didn't really see anything like 'family comedy' or 'family drama'. And then when you look up The Simpsons or Family Guy on Wikipedia, it says just 'adult animated sitcom', etc.

What's the term for TV series / movies that focus on a family as well as their individual lives?

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    What makes you think there is a term for it? And are you looking for a genre or a trope?
    – Joachim
    Jan 17, 2023 at 13:52
  • @Joachim idk maybe there is or there isn't. added genre. thanks.
    – BCLC
    Jan 17, 2023 at 14:13

4 Answers 4

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First of all, there almost certainly won't be any one term for this because it would be too broad to be useful. It'd cover one very common detail of a premise: if someone told you "I'm watching this new show, it's... you know, in the same category as Modern Family, The Sopranos, Family Guy and Dexter New Blood" you would learn nothing useful about the show.

But there's something in this part:

really focuses on the daily lives of the parents and the children

Sounds like the missing term alongside "family" is "domestic". For example:

Domestic Drama

According to the English Communications Syllabus, domestic drama refers to a dramatic story containing an emphasis on its “characters' intimate relationships and their responses to [the] unfolding events in their lives.” The characters, their lives, and the events that occur within the show are usually classified as 'ordinary' events, lives, and characters, but this does not limit the extent of what domestic drama can represent.

Domestic Drama, wikipedia

Domestic Comedy (or "Dom Com")

A contraction of "Domestic Comedy", a Sitcom which revolves around home and family.

You're going to see some standard jokes in most of these. Usually, the "wacky" differences between age groups and genders, perennial 'rebellious teenager' issues (including frequently erroneous stories about what kids are like these days), kids doing the darnedest things, and visits from the wacky neighbor.

...The Dysfunctional Family sitcom began as a deconstruction of this genre, but since so many appeared in the late 1990s, and modern versions tend to reconstruct many of the old tropes, there's not much of a distinction any more.

Dom Com, TV Tropes


So you could usefully say that all the shows listed contain some element of domestic family comedy or drama.

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    Dom Com - Married With Children seems to fit the bill perfectly. Wait, maybe that's Dysfunctional Family...
    – FreeMan
    Jan 18, 2023 at 15:15
  • @FreeMan There's not much of a distinction any more. Jan 18, 2023 at 18:47
  • True, @ShawnV.Wilson, sadly, every family shown on TV seems to be dysfunctional these days. I guess it's closer to reality TV than anyone would like to admit. :(
    – FreeMan
    Jan 19, 2023 at 12:17
  • ...it literally already says everything you're saying in these comments in the last paragraph of the quote in the answer. Please don't repeat the answer in the comments. Jan 19, 2023 at 13:27
  • My theory is that well-adjusted TV families were so common for decades that there was nothing surprising or funny about them anymore. Then Married with Children and The Simpsons came along with the insults and the choking and other types of conflict that hadn't been seen before. Jan 19, 2023 at 20:44
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You would probably call shows like this Slice of Life.

a genre of film and television that focuses on the daily lives of its characters

See the associated TVTropes link. Slice of Life doesn't specifically mean family, but the "daily lives" nature of the genre means family is often a major part of it.

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A TV show that doesn’t have a single lead, but instead multiple principal performers, is known as having an ensemble cast, so you might call this specific subset a family ensemble show.

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Kitchen sink realism

Kitchen sink realism (or kitchen sink drama) is a British cultural movement that developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s in theatre, art, novels, film and television plays, whose protagonists usually could be described as "angry young men" who were disillusioned with modern society. It used a style of social realism which depicted the domestic situations of working-class Britons, living in cramped rented accommodation and spending their off-hours drinking in grimy pubs, to explore controversial social and political issues ranging from abortion to homelessness. The harsh, realistic style contrasted sharply with the escapism of the previous generation's so-called "well-made plays".

Although kitchen sink is usually dramas, there are also kitchen sink comedies.

Sparrows Can't Sing is a 1963 British kitchen sink comedy film. Based on a 1960 play, Sparrers Can't Sing, it was directed by Joan Littlewood and was from a story by Stephen Lewis.

Cockney sailor Charlie comes home from a long voyage to find his house razed and his wife Maggie missing. She is in fact now living with bus driver Bert and has a new baby – whose parentage is in doubt. Charlie's friends won't tell him where Maggie is because he is known to have a foul temper. But he finally finds her and, after a fierce row with Bert, they are reconciled.

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