Crazy, quirky and intense, some families put the fun in dysfunctional. There’s no denying that they make life more interesting (to watch) as they go about raking up drama, laughter and tears no matter what they do. Netflix has a number of shows about families that are out of whack. Here’s a guide.
This crime-drama series shows Martin ‘Marty’ Byrde (Jason Bateman), a financial planner, and his family comprising wife Wendy (Laura Linney) and kids Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) and Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) on the move after a money-laundering scheme for a Mexican drug cartel goes awry. In order to keep his wife and kids safe, he proposes to carry out a bigger laundering set-up in the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri to pay off his debt.
Creators: Bill Dubuque, Mark Williams
Cast: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Sofia Hublitz, Skylar Gaertner, Julia Garner
Seasons: 3 (2017, 2018, 2020)
A modern take on the 1980s prime-time soap of the same name, Dynasty is a drama that follows two of America’s richest families, the Carringtons and the Colbys, as they fight to control their wealth and children. The families have plenty of skeletons in their respective closets. They are constantly scheming and coming up with machinations to expose one another.
Creators: Sallie Patrick, Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage
Cast: Elizabeth Gillies, Nathalie Kelley, James Mackay, Robert Christopher Riley, Sam Adegoke, Rafael de la Fuente, Alan Dale, Grant Show
Seasons: 3 (2018, 2019, 2020)
A thriller-drama, Bloodline revolves around the seemingly run-of-the-mill Rayburn family, members of which possess dark secrets that they prefer to keep hidden. Deceptions, mistrust and a mind-boggling crime lead to broken relationships and more wrongdoings.
Creators: Todd A Kessler, Glenn Kessler, and Daniel Zelman
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Norbert Leo Butz, Jacinda Barrett, Jamie McShane, Enrique Murciano
Seasons: 3 (2015, 2016, 2017)
This is your childhood Archie Comics with a dark twist. Riverdale follows Archie Andrew (KJ Apa), Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) and Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) as teenagers surrounded by mysteries and menacing criminals. None of the parents, except for Archie’s father Fred Andrews (Luke Perry), aren’t winning any parenting accolades anytime soon.
Creator: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Cast: KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Marisol Nichols, Madelaine Petsch
Seasons: 4 (2017, 2018, 2019)
‘The Haunting of Hill House’
Loosely derived from Shirley Jackson’s eponymous novel, The Haunting of Hill House (pictured above) starts off with a family of seven moving into Hill House during the summer of 1992. Their plan is to renovate the place and sell it. The restoration calls for an unexpectedly prolonged stay and they start to experience terrifying paranormal activities. A terrible loss occurs and the family flees the house. Following another tragedy, they reunite 26 years later to confront how that period affected them individually. The family, which was fractured in 1992, never really heals from the tragedy and is broken, dispirited and not quite there.
Director: Mike Flanagan
Cast: Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Elizabeth Reaser, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, Victoria Pedretti
Seasons: 1 (2018)
South Park is an adult American sitcom that follows the adventures of four boys, Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick, living in the titular town. The show is infamous for its dark humour that satirises a vast array of topics.
Creators: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Brian Graden
Cast: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes, April Stewart
Seasons: 16-22 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
‘The House of Flowers’
A comedy-drama series, The House of Flowers, dubbed a millennial telenovela, showcases an elite Mexican family that owns a well-known flower business. While the de la Mora family seems perfect from the outside, they have skeletons simply bursting to come out of their closet. Read our reviews of season two and three.
Creator: Manolo Caro
Cast: Verónica Castro, Cecilia Suárez, Aislinn Derbez, Darío Yazbek Bernal, Arturo Ríos, Paco León, Juan Pablo Medina, Luis de la Rosa, María León, Isela Vega
Seasons: 3 (2018, 2019, 2020)
‘The Umbrella Academy’
Based on a collection of comics and graphic novels written by Gerard Way, The Umbrella Academy features seven of 43 children born in October of 1989, inexplicably to women who showed no signs of pregnancy. Billionaire businessman Sir Reginald Hargreeves adopts the seven specially-gifted children and prepares them to save the world. The group breaks up in their teenage years and reunites when their father passes away. Not only are they determined to solve the mystery surrounding his death, they’re keen to reverse an impending global apocalypse.
Creator: Steve Blackman
Cast: Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Mary J. Blige, Cameron Britton
Seasons: 1 (2019)
There are very few families whose stories are as popular as the British royal family, The Windsors. Everyone knows the family’s scandal-filled history. This British sitcom is a parody inspired by real-life royal events.
Director: Adam Miller
Cast: Harry Enfield, Haydn Gwynne, Hugh Skinner, Louise Ford, Richard Goulding
Seasons: 3 (2016, 2017, 2020)