The Family Law
By Stephanie Snyder,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Funny, acclaimed sitcom has crude language.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Family first. Learn to see things from someone else's point of view. Appreciate what you have. Winning isn't everything.
Positive Role Models
Though her language is a bit crude, Mommy operates in the best interest of her children; she instills life lessons and encourages and stands by her kids, leading her family in her unique style.
Show is about a Chinese family living in Australia. Most major characters are of Asian descent. Characters sometimes speak Cantonese. Characters make references to racial stereotypes -- e.g., the mother says to Ben, "Chop chop, Chinaman! Time to go." When he responds with hesitation about the talent show, she responds, "So what? You have your talent. Everyone says you play like the Black man." Ben calls out his mother for being racist but can't explain why.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to sexual activity in conversation. Ben has a poster of a scantily clad swimsuit model on the wall in his room.
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Characters use crude language. In a conversation about giving birth, the mother says, "Stab, stab, stab, right into Mommy's vee vee," and asks, "Can you imagine squeezing a lemon out of your penis hole?" Ben says to Melissa, "I heard Kristy Ronson woke up naked in a waterbed full of men she didn't know," to which Melissa responds, "Doesn't sound too bad." First episode ends with gross game of "Would You Rather?" in which the questions are about bodily functions.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Family Law is based on the bestselling autobiography of the same name by Benjamin Law, who also created and wrote the show. While the show is about the trials and tribulations of a large family, it's not a family sitcom suitable for younger viewers. It deals with issues such as marital conflict and teenage hormones. Though there is not much cursing, there is crude language, most often from Mommy's character, in reference to bodily functions. For example, she says, "No ring, no ding ding," while making a sexual gesture to dissuade her teenage daughter from having sex. When one of the younger daughters mentions that another daughter is itching, Mommy replies, "Cheek or hole?" The show also jokes about racial stereotypes. In one episode, Mommy tells Ben that he plays clarinet "like the Black man," and in another scene, she comments, "The Japanese raped our women during the war ... but they do make lovely stationery." Overall, The Family Law shows a typical family living a normal life with all of its dysfunction front and center.
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The Family Law
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What's the Story?
Based on the book of the same title, THE FAMILY LAW is the comedic portrayal of the life of author and show creator Benjamin Law. The raw sitcom tells the story of the Laws, a Chinese Australian family that includes mom Jenny, dad Danny (Anthony Brandon Wong) and five kids: Ben, Candy, Andrew, Tammy, and Michelle. The Laws are a typical family; however, viewers see dysfunction unfold in episode after drama-filled episode. Main character Ben narrates that it must've been hard for his parents raising their kids in a foreign country, and from the very start, it's evident that their marriage is in trouble. Will they separate? Will they make the relationship work?
Is It Any Good?
This gripping drama-comedy is cringeworthy in some ways, but viewers won't be able to turn away. The Family Law tells a story that is rarely depicted -- the goings-on in the lives of a Chinese family in Australia -- and it does so in an unassuming and realistic way. Though the show is a comedy (and there is plenty to chuckle about), it highlights serious issues -- like the parents' marital woes -- that tug at viewers' heartstrings. It's clear to see why the series was groundbreaking and well received in Australia.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how the show highlights Chinese culture. How does their culture impact the members of the Law family?
What makes The Family Law captivating? Why do people like to look into other people's lives?
What topics would a show about your family focus on? If you were in charge, who would you get to star in each role?
- Premiere date: April 13, 2022
- Cast: Trystan Go, Fiona Choi, Anthony Brandon Wong
- Network: Hulu
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Book Characters, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: April 22, 2022
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