The great Robert Lindsay, who stars as Ben Harper along side the equally great Zoe Wanamaker in the British situation comedy, My Family, has been ordered by his son to continue with the series when they resume shooting this Spring for, what may be, the last in the series.
Series creator and writer, Fred Barron, is well-known in the United States as being part of the Seinfeld creative team along with other U.S. comedies such as Caroline in the City, Dave’s World and The Larry Sanders Show. Barron also created After You’ve Gone starring Nicholas Lyndhurst. With nine seasons and over 100 episodes under their belts, the long-running Britcom has been commissioned for a 10th and 11th season.
Ironically, My Family goes directly against all conventional wisdom for a successful British comedy in that it’s written with a team of writers, not the traditional one or, possibly, two writers on a project. The team of writers approach is much more of an American style of writing situation comedy than it is in the UK.
There seems to be a pretty clear divide in the UK as to whether or not you like or dislike the series. Interestingly enough, the dislikes point to the more mainstream quality of the story lines and the “likes” point to, well, the more mainstream quality of the story lines. Guess we now know why it’s survived for ten years and still going.
Personally, while I find myself a little more on the “like” half of the equation than the “dislike” side when it comes to My Family, I don’t see this as ever being a classic series that runs for 30 years after it goes out of production like a Yes Minister, Blackadder, Fawlty Towers or Good Neighbors.
Unfortunately, there are no clips of My Family to be found anywhere, but here’s Robert Lindsay in, perhaps, one of the greatest clips from Extras with Ricky Gervais just for fun.