Favorite TV Families: Making the Non-Traditional a Tradition

Marriage is between man and wife. Man and wife make baby. Maybe 2, maybe 6. And that, my friends, is a family. (Cue screeching "I don't think so" music here.)

While we love many typical TV families that are made up of dad, mom, brother and sister, we can also relish in many TV families that challenge these definitions of family as just like real life, our characters make the most of the family they have, or make the most of the family they make, whatever it may be.

So here's to our favorite non-traditional families! Some fall into different traditions such as Mormonism which challenge the boundaries of TV families and acceptance, and some show us survival post death and divorce. There are plenty more non-traditional families to note, so feel free to comment with those you'd add!

Full House: Though this is a classic family show, the traditional family was turned on its head as this family worked through how to make their family work post-Danny Tanner's wife's death. We had dad Danny, his three daughters, two uncles, and eventually an extra wife and kids all living in that happy San Fran home!

Big Love: This show is a fascinating one as it's all about family beliefs rooted in tradition and religion - all's typical here, right? Not so much. Big Love is all about the controversial form of family called the polygamists. This show features dad Bill, wife Barb, 2nd wife Nicki, 3rd wife Margie, and their 8 children. Plus the constant troubles and interactions with the extended family. Check out their family tree - now that's the most traditional non-classic family I've ever seen!

Gilmore Girls: This show is all about the single parent love and strife - but mostly the laughs it all brings. Mom Lorelai Gilmore became a single mom at 16, left by her caring but totally freaked out boyfriend. This family is all about forgiveness, fun, and showing a woman making it all on her own, even as an unwed teenage mother.

The Brady Bunch: This family is one of the most classic TV families, but let's not forget the whole gimmick was that they're a blended family from two divorced parents coming together! Oh, the scandal. Oh, the laughs. Oh, the sweet and meaningful family bonding moments.

Who's the Boss?: Here we had a parent suddenly single, Angela, who makes her family of what she has with her son, her mother, and her darn adorable and silly male housekeeper (no way, a man as a housekeeper??), Tony and his daughter since he, for the sake of that romantic tension, is also a single parent. Cue hilarious switched gender role moments here.

Ugly Betty: On Ugly Betty, we have a few more single parents making it on their own, but yet together, as Betty's single dad, her single sister and son, and Betty all make it together in Brooklyn. Through love and loss, they're all there for each other, and they are the sweetest, funniest family I wish I knew!

The O.C.: A lawyer adopting a criminal? Unheard of! On The O.C., The Cohens are a typical, very rich, and surprisingly loving, family including dad, mom, and son, but then they bring in the plot catalyst of Ryan Atwood, the teenage criminal from a bad home dad Sandy brings in, well, there you have a show.

90210: And another interesting adoption for a rich CA family! On 90210, there's mom, dad, and daughter - until they adopt a black child into the scenario, then move them all to Beverly Hills to live with crazy grandma. And surprise! Dad, Harry, has a mystery son with his high school ex-girlfriend who's daughter becomes at war with Harry's daughter. Yea, family drama!

Check out more features:

Top Classic Families

Top Oddball Families

Photo courtesy of teamsuguar.com



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Nov 20, 2008 2:37AM EST

don't forget:
Kyle XY-regular family plus a superhuman

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Nov 20, 2008 12:04PM EST

How about the Bundy's, The Simpson's, or The Kent's? Those should bump gilmore girls, 90210, and ugly betty off the list.

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