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The Dysfunctional Family Onscreen - The New “Normal”

Dysfunctional families may be stressful, chaotic, full of bad role models and prone to exploding at any time - but they’re also fun. For a long time the TV family projected an ideal of the stable, healthy family. But today, whether it’s issues of too much or too little money, changing values, or generation gaps, families onscreen have increasingly moved away from that nuclear myth.

Ironically, instead of challenging the notion of family, dysfunctional family stories usually reaffirm its importance and underline the life lessons and joys family can yield—perhaps even more so when it diverges from our ideas of a perfect norm. So the dysfunctional family’s lack of harmony might just be the inspiration we need to embrace the ways that we all deviate from the “functional” mold.