Television: Postnuclear Explosion

So long, Huxtables and Nelsons. The non-normal family is the norm in the new domestic comedies

In TV, as in politics, "family" is one of the biggest weasel words in the lexicon. Take the phrase "family comedy." To you it might simply mean a comedic program centered on a family. To, say, Joe Lieberman, it may mean one palatable to an "average family" (speaking of weasel words), or one that actively promotes "family values" (don't get us started).

But from the Nelsons to the Simpsons, it has largely meant married parents with kids. Not so this year. The lead character on abc's The Geena Davis Show shacks up out of wedlock with a widower and his kids....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!