TV Series Review: The Family Law (Australia, 2016)

The Family Law

“Meet the Law family, a family like no other.”

Being an avid Frankie reader since the impressionable young age of sixteen, Benjamin Law is someone I feel I have become quite accustomed to over the past seven years; having poured over his writing through his clever and intensely relatable articles, I was eager to get my hands on his 2010 memoir – The Family Law. Yet, quite honestly, it was not until early last year that I did begin to read it, instantly devouring his vividly touching, hilariously humorous, and heart-warming stories. I read it solidly over a day, unable to put it down and restless with regret once I had turned to the last page – I did not want it to end!

The memoir, which has now been made into a six-part series on SBS, was indescribably perfect.

Much the same, this new Australia comedy television series is truly excellent. Honest, utterly funny, and enirely uplifting, I cannot get enough of The Family Law. 

Set in the colourful suburbs of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the six-part series tells the story of the young Benjamin Law (Trystan Go), growing up within his rambunctious family of seven as his parents go through a complicated separation.

The Dad, played by Anthony Brandon Wong, is quiet, loving and well intentioned despite his almost singular focus on the family restaurant business. Fiona Choi is flawless, playing Benjamin’s loud, determined, and incredibly kind-hearted mother. Indeed, her hilarious, jaw-dropping, belly-crunching one-liners will have you on the floor with laughter, but it is this mix of humour and heart-breaking honesty that makes her the true star of the show.

Together, as a family, the Law’s are utterly perfect in their every day madness. Chaos always inevitably ensues, altogether rather honestly, amidst plots and scenes that feel so familiar that I could not help but smile out of a shared appreciation and understanding. Amongst these, the most spectacular being loud, colourful birthday dinners, high-school talent shows, clarinet recitals, and backyard water fights.

It is vibrant and loud; diverse and eccentric; all together endearing and almost reprehensibly funny. Significantly, at the very heart of this show is the way in which it is so utterly relatable. Truly, there are ways in which the family Law are truly “like no other,” and yet, they really are very much the same as every other family. As much as it provides an insight, it simultaneously offers a reflection.

Indeed, it is near impossible for you to watch this show and not be both simultaneously enlightened, stimulated, and aching with laughter.

To catch up on all their antics, The Family Law airs every Thursday at 8:30pm AEDST, SBS1.