It’s all relative: Britain’s best on-screen families

Blog > Flashback
22 Apr • 5 min read

We’re bang in the middle of two Bank Holidays, which usually means one thing. Taking advantage of the good weather while spending time with our loved ones. And as the saying goes - ‘you can choose your friends, but not your family’. Nothing represents this more than many of our much-loved on-screen relatives. From soaps, to reality TV, to cartoons, the family dynamic is something that always resonates with audiences.

And the best thing is? Each dynamic is different. Whether it’s a strong matriarch holding the clan together, or a younger family member trying to take the reins. Every situation is unique, and that’s what makes them so compelling!

Back to reality

Who knew that watching people watch TV would be so good? But Gogglebox bosses struck gold with their hilarious creation, and a large part of their success is down the brilliant family dynamics. We’ve all been there, sat around the sofa with our nearest and dearest watching our favourite shows.

And it’s the variation that makes it such an enjoyable watch. We’ve had everything from the likes of Sophie and Pete Sandiford, who capture the ridiculous brilliance of a sibling relationship. To the Siddiquis, who encapsulate the essence of how different generations within the same family view the world. Each unique set-up is as entertaining and unpredictable as the next - there really isn’t a more authentic depiction of a family set-up at home on television.

Comedy gold

If Gogglebox is about capturing authentic realism, then our favourite comedy families are about bottling up the more unconventional moments that take place between loved ones. And boy have we had some belters over the years, perhaps none more so than The Royle Family. Simply put, Craig Cash and Caroline Aherne's hit comedy is the perfect blend of belly laughs as well as the softer moments that families experience.

No matter how many times you watch it, The Royle Family feels more timeless with every watch. From the cantankerous Jim and his unforgettable “my arse!” catchphrase, to Dave being roped into changing nappies. Every single one of the 25 episodes is jam packed with brilliantly relatable scenes. Has there ever been a more bingeable watch? We’re not sure. The likes of Gavin & Stacey and Only Fools and Horses Trotters family deserve honourable mentions. But for us, there’s only one winner.

There's always drama

As we know, it’s not always plain sailing when it comes to the ones we love. Whilst nothing portrays the dramatic sides to our family relationships quite like our nation’s soaps. Feuds, love triangles and even murder plots have taken over iconic families over the years - but the sacred ‘F’ word always seems to prevail.

Eastenders' legendary Mitchell family depict this more than any. Despite the sad loss of their patriarch, Peggy and with Phil serving life in prison, youngest Mitchell Sam is back in the fray to keep the businesses ticking over. And while we hope the level of drama might not be relatable for every family in real life, we can’t help but love the fact that whenever one of them is in need - another always steps up to help. And that’s what family is all about, right?

Which famous TV families are your favourite? We’d love to hear your shouts! As always, you can reach us via email, Twitter or Facebook.