DID YOU READ

10 Dysfunctional TV Families We Can’t Believe Haven’t Killed Each Other Already

Modern Family

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Families can be unbearable. That’s why holidays are so hard to deal with —  they’re full of family members! But when your clan is as off-the-walls crazy as the folks on Modern Family, you need lots of breaks. Jesse Tyler Ferguson is getting his break this week, as the actor will make an appearance on Comedy Bang! Bang! this Friday at 11 p.m. ET. We know what you’re thinking, if you weren’t already…

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We’re happy to have one-half of the Cam-Mitchell dynamic duo over at IFC, but it’s no wonder he needs a break. Between his mother-in-law Gloria’s unique way of pronouncing “helicopter,” his sister’s never-ending paranoia and pride, and his own daughter’s commanding finger snaps, his sitcom family is too much to handle. In honor of them and all of the most insane families, here are our favorite TV families we’re shocked haven’t strangled each other in their sleep yet.

10. Modern Family

As we said, Mitchell has a burgeoning family. If you count close friends as part of the family, as well — we’re looking at you, Elizabeth Banks — then there’s even more to love…and feel smothered by. Just look at Lily. She may be one of the youngest members of the Duffy family, but she’s already getting as saucy as her two dads.

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9. Arrested Development 

The Bluth family has been through it all — lawsuits, treason charges, alcoholism, kleptomania, death, crazy exes and even more crazy ex-assistants. (Remember Judy Greer’s off-the-wall Kitty Sanchez?) Some people say that children are a reflection of their parents. Well, if Lucille and George are any indication, then their kids are royally screwed. Actually, forget about George. You just need to look at Lucille’s fabulously flawed self to get the picture.

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8. Family Guy

Seth MacFarlane is the master of family dysfunction. He’s got three shows with three equally outrageous dynamics, but it all started with Family Guy. When the patriarch is legally considered mentally deficient and pals around with his alcoholic dog, sex-crazed next-door neighbor and a wheelchair-bound cop, that’s gonna have an effect on the rest of the family. Not to mention poor Meg could’ve sued her family for emotional abuse around episode five.

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7. American Dad

Stan’s a CIA agent, Francine is his stay-at-home wife, Steve and Haley are their children, and Klaus is their goldfish who has the brain of a German athlete. But what makes this family special is the alcoholic alien living in their attic who loves dressing up and being super lame to everyone. Without him, their lives would fall apart. But with him, they’re likely to become accomplices in his dastardly plot to get back at the J. Crew retail boy who called him basic…or whatever.

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6. Shameless

What do you get when you combine a bum dad with good intentions, a super-smart con-artist-type son, another son who’s gay and has some anger management issues, two snappy younger children, and the eldest who’s trying to hold the entire family together? Great TV. The only question we have is, how do they keep managing to survive?

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5. Bob’s Burgers

Bob and Linda are great parents. Sure, Bob takes things a bit too far when it comes to the success of his restaurant. Sure, Linda is a tough-as-nails momma bear with an accent and personality befitting one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Sure, their kids are…unique — one has mental breakdowns when you take off take her bunny ears, another writes erotic zombie fiction in her journal, and the other once believed a toilet could be sentient. But they love each other, and that’s what counts.

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4. Boy Meets World

When Boy Meets World was on the air, Cory and Eric drove their mother and father to the brink of insanity without pushing them over the edge. Thankfully, Eric had Mr. “FEE-HEE-HEE-NAY!” and Cory had his BFF Shawn to lighten the load. Now that Cory’s all grown up on Disney’s Girl Meets World series, he’s getting a taste of his own medicine.

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3. Malcolm in the Middle

It was clear who wore the pants in the Cleavers’ household: mamma Lois. She was the one we all loved to watch blow her lid off, but who could blame her when she had three mischievous boys and one adult-size child to look after? If only she knew that one day her husband would become Heisenberg, maybe she wouldn’t have lost her cool so often.

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2. Family Matters

R.I.P. Family Matters. This was one of the sitcoms we were especially sad to get the ax of cancellation. Their message was clear: family above all else. But the road to reaching expressing this was bumpy, especially when you have a persistent neighbor who’s been over so many times that you’ve seen him coming out of the shower. And don’t even get us started on Urkel-Bot.

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1. The Simpsons

The Simpsons has been on for 26 seasons and they’ve managed to stay together through thick and thin. When Homer almost destroyed the Power Plant (and the entire town), his family was there. When Bart attempted to escape the po-po after skateboarding in the nude, his family…well, they were close by. When Marge was losing her hair and was planning her trip to the nuthouse, her family was there. Maybe George Bush Sr. was on to something when he said American families should be more like the Waltons and less like The Simpsons. But then we wouldn’t have had hilarious moments like this:

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
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Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
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Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
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Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
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Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
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Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
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Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
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Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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