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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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.