The Family: Season 1 (2015)

Season 1
The Family

Critics Consensus

The Family takes a confusing, convoluted course to solve its central mystery that few will want to follow, despite a game performance from Joan Allen.



Critic Ratings: 33


Audience Score

User Ratings: 127

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Air date: Mar 3, 2016

In the premiere, Maine politician Claire Warren's presumed-dead son Adam returns home a decade after he disappeared; and while he's welcomed with a mixture of joy and astonishment, he's also met with suspicion, as some doubt that he is who he says he is. Adam's reappearance also reverberates beyond the family: the neighbor convicted of his murder must be freed.

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Air date: Mar 6, 2016

Adam and Hank both grapple with their newfound freedom; and, after meeting Adam, Hank wrestles with a dark secret he's kept for more than 10 years. Danny, meanwhile, inadvertently shares his doubts about Adam's identity with a reporter; Nina leads a team of detectives into the woods to find the area where Adam was held by a "pock-marked man"; and Claire asks Willa to persuade John to participate in her campaign.

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Air date: Mar 13, 2016

An FBI agent joins the investigation; Adam returns to the bunker in an attempt to jog his memory; Willa questions Claire's motives; Nina investigates the 911 call that led the police to Hank's house; Hank tries to get his life back on track; and, in the past, John's hesitancy to provide an alibi for missing time negatively impacts his relationship with Claire.

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Air date: Mar 20, 2016

Meyer and Clements hunt a child kidnapper whose M.O. is similar to Adam's abductor; and Bridey arouses Willa's suspicions while seeking information on Adam. In the past, Claire pushes Hank to share more about Adam's kidnapping and makes a painful discovery about John.

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Air date: Mar 27, 2016

Hank is attacked and names a Warren as the prime suspect; Bridey learns the results of the paternity test she ran on Adam; and Adam receives postcards from the pock-marked man. In other events, in the past, John's grief leads to his affair with Nina.

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Air date: Apr 3, 2016

Nina and Clements devise a plan to nab the pock-marked man; and a sick Adam is taken to hospital, where the doctor drops a bombshell on Claire. Meanwhile, Doug has many near-misses with the Warrens and police on the night of Adam's disappearance.

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Air date: Apr 10, 2016

Flashbacks show Adam's return to Red Pines set against the backdrop of Willa's secrets and lies; what Adam went through in captivity; and Hank's state of mind while incarcerated. In other events, John drops a bombshell on Claire, which forces her to make a difficult decision about the future of her family.

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Air date: Apr 17, 2016

Claire deals with the ramifications of Willa's scheming; Nina tracks Adam, who disappears every night from his home; Clements investigates Jane's link to the pock-marked man; the governor's wife threatens to reveal Claire's drinking; and Hank makes a discovery about Adam's kidnapping.

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Air date: Apr 24, 2016

Det. Meyer watches Adam's therapy sessions; Claire tries to keep an eye on Ben after Hank's dressing-down; the family prepares to support Claire at the gubernatorial debate; and Hank's guest leads him to discover proof of who kidnapped Adam. In other events, Meyer worries about her missing partner; and Ben is visited by someone from his past.

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Air date: May 1, 2016

Hank believes he has evidence that could solve Adam's case and also make him a hero; Willa makes a discovery about what really happened to Adam; Jane turns to an unlikely source for help when she goes into labor; Bridey betrays Willa; and Nina receives a surprising visit.

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Critic Reviews for The Family Season 1

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (14)

There's something fascinating, and tragic, in the way it documents a group of ordinary men so easily convinced that they're exceptional.

Aug 15, 2019 | Full Review…

The Family's chances of anything close to long-term survival seem iffy at best. Unlike Secrets and Lies, its cast of characters and premise are set in concrete. Or perhaps quicksand if recent history proves prophetic.

Mar 4, 2016 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

The Family is one of those shows that's so fast-paced that you don't even care how overheated and kind of ridiculous the whole thing is. It's escapist TV in the vein of How to Get Away with Murder.

Mar 2, 2016 | Full Review…

The Family wants to be something but, even after a couple episodes, never quite gets around to what that 'something' is.

Mar 2, 2016 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
Top Critic

For The Family to become the deep and nuanced character drama it clearly wants to be, everyone needs to take a breath, perhaps join a support group, and slow the heck down.

Mar 4, 2016 | Full Review…

There is still way too much television on Sunday night and The Family doesn't do enough to justify its existence to make it worth your time.

Mar 3, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It has heaped some soapy family issues on top of the abduction premise and the two sit uncomfortably together.

Apr 19, 2017 | Full Review…

I can't say I was very intrigued by these provocative questions, mostly because The Family does such a poor job of dramatizing them in a lively, believable manner.

Mar 3, 2016 | Full Review…

There's a strong cast in place, led by Joan Allen, but the writing never scratches the surface in order to get the characters where they need to be in order to develop interest or continuity.

Mar 3, 2016 | Rating: 5.5/10 | Full Review…

With a story like The Family, everyone needs to be paying attention to the fine details. But at least we get to enjoy (Joan) Allen in our homes every week, for a time, anyway.

Mar 3, 2016 | Full Review…

The cast all bring their A game, particularly Allen as the ball-busting matriarch and McCarthy, who lends genuine creepiness and dread to the role.

Mar 3, 2016 | Full Review…

That layered storytelling, presented in such an undeniably catchy way, makes The Family yet another strong entry to ABC's primetime arsenal. But whether it can pivot into something even greater remains to be seen.

Mar 3, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Family: Season 1

  • Dec 02, 2019
    very slow, all conjecture and anonymous sources. inaccurate / made-up 'reenactments.' basically this is a work of fiction dressed up as a 'documentary'
  • Aug 19, 2019
    Meh, tried to make something out of nothing. It's like the left wing dream story, secret conspiracy of Christian elite. Only bunch of baloney and not very persuasive
  • Dec 10, 2017
    Loved it plots twists had me addicted! But whyyy leave us hanging please bring season 2 its a must!!
  • Nov 14, 2016
    Une autre très bonne série qui n'aura pas de suite...
  • Sep 16, 2016
    Just started watching this show and I'm OBSESSED. I love mysteries and I think this is sooo good. Really hoping it doesn't get canceled! I look forward to season 2
  • Aug 01, 2016
    Loved this show. Binge watched it in July 2016 and am so disappointed it is cancelled!!
  • Jul 22, 2016
  • Jun 23, 2016
    Bring back the Family! The most exciting new show on TV and then it just ended in a hurry and the viewership wasn't taken care of! Take back that last reveal or finish the season like a long movie. Mysterious, had me in knots of emotion, gripping, well-acted and original! Andrew McCarthy and Joan Allen are amazing artists. #BringBackTheFamily
  • Jun 02, 2016
    Best show on T.V. Joan Allen has never been better!
  • Jun 01, 2016
    The Family is a very well-acted series that counts with a complex rewarding plot, that bring to us an interesting, clever, unpredictable, refreshing and original story about the kidnap of a child and its side effects.

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