Thanksgiving may only happen once a year. However, for the past week, TV programming has gone ahead and gotten its tryptophan fix in, gratifying themselves with over-eating and an abundance of pilgrim jokes. There are two types of TV shows: those that indulge in Thanksgiving-themed episodes, and those that breeze by the holiday with only a reference to the happening. Regardless of how a show chooses to commemorate the family-based experience, there are only a few modern families that would actually be a hoot to hang out with, or should I say a gobble?
After fighting, coaxing, and getting into our fair share of nitpicking, TV Blend has come up with a list of our five favorite current TV families whose Thanksgiving celebrations we would be more than willing to crash. So pick those turkey remnants out of your teeth, grab a glass of wine, and sit down to see if you agree with our list. As usual, if you feel we’ve missed a few, argue your case in the comments, below.
1. Parenthood’s The Bravermans
The Bravermans’ lives are filled with a ridiculous amount of drama. This season alone, they’ve tackled new relationships, cancer, job transitions, and veterans of war. However, if there is one thing that can be said about the Parenthood family, it’s that they come together in the moments that count most. The show is so intimate, many fans probably think of their drama as our drama, and I can think of nothing better than sitting down for a meal with the Bravermans.
In the cozy atmosphere, we could probably score some recipes from Camille, talk about books with Mark, keep our fingers crossed there are no mishaps between Sarah and Amber, get into some cool kid antics with Max and Jabbar, and maybe even get Zeek to tell us a story about the good old days. After eating way too much food in that super cozy outdoor space decorated with the cross-hanging lights, we would probably get a game of basketball in. If there’s anything Parenthood does really well, it is ending on the perfect note, and Thanksgiving is no exception.
2. Suburgatory’s The Shays
The members of the Shay family might be overbearing and dangerously close to crazy at times, but they also know how to have fun. They like to laugh, gossip about people in the neighborhood and best of all, play games. There are some people out there who place board games in the awkward, forced fun category, or even worse, in the bored category. Not me. And definitely not the Shay’s. They enjoy playing Monopoly and a slew of other activities, and with the possible exception of Lisa, they are all always very emotionally invested in the game’s outcome. Ryan is even prone to dancing and taking his shirt off during key gloating moments.
As a woman who knows the value of appearance, Sheila is also zealously determined to make a good impression and in her eyes, that involves food, decorations and recreational activities. A Thanksgiving at her house would be delicious and energetic. Plus, if previous holidays are any indication, there’s a chance guests might get an eyeful of Lisa’s naked body, which would make for a good, borderline-illegal story.
3. Modern Family’s The Pritchetts, Dunphys, and Tuckers
The members of the Pritchett, Dunphy and Tucker families might look at the world in different ways and walk through their lives on different paths, but they all fit together like strange, misshapen tectonic plates. It’s only noticeable when the entire lot is assembled in one place, and there’s no better day of the year to watch that magic than on Thanksgiving. From Cam and Jay’s football conversations to Claire and Mitchell’s ice skating routines, their memories and methods of bonding are as diverse and colorful as their personalities, and spending a few hours amidst that bizarre love would be a hell of an experience. And more than likely, a loud one.
The pieces might fit together, but that doesn’t mean there’s not always the potential for an earthquake. Haley’s on-again, off-again boyfriend is always a candidate to play overly sexualized songs, and Phil is always a candidate to leer a little too long at Gloria’s impressive physique. Not all of the memories are the most pleasant or the bonding methods completely fine-tuned, but luckily, the good and the bad are both ultimately just fodder for more connections and more stories down the line. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
4. The Good Wife’s The Florricks
The Florrick family has had a bumpy ride over the last few TV seasons. This is mostly due to Peter and Alicia, whose busy lives and intrigue have allowed them to live pretty separate lives, despite sort-of getting back together. The couple’s kids, too, are growing up, and they are learning to navigate the world without a reliance on their parents, who spend long hours at the office. One would think this would mean the Florrick’s would be a terrible family to spend Thanksgiving with, but we would beg to differ.
Not only do Peter and Alicia have interesting opinions, their kids are growing up to think outside the box, as well. We’d get a little bit of cattiness between Alicia and Peter’s mother, and since the latter woman is going a little bit crazy, that could be pretty fun, as well. Hopefully, Alicia’s daughter would bring her trainwreck new boyfriend, who happens to be a smoker and an intern on Fox’s Bones. Besides all this, we’d get a chance to see Eli in action, popping up every five minutes to inform Peter about how the campaign is going. There would never be a dull moment, and if you like your drama, Thanksgiving would be a good time for a healthy dose of The Good Wife cast, right alongside your gravy.
5. Hart of Dixie’s The Breelands
Two weeks ago, I likely wouldn’t have considered the Alabama royalty a suitable Thanksgiving option. Brick can barely pick out his own clothing let along contribute to the domestic holiday load, and Magnolia is too self-centered, lazy and incompetent to help, which would leave poor Lemon to handle everything. Now that she’s started a catering business with Annabeth, however, the Breeland household would make an enjoyable, well-rounded Thanksgiving option.
Nothing is ever simple in Bluebell, Alabama. The holiday festivities might be planned for just a handful of people, but by the big day, Zoe, Wade, Lavon, Crickett, George and maybe even Dash would wind up breaking bread at the Breeland’s, bringing with them a swarm of activities to do and people to talk with. Plus, there are few things more delicious than a Southern Thanksgiving. Up North, people might be concerned about calories and organic alternatives, but in Alabama, those preparing the meals are more focused on making everything as delicious as possible, regardless of how many sticks of butter and pounds of cheese such a noble goal requires.
Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.
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