Film critic Dominic Corry celebrates, clarifies and justifies his love for all things movie.

The Family: A dark new show with juicy hook

The Family starring Joan Allen.
The Family starring Joan Allen.

TV One's dark new drama The Family sets itself up with an undeniably juicy hook: a decade after he disappeared without a trace, a young boy shows up on the doorstep of his family, who've long since come to terms with his "death".

Among the elation around his return, doubts begin to emerge as to whether or not this young man (played by Liam James) is actually the son and brother the family lost 10 years earlier.

It's a set-up that will seem instantly familiar to anyone who's seen the fascinating 2012 documentary The Imposter, which brought to light a similar series of events in Texas.

"I haven't seen it, I swear!" The Family creator Jenna Bans (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal) tells TimeOut.

"This show's origin didn't totally start from that hook; it kind of started from more of a character base. But, you know, someone told me, 'Well, there's this documentary' and I was like, 'Oh, I can't watch that.' Because like any writer, it just influences you."

Oscar nominee Joan Allen leads the cast of The Family as a politician who's not above using the return of her "son" to promote her agenda.

English actor Rupert Graves (Sherlock) co-stars as her secret-keeping husband, and Alison Pill (The Newsroom) and Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights) play her troubled elder children.

It's a solid group of actors, but the cast member who's been generating most of the talk around The Family is Andrew McCarthy.

The fondly-recalled 80s romantic leading man (Pretty In Pink, St Elmo's Fire, Mannequin) co-stars in the series as Hank Asher, a local paedophile who many think was responsible for the abduction of the young boy.

It's about as far away from McCarthy's best-known roles as you could get.

"I hadn't acted in several years," McCarthy tells TimeOut.

"And I had no real great desire to act particularly, because I'd been directing and writing stuff. It thought this is interesting - to play somebody who's a sexual predator, a pariah in our society. [People said]: 'Why would you want to do that?' And that thought never even occurred to me. I'll always be the guy from Pretty in Pink. It'll be on my gravestone, which is great. Pretty in Pink has been very, very good to me."

When: Sunday, 9.25pm
Where: One
What: A family regains a long-lost son. Or is he?

- TimeOut

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