Weekend Family

3 out of 5

Created by: Baptiste Filleul

covers season 1

A family-oriented sitcom on Disney; very likely to be incredibly “safe,” yes? Indeed. That is the border around Weekend Family, a French acquisition starring Éric Judor and an incredibly talented cast of youngsters playing his three-daughters-by-different-mums, which is essentially the elevator pitch for the show: every weekend those three daughters come to stay, and they all mingle and hijinx with Fred’s (Judor) new live-in girlfriend, Emmanuelle (Daphnée Côté Hallé).

Within that border, Fred gets to treat Emmanuelle, er, pretty shittily, actually, but it’s charming because it’s Éric Judor? The saving grace here really is Judor’s charms, plus the little actresses – Liona Bordonaro (Clara, the oldest), Midie Dreyfus (Victoire, the middle child), and Roxane Barrazuol (Romy, the youngest) – who all are just constant smiles and goofiness. That leaves Côté Hallé to be the straight woman, which means her job is normally put at risk by Fred (he breaks her computer; he’s indirectly rude to her potential boss) or she’s put through the wringer as mum #4 by the children. While this is all standard sitcom fare, really – sucking out life’s tragedies and drama for easy-going 20-minute chunks – the show swerves sometimes to show some potential character depth, which allows the actors to dig in a bit more… only to swerve right on back out, because we gotta resolve shit by the credits.

To that extent, the 8-episode season is a pleasant mix of the kinda clever and the kinda ridiculous; nothing’s ever too dumb, but certainly nothing’s all that smart, either.

But if within 30 seconds of Judor making funny voices, you crack a smile, you’ll be content sitting through the entire run.