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Family Law (2021)

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follows a group of flawed family members who reluctantly work together at their father's law firm in downtown Vancouver.

Starring Victor Garber,Jewel Staite, Zach Smadu, and Genelle Williams.

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Episode 1.1 Sins of The Father

After an embarrassing alcoholic incident on her past, Abigail Bianchi returns to law as part of her fathers firm and is thrown in at the deep end, in the midst of family drama and extended family dynamics.  September 17, 2021

 

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It was a good premiere episode.  The cast is good.

I was hoping Craig the dog was going to end up staying with the firm.

Did the siblings already know about each other?

Edited by Trey
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I'd watch Jewel Staite read the phone book so it was great to see her here. And while Kaylee was a sweetheart, Abigail most certainly is not. She still comes across as likeable though.

This show is wonderfully Canadian! The glory shots of Vancouver were great. And yes, East Hastings is where you would go to meet someone sketchy.

Also great to see a Canadian artist getting the title song! Jeremy Fisher performed at a private concert for the company I work at and I have "Uh-Oh" saved on Spotify. The song works great with the show.

Abigail's tattoo had three names on it: Frannie, Sophia and Nico. I'm guessing there will be some tragedy that led to losing Frannie, hence the drinking.

As with all law shows, I see this one is clearly not a documentary and as such can benefit from an unrealistically quick turnaround time in legal matters so that we can have a dramatic trial over administrative issues.

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I missed the first few minutes so did not realize they had made a point to say it's taking place in Vancouver. When Abigail mentioned East Hastings on the phone, I was like oh they're not trying to hide this. 😄

I enjoyed it. I don't think it's appointment television, but I'll catch it.

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Well, I guess I am in minority. I dislike this premiere episode. The lead looks entitled and smug for someone whose profession is in jeopardy. And of course the legal angle is thoroughly crap. There is no way that the lawyer is allowed to give lecture during cross. And they do not even arguing the law. 

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Brief interview with Jewel Staite. Abigail had never met her sister and brother before although they all knew of each other's existence. Because of Covid restrictions, all guest stars are Canadian actors. They were renewed for season 2 even before the first episode aired. She loves that it is unabashedly set in Vancouver.

On 9/17/2021 at 10:27 AM, dwmarch said:

I'd watch Jewel Staite read the phone book so it was great to see her here. And while Kaylee was a sweetheart, Abigail most certainly is not. She still comes across as likeable though.

I haven't seen her play bitchy since she was a teenager on Da Vinci's Inquest so it was fun seeing her here.  I don't like Abigail yet but there is a lot of room for her to grow. I do like how the relationship that she has with her ex is being written, neither is the bad guy there..

From the promos, I thought that Victor Garber was going to be the lead on the show but it looks like she is.

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On 9/18/2021 at 12:26 PM, statsgirl said:

Brief interview with Jewel Staite. Abigail had never met her sister and brother before although they all knew of each other's existence. Because of Covid restrictions, all guest stars are Canadian actors.

It took me a moment, but the husband arguing over custody of the dog is none other than Hank from Corner Gas. You don't get more Canadian than that show. 

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On 9/19/2021 at 5:35 PM, RunningMarket said:

It took me a moment, but the husband arguing over custody of the dog is none other than Hank from Corner Gas. You don't get more Canadian than that show. 

I had seen his name in the opening credits so had no trouble recognizing him.

Last night's episode was okay if a little schmaltz-y.

I think Abby has more problems than alcoholism - a little anger management would be advised.

The brother seems to be a fairly decent guy.

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7 hours ago, Trey said:

I tbink Abby has more problems than alcoholism - a little anger management would be advised.

I thought Jewel Staite absolutely nailed it when Abby told her father that she didn't expect to be in the firm's photo since he's never put her photo up (after seeing all the photos of her brother and sister as kids on the shelves in his office), walking out head held high and immeasurably hurting. Nice line too about running away when she was 7 and her parents not noticing until the next day, to which her mother replied that she only went as far as the garage.

I see Abby more hurt than angry whereas the brother and sister are angry at her because she doesn't act the way they want her to. The sister especially overstepped when she took Sophia's side.

I really like the mom-to-be bonding with Abby about losing access to their children.

Nice to see Laura Bertram again without all the Trance makeup (from Andromeda).

I didn't think much of this show from the promos but it's delivering beyond my expectations.

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How was Lucy angry with Abigail over what was said in her sessions with the client? Were the contents of the sessions not confidential? Add to that that while she shared office space with Svensson & Associates, she was not part of the law firm.

So now the show has confirmed that the setting is indeed in Vancouver, BC, why is it still pretending that the courtroom is not in a Canadian court? And again, I wish that the legal matters in this show reflect actual practices.

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2 hours ago, TV Anonymous said:

And again, I wish that the legal matters in this show reflect actual practices.

But then we wouldn't get the scene where the neglectful husband comes into the courtroom brandishing a sword! In real life that dude would not have made it through the front door of the courthouse and certainly would have been tackled by a bailiff before he could enter the well (thanks to Legal Eagle for pointing out how common this is in court shows).

Good episode although it does seem to be a lot like Ally McBeal in how whatever personal tragedy the characters are going through is reflected in the case of the week.

I'm sad Abby fell off the wagon although she's not entirely blameless which is to say that the engagement party should not have been held at the office! Also, they mentioned in the first episode that they had to take the beer out of the fridge because of Abby so they are already aware that the workplace is not supposed to have booze laying around.

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Episode 1.3 Addicted To Love

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A woman with an online gaming addiction is defended by Abigail after her husband sues her for custody of their children due to the hours she spends playing the online game, and then things take a strange turn.

This is the first time I've seen on TV a marriage breaking down due to the wife's on-line addiction so kudos to the writers for that.

I'm sad that Abby has been cheating on her therapy sessions but good for the therapist for calling her on it.

8 hours ago, TV Anonymous said:

How was Lucy angry with Abigail over what was said in her sessions with the client? Were the contents of the sessions not confidential? Add to that that while she shared office space with Svensson & Associates, she was not part of the law firm.

What she said in her therapy sessions should have been confidential to the the therapy so Lucy was wrong to use what she learned there to be angry at Abby.

6 hours ago, dwmarch said:

I'm sad Abby fell off the wagon although she's not entirely blameless which is to say that the engagement party should not have been held at the office!

They did a good job of showing the triggers: 1. her daughter rejecting her again even when she wanted to help with her period information, 2. Frank maybe continuing his affair at the convention, and 3. her father saying that he already has 2 grandchildren but not having any pictures of Abby in his office while pictures of his other children are there. Three rejections in a row from her child, her spouse and her father pushed her over the edge.

Too bad her father is more likely to use it to beat up on her again than try to fix his mistakes.

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On 9/18/2021 at 3:26 PM, statsgirl said:

From the promos, I thought that Victor Garber was going to be the lead on the show but it looks like she is.

Well the promos worked though lol. I tuned in for the Victor but I'm staying because I'm enjoying this show. Covid mandated Canadian guest stars is so perfect.

I hope Craig becomes a reoccuring character. It kills me when people give their dogs people names.

6 hours ago, statsgirl said:

Too bad her father is more likely to use it to beat up on her again than try to fix his mistakes

Judging by his reaction when he saw her passed out, and that he sensed her hurt over the pictures, I wouldn't write Spydaddy off just yet. 😉

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Episode 1.4 Mama Don't Preach

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Aaron, an out and proud teenager who wants to be emancipated from his parents; initially sceptical of Aaron's reasons, the lawyers realize how weriousthe situation is when Aaron's parents force him into a Pray Away the Gay camp.

 

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I really enjoyed this episode.  Their client was very engaging and I liked that at least one of his parents turned out okay.

I don't think Abby's mother is the best person for Abby to be around - she seems to have a drinking problem too.

I laughed out loud at "Stay away from my husband, you count."

Edited by Trey
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I just watched ep 3 & 4 back to back, and I'm glad I did. The ending of episode 3 was a proper cliffhanger, it would have been hard to wait a week to see how they follow that! It was really cool to see how Abigail managed to trick the test by drinking a lot of water.

I was happy when they shut down the conversion camp.

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Episode 1.5 Until Death Do Us Part

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Abigail and Daniel represent Ira, who wants his wife Helen moved from a care home that he claims is worsening her Alzheimer's; because his daughter doesn't want Helen moved and holds a power of attorney, Ira must challenger her in court.

 

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That was a heartbreaking episode. So much love and loss in this one!

The actor who played Ira was on the short-lived CBC spy drama The Romeo Section. Great to see him again, he's a fantastic actor.

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More and more I wonder how much of Harry and Abigail's estrangement came from her mother keeping them apart, rather than him just being a shitty father.

On 10/9/2021 at 7:56 AM, Trey said:

I laughed out loud at "Stay away from my husband, you count."

Ha! I loved that.

I don't get Daniel's issue, but he's lost a little of the moral leg to stand on.

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I am not sure why the show writers wrote a show where both of Abigail's siblings struggle with the same issue - trouble settling down, not wanting to have kids while their partners reallly want those things. Will this be somehow traced back to Harry and how he was a bad father and that's why they don't want to become parents? That theory might not even check out since in last week's episode the sister said Harry always made her feel adored / accepted. But then I don't know what is the point of giving the two siblings such similar situations.
 

Just a weird place to take the story.

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Episode 1.6 Baby Off Board

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The lawyers are bewildered when a young couple begs them to reverse an adoption after learning about the baby's serious health issues;  Abigail determines that the father is driving the decision and convinces the mother to fight to keep the baby.

 

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Wow, Abigail's therapy scenes were really fascinating. I loved the moment when she realized that Harry had been trying for years, before her mom finally wore him down and he gave up trying to contact her. Hopefully this will cause her to view him differently.

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Episode 1.7 "Three's Company"

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Abigail and Danial represent a soon-to-be-starving-again artist who was once the third member of a plyamorous relationship;  Daniel regrets dumping Danielle; after Abby gets doxxed,Frank and the kids stay with her at her mother's place.

 

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Wow. This week's episode was so deep and emotional. The third in that couple was so in love 🥺.

I loved that Abigail and her husband seem to be making positive progress. I want them to get back together.

I also love that it's becoming more and more apparent that Harry respects and appreciates Abigail more than Daniel, who is frankly pretty stupid and way too uptight. We all know where this is going, Daniel will worry thatt Harry will make Abigail partner instead of him. But that is what he deserves.

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On 10/30/2021 at 4:17 PM, Harvey said:

Wow. This week's episode was so deep and emotional. The third in that couple was so in love 🥺.

I loved that Abigail and her husband seem to be making positive progress. I want them to get back together.

I also love that it's becoming more and more apparent that Harry respects and appreciates Abigail more than Daniel, who is frankly pretty stupid and way too uptight. We all know where this is going, Daniel will worry thatt Harry will make Abigail partner instead of him. But that is what he deserves.

Did I miss a scene  explaining why Daniel was angry at Lucy ?

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8 hours ago, brisbydog said:

Did I miss a scene  explaining why Daniel was angry at Lucy ?

It was at the very start of the episode, I don't recall precisely but he mentioned the office bet that she arranged about when would his relationship end and some other way in which she betrayed him. 

Edited by Harvey
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4 hours ago, Harvey said:

It was at the very start of the episode, I don't recall precisely but he mentioned the office bet that she arranged about when would his relationship end and some other way in which she betrayed him. 

Oh yes I do remember that now, did not think it was a relationship breaker lol

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(edited)

Episode 1.8 Truthiness

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Abigail gets in over her head when she goes to defend a friend who is anti-vaccine; Daniel is bitter over Harry's rejection of his partnership proposal ; Nico gets suspended for forgery, forcing Abby and Frank to reconsider their parenting plan.

 

Edited by statsgirl
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On 11/5/2021 at 5:26 PM, statsgirl said:

Nico gets suspended for forgery, forcing Abby and Frank to reconsider their parenting plan.

They didn't punish Nico and made fun of his suspension as punishment - they sound like really rotten parents.  Kid should have been punished for that until he's 21.

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At least they made him stop (although forging approval signatures on the vaccination form solved the parents fighting case for them.) Harry actually approved of Nico for making money off of it.

There was a lot of lying in this episode, Nico about the signatures, the TV lady about her prospects, Lucy about the extent of her affair.

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6 hours ago, statsgirl said:

the TV lady about her prospects

This pissed me off so much, especially that Abigail would go along with it after what Crystal Steele put her family through last week. And what's to stop the husband from coming after her once the TV deal goes through? It wouldn't take much work to figure out the deal was in the works before the settlement agreement. 

7 hours ago, statsgirl said:

Lucy about the extent of her affair.

Yeah, that was...not good. I wonder why she pushed for a quick marriage?

On 10/30/2021 at 2:17 PM, Harvey said:

I also love that it's becoming more and more apparent that Harry respects and appreciates Abigail more than Daniel, who is frankly pretty stupid and way too uptight.

He definitely appreciates Abigail's more mercenary side, compared to Daniel's. I'm surprised that Daniel thinks he can make partner while condemning his father's cutthroat approach to the firm. He's accusing Abigail of changing the culture of the office when it's pretty obvious that Harry is embracing that change, especially when it brings in more money.

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Really really great episode this week. I  could sympathize with the stance of both sisters, it is a difficult situation.

I am surprised that Crystal was still involved in the episode, 3 episodes in a row now. I thought last week's appearance would be her final one.

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Season finale time next week! I am very excited because in a pre-release intervew both Abigail and Harry's actors said that their favorite moment of the series is in the finale.

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Q: What’s your favourite moment from the season?

Jewel: My favourite moment is in the finale. And not to give anything away, but there’s a really great scene between Harry and Abby that is a touch emotional.

Victor: That’s my favourite scene too!

https://www.globaltv.com/shows/family-law/articles/get-to-know-the-cast-of-family-law-victor-garber-and-jewel-staite/

Can't wait to see what it will be.

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On 11/7/2021 at 1:38 PM, statsgirl said:

At least they made him stop (although forging approval signatures on the vaccination form solved the parents fighting case for them.) Harry actually approved of Nico for making money off of it.

There was a lot of lying in this episode, Nico about the signatures, the TV lady about her prospects, Lucy about the extent of her affair.

I was confused about Nico forging the vaccination forms. In Canada kids can refuse or consent as long as they are old enough to comprehend. But I guess the writers are American ?

Edited by brisbydog
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I actually really liked this weeks episode, the mother daughter conflict was nuanced and real and not so "Ripped from the Headlines" as some of stories have been.

I was also glad to get some movement on Abby's family situation. The limbo is getting a little tedious since it looks like Hubby is going to take her back anyway. Although I keep expecting the other shoe to drop there since Abby as a single parent going through a divorce is the more interesting story. I suspect there will be a bombshell with regards to his cheating in the finale that will shake things up.

One thing I would like to see is more exploration around Abby's drinking and how it got so out of control. They have gone over the incident in the courtroom plenty but things like that don't happen in isolation. I suspect there are other incidents her kids remember that are part of why Sofia is so angry. If the show wants to portray Abby's alcoholism effectively they need to address that it wasn't just one incident.

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They're doing a fair job of addressing Abby's alcoholism with her bailing on therapy and then doing it for real, her fall off the wagon after the engagement party and Jerri having to take her to an AA meeting. The show has a season 2 so there's lots of room to explore more, including the role her mother played.

On 11/14/2021 at 7:25 PM, brisbydog said:

I was confused about Nico forging the vaccination forms. In Canada kids can refuse or consent as long as they are old enough to comprehend. But I guess the writers are American ?

The girl wanted to get the vaccination over her parent's refusal to let her. That's a different situation than refusing to consent to when her parents want it. There is a grey area between 16 and 18 where teens have some autonomy but I think that she wold have to get her own lawyer and appeal to a judge without the forged permission slip and that would take too much time.

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4 minutes ago, statsgirl said:

They're doing a fair job of addressing Abby's alcoholism with her bailing on therapy and then doing it for real, her fall off the wagon after the engagement party and Jerri having to take her to an AA meeting. The show has a season 2 so there's lots of room to explore more, including the role her mother played.

The girl wanted to get the vaccination over her parent's refusal to let her. That's a different situation than refusing to consent to when her parents want it. There is a grey area between 16 and 18 where teens have some autonomy but I think that she wold have to get her own lawyer and appeal to a judge without the forged permission slip and that would take too much time.

At least in Ontario it doesn't matter, parents can refuse all they want but anybody over 12 can decide for themselves

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Episode 1.10  Legacy

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After Nina discovers she is not her father's biological daughter, Abigail traces a histroy of malpractice at the fertility clinic where Nina was conceived; Harry weighs an exciting new relationship against the prospect of losing his kids.

season finale but there is a season 2 coming.

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7 hours ago, statsgirl said:

Episode 1.10  Legacy

season finale but there is a season 2 coming.

When?

Actually enjoyed this episode. Glad to see the Lucy storyline progressed. Sad that Abby fell off the wagon but her "husband" is an ass. Loved the touching scene with Abby and Harry.  Nina saying her dad and herself binging on Alias was a funny call back. 

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The moment where Harry told Abigail that he wants her to stay was so sweet. And I loved the big contrast of how happy she was when she finally got his approval, and then the utter shock she felt after catching her husband with the other woman. Very emotional and the actress's delivery is so subtle.

Can't wait for season 2.

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4 hours ago, greekmom said:

Sad that Abby fell off the wagon

She didn't actually take a drink, she was going to but was interrupted by Lucy at the door.

I love Craig.

Alias is still my favourite show and Victor Garber was outstanding. Would love to see Lena Olin make an appearance!

I'm adopted so it was ridiculous to me at first that Nina wouldn't/couldn't see Brian as her father as I have the opposite perspective of never having/knowing "biological" parents. But to suddenly find that out as adult would be a shock so I can empathize. 

Looking forward to Season 2!

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8 hours ago, OLynn33 said:

I'm adopted so it was ridiculous to me at first that Nina wouldn't/couldn't see Brian as her father as I have the opposite perspective of never having/knowing "biological" parents. But to suddenly find that out as adult would be a shock so I can empathize. 

I understand the shock but I have no empathy for the way she treated the father who was a loving parent to her all her life. After all he was in shock as well but it never for a moment occurred to him to stop seeing her as anything but his daughter. She was was both dumb and very cruel.

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10 hours ago, Harvey said:

The moment where Harry told Abigail that he wants her to stay was so sweet. And I loved the big contrast of how happy she was when she finally got his approval, and then the utter shock she felt after catching her husband with the other woman. Very emotional and the actress's delivery is so subtle.

Jewel Staite. I absolutely adored her on Firefly and was so glad she did not loose the delicate quality she had almost twenty years ago.

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