For a long time, the go-to TV family comedy was often the traditional sitcom — the predictable, heartwarming style that populated ABC's TGIF line-up. Now, though, there's more edge in the average comedy, especially cable series like The Detour, which is incredibly raunchy and weird for a story about an ostensibly normal nuclear family who have various misadventures as they take a road trip through the south in Season 1 and New York City in Season 2. The second season finale airs April 25. But will The Detour return for Season 3? So far, TBS hasn't made an announcement either way, leaving fans of the series waiting to find out if the road trip will continue.
The show's fate is in the hands of the network that was excited enough it so early on that the second season was greenlit before the pilot had even aired, per Variety. The second season premiere netted The Detour's highest ratings ever, according to TV By the Numbers, so perhaps that alone will be enough to bring it back for more episodes. TBS' commitment to its collection of comedies, from Angie Tribeca to Search Party, could also bode well for the show's future.
While you wait to find out if the Parker family will stay on the road, here are some other smart, funny series that put a unique spin on family life.
This show is one of the few that manages to update an old-fashioned sitcom style to suit a contemporary family. The conflicts on black-ish probably look familiar to a lot of households. The Johnson kids can be spoiled sometimes, their parents stress about screwing things up, and this multigenerational family regularly disagrees. But always with love and a lot of humor.
The Midwest isn't often represented on TV, so the setting of The Middle is pretty unconventional. But the Heck family would be worth watching regardless of where they live, because they're so well-drawn after a half dozen seasons.
F Is For Family
The patriarch in F Is for Family seems to despise having a wife and children. Frank has hidden depths of feeling, but it's not enough to save the Murphy family from economic problems, bad communication, and a lot of tossed-off swear words.
The Carmichael Show
This series is a self-aware commentary on the shows of the '80s and '90s that featured many Very Special Episodes. The Carmichael Show characters openly discuss vital social issues on a regular basis.
You may wonder why I chose this series instead of Seth MacFarlane's more famous animated comedy, Family Guy, But American Dad has always cared more about the family at its core, trading in constant, absurdist humor for the occasional character- and emotion-driven episode. Just as often, though, it goes for intense gore or even eschews the show's reality for a self-contained adventure.
They're probably the most inappropriate family on TV. The Gallaghers from Showtime's Shameless have used their particular brand of irascibility and irresponsibility to turn bad jobs into slightly better ones, save their home, and ignore various addictions, while always sticking up for one another.
The Detour lies in wait, but other modern clans are changing the way TV thinks about family.