Previewing Family Law

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

That old adage about home is where they have to take you in is made sort of true in Global TV’s new drama series, Family Law. Set and filmed in Vancouver, the series centers on attorney Abby Bianchi (Jewel Staite), who experiences an extraordinary career misstep stemming from a personal betrayal that quickly goes viral because it’s 2021 and there are teenagers around when it goes down. (You can watch that in the clip below).

Picking up a few months later, Abby is still extremely bitter about the forced (and court-appointed) reset that sends her to work for her estranged father, Harry Svensson (Victor Garber), one of the city’s premier attorneys, but she also wants to keep her license to practice.

Compounding the hella awkward is that Svensson’s son — and Abby’s half-brother, Daniel (Zach Smadu), and Harry’s daughter/Abby and Daniel’s half-sister, Lucy (Genelle Williams), also work at the firm. Both Daniel and Lucy proudly carry Svensson’s name while Abby uses her husband’s.

Family Law

The first episode finds Abby bristling against the conditions of her (very junior) employment until she invites herself into a case when a young girl comes to see Lucy for help finding out who her birth father is. While it’s initially appealing for less-than-charitable reasons, once Abigail measures it against her damaged relationship with her own daughter, she looks for a better solution.


Family Law

Living with her Mom, Joanne (Lauren Holly), because her marriage to Frank (Luke Camilleri), is also in need of repair, is another challenge for Abby, but she starts to see the benefits of that, too.

The series balances a dramatic and comedic tone as the firm helps out with cases that are both serious and not so much, and the Svensson clan bicker on a dime but only rarely cross a line into being completely hateful, which I appreciated. And while Abby has good reason to be angry, she does eventually temper it for the greater good, recognizing that empathy and pragmatic — but kinder — choices are much more powerful tools to help her get her life back.

Family Law

Susin Nielsen, who’s had a hand in shows like Degrassi Junior High, Arctic Air, Heartland, Cedar Cove, Madison, Ready or Not, Franny’s Feet and Braceface, and is also an award-winning YA novelist, created the series and serves as showrunner. The first season runs ten episodes, and production is already underway on a second season.

Family Law

Family Law airs at 9 pm Fridays on Global TV. Here are a couple of sneak peeks.

Photos and Video Courtesy of Corus Entertainment.

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