Family Matters: 20 TV Series That Put the Spotlight on Dysfunctional Families
Family Matters: 20 TV Series That Put the Spotlight on Dysfunctional Families
Staff Writer, BuddyTV

There is no such thing as the perfect family, even on TV. The more flawed and screwed up they are, the more relatable they seem to be. Here are 20 TV shows that will make your family look normal in comparison.

One Tree Hill

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Cast: Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Sophia Bush
Where to watch: Hulu, Vudu and FandangoNow

Rivalry fuels the drama between half-brothers Nathan and Lucas Scott, who are not only competing for positions on their school's basketball team but also going after the same girl.

Arrested Development

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Cast: Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter
Where to watch: Netflix, Vudu and FandangoNow

Chaos is the new normal for the Bluths, who have been through it all: lawsuits, treason charges, death and occasionally incestuous relations.


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Cast: William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Ethan Cutkosky, Emma Kenney, Cameron Monaghan and Jeremy Allen White
Where to watch: Showtime, Vudu and FandangoNow

It's hard to believe that the Gallaghers have survived after all these years considering this family consists of a deadbeat alcoholic dad, a con-artist son, another gay son with bipolar disorder and a rebellious teenager eager to lose her virginity. But leave it to eldest daughter Fiona to keep the family together while having a little fun on the side.

Game of Thrones

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Cast: Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke
Where to watch: HBO, Vudu and FandangoNow

Arguably the most screwed-up royal family on TV, the Lannisters have no shortage of scandals. Besides brother Jaime and twin sister Cersei being secret lovers with illegitimate children, almost everyone is out for each other's head.

The Simpsons

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Where to watch: FOXVudu and FandangoNow

The most influential family on TV is also the epitome of dysfunctional. Homer is the lazy and stupid father who is obsessed with food and beer, Marge is the stereotypical housewife, Bart is their 10-year-old troublemaker son, Lisa is their eight-year-old activist daughter while Maggie is their non-speaking baby.


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Cast: Elizabeth Gillies, Nathalie Kelley, James Mackay, Robert Christopher Riley, Sam Adegoke, Rafael de la Fuente, Alan Dale and Grant Show
Where to watch: The CW, Netflix, Vudu and FandangoNow

Catfights, backstabbing and deception are all too familiar with the Carringtons, who are always on the quest for power and fortune -- even if it means taking down one another.


Cast: Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Bryshere Y. Gray, Jussie Smollett and Trai Byers
Where to watch: FOX, Vudu and FandangoNow
Dad Lucious is a former drug dealer turned hip-hop mogul while mom Cookie spent 17 years behind bars after taking the fall for her now-ex-husband's trafficking and is now determined to reclaim her share of Empire Entertainment. If the parents are any indication, then it's safe to say their kids are messed up as well. Eldest son Andre is power hungry and suffers from bipolar disorder, gay middle son Jamal is talented yet is estranged from his homophobic father, and youngest son Hakeem is obsessed with fame.

Six Feet Under

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Cast: Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy, Lauren Ambrose, Freddy Rodriguez, Mathew St. Patrick, Jeremy Sisto and Rachel Griffiths
Where to watch: HBO, Vudu and FandangoNow

Confronted by death on a daily basis, the Fishers aren't your normal family. They run a funeral home and are constantly plagued by issues like religion, infidelity and mortality.


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Cast: Mary-Louise Parker, Justin Kirk, Hunter Parrish and Alexander Gould
Where to watch: Showtime, Netflix, Vudu and FandangoNow

A mom selling marijuana in order to make ends meet after the death of her husband already spells trouble but leave it to the Botwins to dig themselves into a bigger hole.

The Originals

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Cast: Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Claire Holt, Phoebe Tonkin and Charles Michael Davis
Where to watch: The CW, Netflix, Vudu and FandangoNow

As if being a vampire isn't complicated enough, the Mikaelsons have been at each other's throats for centuries. To make matters worse, they have become embroiled in the supernatural politics of New Orleans, where there's a war brewing between vampires, werewolves and witches.

Want more dysfunctional families? Check out the following TV shows:

Everwood (Hulu, Vudu and FandangoNow)
Parenthood (Hulu, Vudu and FandangoNow)
Cougartown (Hulu, Vudu and FandangoNow)
Modern Family (ABC, Vudu and FandangoNow)
Bloodline (Netflix)
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FXX, Vudu and FandangoNow)
Married with Children (Vudu and FandangoNow)
The Sopranos (HBO, Vudu and FandangoNow)
This Is Us (NBC, Vudu and FandangoNow)
Scandal (ABC, Vudu and FandangoNow)

For more TV and movie recommendations and where to stream, download the free VIZIO SmartCast app.

(Images courtesy of Showtime, The CW, FOX, HBO, Netflix)