Your Family or Mine: Christmas in July (2015)

This is the kind of show that reminds me why I have never wanted cable. We watch a lot of repellent things in the name of Christmas, but this was a special level of awful.

It’s a sitcom, distinguishable from other sitcoms only by its exceptionable levels of imbecility.

Kate and Oliver are married. Apparently the ‘humor’ of this show comes from them dealing in succession with one or the other of their families. Like every other ‘family’ sitcom.

This episode follows them and their extras, I mean daughters, on a visit to Oliver’s parents. Oliver’s mom insists on getting the family together in the summer to take the annual Christmas card photo, because “people are fat in the winter.” There’s some clever comedy coming here, folks.

In the beginning of the episode (before I stopped thinking to prevent my neurons from shutting down in pain) I was confused. Is Kate not the mother of those two (seven-year-old-ish) girls? If she is, why does she seem flummoxed and confused by things that Oliver’s family does, when they’ve clearly been married for many years? Kate and Oliver’s plotline in the episode consists of them having side conversations about rekindling their sex life.

The other plots follow Oliver’s (dumb, hot) brother and Kate’s (dumb, hot) sister hooking up and then breaking up, and Oliver’s dad having to pass an insurance physical, except it turns out that almost every adult in the house had smoked weed in the last few days.

Ooh, transgressive! Only, this came out last year. Recreational marijuana has been legal in two states since 2012. You know what else came out last year? Sense8. You can’t get laughs with “shocking” jokes about weed and blowjobs and mild sexual roleplay when there is wildly original, inventive content elsewhere truly pushing boundaries.

It’s painful how unfunny it is. The dialogue is either obvious or inane. It’s as though the writers are trapped in the 90s.

Oliver has another brother who’s a jerk. This brother’s wife is constantly belittled by their mother, which wasn’t only unfunny, it was sad and horrid. None of the children have personalities or more than a couple lines.

The Christmas photo plot is extremely minor, unfortunately, and mostly involves the matriarch being cruel about the one woman’s clothing.

Someone had to greenlight this; someone had to write it and direct it. According to the Hollywood Reporter, TBS “quietly canceled” this show after the first ten-episode season.

At least someone was doing their job.

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