Writing for women is tough these days. And by that I mean, it is tough to write women that women will feel justifies them while they watch, and it is also tough to encapsulate the diversity that is “the feminine mystique.”
But The Family has managed to do it well and in an interesting way amid a torrent of suspense. Unlike most thrillers these days, the whodunit question is the undercurrent of rich characters being brought to life on the screen — both men and women. Of course, for the purpose of this article, we’re just going to talk about the ladies.
In tonight’s episode, titled “Feathers or Steel,” it struck me how brilliant all the women in this show are — not just because they are “strong” female characters, but because they are diverse in their strength. On the one hand, you have Claire, who totally played the governor for a fool after he tried to shame what he wrongly assumed was her inadequate knowledge of the state. And then the show shifted seamlessly to Claire telling Nina to stay away from her husband while Nina tried to reconcile her affair with the fact that she totally screwed up in her job.
And then there’s the journalist, Bridey, who I have to admit I’m rooting for. Sure, she does things that are 100 percent morally questionable, but she’s fighting for the truth. She thinks she is doing right by Adam and his family. Plus, she seems to actually be developing at least a bit of a sensitivity, if not a crush on Danny, which means the dichotomy of that relationship is definitely going to be one to watch.
The women of the family are far from perfect. In fact, I’m not entirely convinced that Claire and Willa didn’t have some fake Adam come back from the dead just so Claire could gain in the polls. But it is those questionable moral complexities that make the women so interesting and worth watching all on their own.