Based on the Australian series “Sisters,” “Almost Family” is the story about sisterhood we didn’t know we needed. The show was created by Annie Weisman and its executive producer is Jason Katims, who is also known for developing “Parenthood” and producing the well-known series “Friday Night Lights.” Just like these shows, “Almost Family” was formulated to get you hooked.
The series, which premiered on Oct. 2, stars Brittany Snow as Julia Bechley. After discovering her father Leon (Timothy Hutton), a doctor who ran his own fertility clinic, used his own sperm to impregnate hundreds of women, Julia feels betrayed and connects with her half sisters Edie (Megalyn Echikunwoke) and Roxy (Emily Osment).
“Almost Family” is an hourlong drama that uses every minute wisely. While much of the show is about the three sisters coming together and becoming a family, they each have their separate storylines as well. For example, Roxy is a former Olympic gymnast who has struggled to find her identity since her retirement. Julia struggles with the death of her mother and has yet to form a lasting romantic relationship. Edie, who is a lawyer, agrees to defend Leon in court and finds herself mixing her personal and professional lives.
Throughout the season, Julia, Edie and Roxy form new and exciting relationships. Julia begins to date a man named Donavon (Michael Stahl-David), who is a widow with two teenage children, and things get serious fast. Roxy gets close to Isaac (Mustafa Elzein), a young doctor who works at Leon’s clinic. Edie falls head over heels for Leon’s prosecutor, Amanda (Victoria Cartagena), despite the fact that she is already married to Tim (Mo McRae).
One of the greatest episodes to air so far was Episode 3. In this episode, a video gets leaked to the internet where Julia confesses to sleeping with her brother (the truth is she did sleep with him years before she discovered he was related to her). The video then goes viral and she receives judgment and criticism from people all across the country. She attempts to find a way to clear things up but only makes matters worse. This episode keeps viewers entertained while exemplifying how quickly reputations can be destroyed on the internet.
Then, in Episode 4, “Younger” actor Michael Urie guest stars as Nate, the newest sibling to seek out Julia. When Nate comes to her for information on the family’s medical history, she sees it as an opportunity to get her first gay best friend. Things go south for Julia when Nate figures out she has been lying in order to impress him. This episode is both fun and dramatic.
I also enjoyed Episode 6, titled “Kosher AF,” where Julia meets another long-lost sister who happens to be an orthodox Jew named Rivka (Tedra Millan). Rivka struggles with the realization that her biological heritage is not what she thought it was and wants Julia to teach her about where she really comes from. Instead, Julia, Roxy and Edie attend Shabbat at Rivka’s to learn more about her culture and welcome their new sister to the family. I loved seeing the women support each other and engage in their customs.
Another one of my favorite episodes was the Thanksgiving episode. In this episode, Roxy invites a girl she recently met on Instagram who claims to be another descendant of Leon Buckley to spend the holiday with them. Meanwhile, Julia invites Donavan to meet her family for the first time. This episode, titled “Thankful AF,” is packed with drama and unforeseen events.
In the most recent episode of the drama, as his trial approaches, Leon struggles to find someone to testify on his behalf. This causes him to finally come to terms with the error of his ways. Also, Edie and Amanda let the case get in the way of their relationship, which leaves her running back to Tim. This episode kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.
“Almost Family” makes an impact on its viewers by giving them the privilege of seeing how three young women care for each other during their times of need. It is Julia and Edie who ultimately convince Roxy to face her biggest fear and check herself into rehab. Also, when Edie feels ashamed about leaving her husband, it is her sisters that acknowledge how hard it is to start over after being married and comfort her.
“Almost Family” is a refreshing and original drama series about sisterhood and making the best of a bad situation. There is never a dull moment when watching “Almost Family” because there are always new surprises. Each episode ends on a cliffhanger begging you to come back for the next episode. Once you start watching, you won’t be able to stop. “Almost Family” is on Wednesdays at 9/8 central on FOX and available to stream on Hulu.