Diane Wiest and James Brolin star as Joan and John in this hilarious comedy about the Short family as they navigate the trials and tribulations of daily life. The show is broken down into four shorts, one for the parents and one for each of their three children as we see events played out from each of their perspectives – or at least an aspect of their life that ultimately ties into each episode's storyline.
The three adult children are made up of Heather, her husband Tim and their three children, Matt and his girlfriend Coleen and Greg with his wife Jen. It's such a clever show and the writing is impeccable as are the stories that run through each episode and season. It's very easy watching and is mostly themed around relationships, sibling rivalries, in-laws and ultimately surviving a large family when there are so many different personalities.
You're probably thinking it sounds exactly like Modern Family and in some ways it's very similar – both are created at the same studio, both have smaller stories that revolve around a more complex family structure and incidentally both pilots were directed by the same person. So how is it different? It's not as manic as Modern Family which tends to always have it's characters running around getting into funny situations whereas Life In Pieces is calmer and it's the dialogue that's comedic – the witty banter and interaction between siblings and their partners as they go about doing ordinary every day things.
Because Life In Pieces is split into four sections, each with it's own title, it means that everybody in the show gets a fairly equal amount of screen time to flex their acting chops and so very funny stories can get told in five minutes rather than being dragged out over 20 minutes. That's also the downside because you do wish that you could see more of your favourites. Life In Pieces has three seasons on Amazon, each with 22 episodes so there's definitely plenty to get your teeth into if you're searching for new glossy comedy and I highly recommend this one. Think wacky along the lines of Arrested Development!