Fam,  Sitcom

‘Fam’ Is Everything To Clem…Oh, And Her Dad’s Alive… Did We Mention Nina Dobrev Shines?

[Contains Spoilers for the Pilot episode of ‘Fam’]

Nina Dobrev is back on the small screen and she has officially graduated to TV adulthood in her new Sitcom, Fam.

Fans of Degrassi and The Vampire Diaries will remember Nina Dobrev for playing teenage characters. In the new sitcom Fam, Nina Dobrev plays Clem, a recently engaged woman who works in event planning. Her fiancée, Nick is played by Tone Bell. Nick is an Associate Professor of World Literature at NYU. Gary Cole stars as Clem and Shannon’s estranged father, Freddy.

Family Values

[Credit: Best Movie Cast]

Clem has become engaged to her boyfriend, Nick. She has a close relationship with his parents, Rose and Walt and has not spoken to her teenage half-sister, Shannon in what she alleges has been years. What’s more is she told Nick and his parents her dad, Freddy was dead.

After Nick proposes, Clem tells him they have to tell his parents immediately. She also voices how much she adores Walt and Rose, saying they’re the parents she’s always wanted. Overly excited, Clem doesn’t follow with the plan to break the news slowly and announces the news at the door.

Rose and Walt are overjoyed with the news and embrace the pair warmly. Clem’s future in-laws start planning the wedding while Rose pulls out her wedding dress for Clem to look at. While Clem’s looking at the dress, Nick tells his folks they’re the only family Clem has and they need to breath with the wedding plans.

Clem reemerges, saying she loves the dress. Nick tells her the wedding can be as big or small as she wants. She tells him she doesn’t need a big wedding all she needs is their family.

Introducing Shannon

“Pilot” – Nina Dobrev and Tone Bell star in a comedy about a woman whose vision of a perfect life with her adoring fiancé and his wonderful family is radically altered when her 16-year-old, out-of-control half-sister unexpectedly comes to live with her, on the series premiere of FAM, Thursday, Jan. 10 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Odessa Adlon, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Brian Stokes Mitchell also star. Pictured (L-R): Odessa Adlon as Shannon and Nina Dobrev as Clem. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

When they get back to the apartment, they get the shock of their lives when they find Shannon in the kitchen. Nick goes to change while Clem questions why her sister broke in.

Shannon tells her she needed a place to crash until her boyfriend got back from selling drugs. Clem condemns the move while Shannon makes the point Clem dated a drug dealer at 16. Clem corrects her saying her ex did drugs and that there was a difference. Shannon explains her mother moved to Phoenix a year ago and she can’t stand living with their dad.

Clem hushes her, saying she lied to Nick about their dad. Shannon asks why she would lie with her sister explaining their father is a psychopath. Shannon agrees before she goes to get a beer. Clem stops her, telling her she cannot drink. 

Shannon asks why would she care when their dad doesn’t care if she drinks. Clem rebuts that their dad isn’t there to tell her no. Shannon fakes tears when she sees Nick re-enter the room. When Nick leaves, she asks if she can have her beer.

Trip To See Dad And Shannon’s Make-Out Session With The Kid Down The Hall

“Freddy Returns” – After learning that Clem doesn\’t plan to invite her father to the wedding, Nick\’s parents encourage her to ask him over to their home for dinner to help repair their relationship. Also, Nick tries to teach Shannon to be more responsible at home, on FAM, Thursday, Jan. 17 (9:30-10:00PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured (L-R): Nina Dobrev as Clem and Gary Cole as Freddy. Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The next morning,  Clem gives Nick his lecture notes while Shannon makes fun of him for being an Associate Professor at NYU. When Nick leaves for work, Clem questions why Shannon isn’t at school. The teen says she fools their dad by saying it’s Christmas break and he believes her while still not caring about her life.

Clem pays their dad a visit at work where he’s a homicide detective. She lectures him about taking care of his 16-year-old daughter who dropped out of school.

Nick returns home to find Shannon making out with the kid from down the hall. She asks if he ever knocks with that he replies, it’s his home so he does not knock. The kid leaves, professing his love for Shannon. Nick says he’s confusing love with dry humping. Nick asks Shannon why her boyfriend hasn’t picked her up yet. She explains he dumped her, and she’s gone lesbian because men suck. The kid returns and Nick tells him Shannon’s gone lesbian.

Back at the Police Station, Freddy asks Clem if she’s met Shannon’s boyfriend, mocking his name. Clem, frustrated, tells him Shannon broke into her apartment with the skills he taught her. Freddy tells her it’s awesome. Clem continues her lecture before she storms out of the room. She picks up on the lecture when her father follows her and leaves the precinct.

Nick And The Pot Nuts

[Credit: CBS]

Clem returns home and tells Nick her day was horrible but leaves out she saw her dad. Clem goes to kiss him but he tells her Shannon is in the next room. He further explains Shannon’s drug dealer boyfriend dumped her and told her she could stay with them another day until she worked something out. He also tells his fiancée that his mother invited them over so she and Walt could meet Shannon.

Shannon then walks out in Clem’s wedding dress to Clem’s horror. Clem asks her to take it off and not to embarrass her in front of Nick’s family.  Shannon says she’s proud of Clem for making something of her life. She notices her bag of nuts. She asks if Clem ate them. Her sister says Nick did. Shannon laughs when saying there’s pot in the nuts.

 Clem panics saying they’re about to go Nick’s parents’ place and he’ll be high. Shannon tells her they’re mild, and he’ll be fine. The amusement on her face says otherwise.

At dinner, Walt and Rose look in total confusion as Nick laughs for no reason. Clem freaks out while Shannon struggles to keep a straight face. Nick is so off his face, he puts olives on his fingers. Clem and Shannon are forced to make up an excuse about their dad’s ‘death’. When Walt goes to open the front door, Freddy is standing there, causing Clem and Shannon to go into a panic.

Back at their apartment, an unhappy Nick who is no longer high has a go at Clem for not telling him her dad is still alive. Clem admits she was scared he wouldn’t love her if she told him she cut her dad out of her of her life. Nick tells her he’ll always love her, no matter what, and he loves her more than before.

Asking Shannon To Move In And Drugged Parents

[Credit: CBS]

After finding Shannon’s backpack, Clem and Nick ask Shannon to move in with them. Clem doesn’t want her sister making the same mistakes she did at 16 and wants her to have a chance in life.

At first, Shannon declines the offer, but Nick makes the point she broke into her sister’s apartment, so it means something. Clem explains she used to think family meant nothing until she met Nick. Now, she thinks family means everything.

Shannon asks if they’re certain they want her to live with them and they hug her.

After another family dinner, Walt and Rose sing and play the piano while high after Shannon spikes the salad with pot nuts. Clem thanks Nick for letting Shannon stay and he tells her he couldn’t say no.

Verdict

I rather liked it. I don’t listen to the critics because their views are indecisive and the show wasn’t written for them. The show has so much potential. It’s only once a week. The episodes will only get stronger from here. You can’t base an opinion around just one episode. You need time to let the show grow. While some jokes aren’t funny, they contained heart, and that’s all that matters. If you’re a Nina Dobrev fan, you have to give this show a chance

Fam airs on CBS

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot. She now writes for FanSided website, Dork Side of the Force and WhatCulture.

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