Series 1 - Episode 1: Pilot

Episode 1: Pilot

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Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) and Zeek Braverman (Craig T Nelson) have four adult children. Their eldest son, Adam (Peter Krause), has a successful marriage and a family of his own. His brother, Crosby (Dax Shepard), meanwhile, is a 32-year-old commitment-phobe with a long-suffering girlfriend.

Second daughter Sarah (Lauren Graham) is a single mother who has two kids by an unreliable musician. Sarah’s circumstances are made all the more unbearable by the presence of her younger sister, Julia. Happily married, Julia works full-time as a corporate lawyer while her husband is a stay-at-home dad to their daughter. When Sarah loses her job as a barmaid, she is forced to return to the fold, moving her brood into her parents’ house. Catapulted back into small-town life, Sarah is frustrated by her loss of independence.

Sarah and her children receive a warm welcome from Camille and Zeek. However, Amber and Drew are none to happy about sharing a bedroom and constantly being under their grandparents’ noses. Sullen Drew is determined to find a way to move to Fresno to live with his deadbeat dad, while rebellious Amber sets about trying to corrupt Adam’s angelic daughter, Haddie. Much to Sarah’s chagrin, she succeeds spectacularly in doing so when the girls are seized by the police. “You made me mad and you embarrassed me and it’s going to be a long time before you earn my trust back,” Sarah tells Amber.

As well as dealing with the moods and whims of her teenage offspring, Sarah must also contend with Julia’s unwanted attempts to put her big sister’s life in order. After bumping into Sarah’s college boyfriend, Julia suggests the pair go on a date. Sarah reluctantly agrees, but when she comes face to face with her old flame, she is unimpressed. Not only has his physical appearance changed for the worse, he is working full-time in a cafe. Furious, Sarah storms off to berate her sister for such a disastrous set-up. “Is this who I am to you?” she seethes. “I know I’m not a big lawyer who walks around in the weekends in a Juicy pantsuit. Does that mean I have to go out with a fat, balding barista?”

Elsewhere, Adam encourages his son, Max, to play baseball, although the child seems afraid to join in. Zeek suggests that Adam could be a bit more disciplined with Max, but Adam refuses to take his dad’s advice. “I don’t want him to feel like everything in life is a war,” he says. When Max becomes involved in a classroom brawl, he is expelled from school. Later, an educational psychologist delivers some shocking news that will change the boy’s future and the family’s focus.

Meanwhile, Crosby digs in his heels when girlfriend Katie announces her intention to become pregnant via a sperm donor. “Every time the word commitment comes up, you wince,” she tells him. However, a meeting with an old flame sees Crosby’s life take a surprising turn.

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