In Memoriam: “Family Tree”

“Family Tree”


HBO giveth, and HBO taketh away.  The hilarious and heartfelt (but, admittedly, under-watched) comedy from the mind of Christopher Guest struggled to find an audience from the minute it began airing in the spring of 2013.  But for those who treasured its eight episodes of pleasant quirkiness, Tom Chadwick’s multi-continental genealogical journey to trace the roots of his family tree provided delights in abundance.  But, what’s more, it allowed the likes of Chris O’Dowd to grace our screens each and every week.

It was too young to go, but sometimes the ones that shine brightest are too good for this world and their time spent too short.  So, now, we must say goodbye, part ways like lovers at an airport (seriously, we’re never going to get resolution on that?!).  Let us neither  cry nor mourn its passing but celebrate a life well-lived.  A life of Britcom obsession, Civil War reenactments, owl collections, Abe Lincoln impersonators, insensitive comments about  American Indian culture, disturbing farm work, and Fred Willard’s double entendres.  But, perhaps most important of all, this will be a show remembered for starting the conversation on a hitherto unrecognized brand of hate: mythical racism.

In the face of this tragedy, we must act like the formidable rear of the two-man horse costume: sturdy in the face of unspeakable tribulation.  In short, let’s do what Monkey would: hide behind a wall of biting sarcasm to mask the pain lurking beneath.  Also, ruin children’s birthday parties.  It’s the way “Family Tree” would’ve wanted it.

We’ll miss you, old friend, though we hardly knew ye.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the charity “Unlucky Charms.”  Let’s rein in the hate in honor of our fallen friend.

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