• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: May 12, 2013
  • Season #: 1
Family Tree Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

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  • Summary: Christopher Guest's improvisational mockumentary comedy follows Tom Chadwick (Chris O'Dowd) as he investigates his ancestry after inheriting a mysterious box of belongings from his great aunt.
  • Genre(s): Comedy
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    May 9, 2013
    A quirky and hilarious gem.
  2. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    May 9, 2013
    Tom Chadwick is a man with a fixation that’s both reasonable and relatable, and he becomes our tour guide to the familiar, funny Christopher Guest worldview.
  3. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    May 10, 2013
    Along the way, Tom becomes briefly attached to potential ancestors who don't pan out or aren't quite what they first seem--a not unfamiliar experience is frequently rendered funny by just a small dollop of strangeness. Sometimes it's more than a dollop, but Family Tree doesn't dwell so long on any single absurdity to make anyone uncomfortable.
  4. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    May 9, 2013
    Like the characters who occupy Guest's best work, particularly A Mighty Wind, Tom and his friends have real stature, and the jokes often gracefully comment on their yearning to puncture the bubbles of their own self-concern to connect to others.
  5. Reviewed by: Jace Lacob
    May 30, 2013
    The television mockumentary format may be reaching oversaturation. But for Family Tree, the result is nonetheless appealing, what I like to call "tea-cozy television"--nothing too precious or too taxing, but comforting to watch all the same.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    May 10, 2013
    Family Tree can feel a little loose and inconsequential.... But that also means that we get to spend more time with Mr. Guest’s crack cast of improvisers and there are moments in each half-hour that pay off.
  7. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    May 10, 2013
    The results contain both fart jokes and erudition, but not so much heart. Family Tree is colder and flatter than Guest’s best work, missing its inspired kookery and high energy strangeness.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jul 2, 2013
    Hilarious show! Amazing cast.
    It's not your typical sitcom with silly laugh tracks, which means that a lot people won't get the subtleties.
    Christopher Guest is a comedy genius! Collapse
  2. Jun 15, 2013
    This show has so many quietly outrageous moments I just can't stop laughing. I look forward to it each week. I think I like Monkey the most who wouldn't? What's really funny is the family is really that strange when you stop and think about it not compared with my family and probably most other families as well. Expand
  3. May 12, 2013
    I agree with Tim Goodman completely quirky and hilarious. I'm looking forward to seeing the characters develop. It's a nice addition to HBO's Sunday night lineup. Expand
  4. Jul 4, 2013
    The actors are great and expectations are high, but it's not funny at all. Other reviewers defend or 'explain' that it's not the show's fault, it's you, by insinuating that only those with astute and fine tuned minds for such unique humor will appreciate the nil laughs. I expected something along the lines of The Office or at least totally sarcastic and absurd, because of the the genre but that is not the case at all. Nothing much happens, and you don't particularly sympathize with anyone. Everybody is so fake nice on the show case in point how is the monkey puppet thing funny? The money 'character' insults everyone, and everyone just deals with it and takes it in stride! After watching the excellent, superb (plus many more compliments) Moone Boy I wanted so much more for Chris O'Dowd. Moone Boy is ACTUALLY funny. Expand