Deliciously dark with more twists and turns than a mountain road, ABC’s The Family has become my spring television addiction this year. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the show, it centers on the high-profile, politically-charged Warren family who’s lives are turned upside down when youngest family member Adam suddenly reappears after disappearing almost a decade ago. However, things aren’t always what they seem, and, as Adam settles into their lives, secrets begin to unravel and their fragile family begins to crumble even further.
Mystery, intrigue, and an edge-of-your-seat story about seriously complex characters, this show has just about everything you could want in a primetime drama. However, it’s the Warren’s oldest son Danny that keeps me coming back week after week. Played by the gorgeous Zach Gilford of Friday Night Lights fame, Danny is that bad boy with the heart of gold every girl wants to save. His lazy smile and laid-back nature provides a stark contrast to the rest of high-strung brood, and he rocks ripped jeans and old-tshits like no one’s business.
Not convinced? Here are five reasons why Danny Warren is the best thing about The Family.
He owns who he is.
There is no there way to put it: Danny is a mess. He drinks too much, lacks ambition, and comes off way too brash. He’s the black sheep who can’t ever do anything right in his family’s eyes and will never be the perfect political son. Yet, he doesn’t really care. He knows he’s a screwup and takes full ownership of that. Where others try to cover up their sins, he revels in his. He makes mistakes, falls down, and crashes and burns, but he keeps getting back up. He’s living his life the way he wants too, not the way others think he should. No matter what he does, you know it’s going to be Danny’s kind of crazy ride.
He’s fiercely protective of his siblings.
Calling the relationship Danny has with his sister Willa complicated is a serious understatement. Some days it seems all they do is fight or trade snide remarks and judgements. However, when the chips are down, Danny’s the first one to step in and give Willa a hand. He talked her out of breakdown under her desk, warned Bridey to back the hell off when he found out she was hooking up with both of them, and was totally cool when Willa finally came out to him. He’s even warmed up to the newly-returned Adam, despite his suspicions of whether or not he’s really his brother, letting the boy drive his car and trying to keep things light during a sting. No matter how crazy things seem to get, Danny’s got his siblings’ backs.
He’s the comic relief.
In a a family as uptight and dramatic as the Warrens, there has to be someone who can show up and lighten the mood. This is where our boy Danny comes in. While the family is freaking out about getting last minute voters on election night, he’s on the phone order a couple dozen pizzas. When Willa needs to chill, his idea of therapy is hitting up a bar or lacing a convince store Slurpee with booze. When Bridey comes down for breakfast, he’s quick to reassure his family that it’s okay because she’s not a hooker. From eye rolls to sarcastic barbs, he’s free spirit, no-filter approach to situations makes for some pretty funny moments at the most unlikely of times. Hey, in a family where everyone is laser focused on some crazy goal, you still need someone who will order the pizza.
He see through all the bull around him.
It’s so easy to write Danny off as just a drunk. However, he’s not as dumb as he seems. He’s an expert a seeing beyond the crap people are trying to sell him. (Hey, in the Warren family, you kind of have to be.) He’s the first one to voice suspicion about Adam not really being Adam. He puts together the Bridey is hooking up with both him and Willa when he sees at the pink penguin he won for her on Willa’s bed. Even as a kid, he wasn’t afraid to call out his parents for ignoring the fact that, while Adam was gone, they still had two kids left. Sure, it may take him a minute or two to put all the pieces together, but he knows something’s up and he’s going to get to the bottom of it.
He’s the only Warren we can trust.
Between sister Willa’s scheming, mom Claire’s quest for power, dad John’s affair, and the sheer existence of brother Adam, it seems like all the Warrens have a skeleton or five in their closets. All of them that is except for Danny. Danny’s pretty much an open book who wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s so much of a train wreck that all his flaws are constantly on display. However, blatant bad behaviors are what make him the most upstanding member of the Warren clan. He’s the only one you can count on to not have some secret motive or screw you over. Sometimes, being the bad boy pays off.