The Family Law, Series 2 Episode 4 by Benjamin Law and Kirsty Fisher (Matchbox Pictures)
It’s tempting to pigeonhole The Family Law as a story about migrants and race, but its power lies in the fact that it transcends those labels. It’s a story about Australia. That the main cast of characters are Benjamin Law’s Asian Australian family doesn’t detract from that — it reinforces it. The stories, jokes and experiences are uniquely Aussie, even if they’re told from the perspectives of characters we rarely get to see or enjoy on television.
It’s blisteringly funny, and the way Law manages to regularly make ‘mainstream’ Anglo-Australian culture the punchline, whether the food or the dress — just as many non-Anglo Australians have had to endure for years — is sharp and overdue. On a technical level the script is brilliant. The characters are splendidly developed and the settings and situations are evocatively described, allowing the reader to place themselves directly in the action — which is what makes the work even funnier and more pointedly relevant.