I heard a comment recently about siblings: We are not friends. Does this surprise you? I suspect that many of us have long forgotten the favourite colour, music, food of our brother or sister. We know vaguely what they do for a living, where they currently reside, but would struggle to name the street number exactly.
What constitutes friendships between siblings? The Channel 10 series Offspring explores family relationships and in particular sibling friendship with rare candor and honesty. Nina Proudman, her sister Billie and younger brother Jimmy have great affection for one another and demand attention. They do coffee, share breakfast, meet up during work hours and tell all when a new relationships is blossoming. But is this friendship?
I am a late comer to Offspring. I resisted it because of the inane television advertising that emphasised Nina’s stream of conscious dreaming and fantasy about her next beau. But the scriptwriters know a few things about the complexities of family life. About every family – we are all dysfunctional in some way. We all fail each other and ourselves. Life is a cycle of mistakes, repentance, forgiveness and grace. And two seasons in I believe they have dealt well with some difficult issues.
We are waiting for season three in 2012. I do wonder whether the scriptwriters of Offspring will delve deeper into sibling friendship and get further inside Nina’s head and need of love.