Thanksgiving is inevitably intertwined with the idea of family. It’s the time of year where we trek across the country one way or another to be with family and share a massive meal together. Sometimes the family dynamics are warm and nurturing, and sometimes they can be explosive, but family is always at the center of the season.

One of our favorite TV troupes is the “found” family, where a group of individuals, often misfits, come together and support each other just as much, and sometimes more, than a biological family. In this post, we’re going to look at four of televisions best found families, from Firefly, New Girl, Castle, and Dead Like Me.

Firefly

Any genre TV fan will almost immediately point to “Firefly” when the topic of found family comes up. The crew of Serenity is a found family in every sense, with all the ups and downs of a biological family. Captain Mal Reynolds and ship’s companion Inara are sort of the parental figures to a motley crew of space pioneers.

The crew has their disagreements, like between Mal and Inara, or Mal and Simon…well, you get the general theme there…but at the end of the day, they’re all on the same team, and they support each other when it counts. The scenes where the Serenity crew all have dinner together are iconic and never fail to provide the warm fuzzies. The design of the Serenity dining area, with it’s rustic large table and chairs, is almost perfectly designed to evoke the feeling of family and tradition.

New Girl

Los Angeles, like other big professional cities such as New York and Washington, DC, is full of transplants. When you’re half a country away from your biological family, like three of the four New Girl roommates are, found family takes on special importance. There’s no parent figure in this family; all four roommates have moments of immaturity. Jess, Schmidt, Winston, and Nick all stick by each other when it counts, though, and many episodes of New Girl end with three of the roommates (usually the guys) standing up for the fourth (usually Jess).

In some cases, like last year’s holiday episode, “The 23rd,” the roommates even choose their found family over their biological family. In that episode, Nick ignores his mother’s nagging about making sure he makes his flight to Chicago to take Jess to Candycane Lane when she’s feeling down after a difficult break-up.

Castle

In terms of the great found families in the modern TV era, Castle has gone through it’s fair share of familial changes. From the start, Beckett has always been the older sister to Ryan and Esposito’s pesky brothers. Captain Montgomery was the protective father figure and Castle played the role of awkward cousin/brother wannabe. As the series has progressed and Beckett and Castle’s relationship has evolved to one of romance, they’ve severed those ties and become lovers.

And of course, Captain Montgomery has been replaced by Captain Gates, a much harsher parental figure to our detective quartet. Still, one of the aspects of this TV family that we love is that despite the changes rocking their world, the boys are still able to be friends. Of course, it wouldn’t be Castle without Ryan and Esposito giving Castle a little crap for dating their big sister.

Dead Like Me

The Grim Reaper crew was an unlikely amalgamation of characters that really fell into place as one of the best found TV families in the last decade. From the start, you have George who is killed by a falling space toilet seat. Seriously, how great is that? She gets swept up by Rube and his band of Reapers, essentially being the newly adopted daughter of the family.

Over the course of the two seasons the show was on, the family remained fairly stable. George found her place in the family, going from annoying, clueless little sister to effective big girl Reaper. Mason was the ever annoying older brother while Rube and Roxie were the mostly stable parental units. The only real change that took place was the quick transition from Betty to Daisy. Daisy really proved to be the older sister that George needed to fit in with her newfound relatives.

So whether you’re bouncing around that big wide universe on a little Firefly class ship, taking souls or just trying to grow up and survive, family is the key to making it just that little bit better. Having people to depend on when you need them most is a theme that everyone can relate to, and perhaps that is why as we all make our way to our own families this Thanksgiving, we take a page out of these families’ books and just let the good times roll.

Cassandra Clare keeps expanding the Shadowhunters’ universe, with the first adult books of the chronicles just announced!

Clare announced via press release this morning that she’ll publish a trilogy about Magnus Bane, the fan-favorite warlock who’s appeared in every single one of her books and already received a collection of eleven spin-off novellas all about him (The Bane Chronicles). There is no word yet on whether the new books will tie in with the stories told in The Bane Chronicles.

Interestingly, this trilogy will be Clare’s first foray into adult literature, after writing extensively in the YA realm. She always pushed the boundaries of YA, though, with the inclusion of “Dirty Sexy Balcony Scenes” and the like. The first Shadowhunter book, City of Bones, was published in 2007, and the teens who picked it up back then will feel right at home in the adult section of a bookstore today.

Also of note, the series will be co-written with Wesley Chu (author of The Lives of Tao). Clare seems to like having co-writers when dealing with Magnus Bane; The Bane Chronicles are the only other Shadowhunter books that have other authors attached.

The first Magnus Bane book is expected to be published in November 2017. This means that Cassandra Clare will have three Shadowhunters series being published concurrently… The Dark Artifices, The Last Hours, and this Magnus Bane series.

If various sources are to be believed, all three will have an installment published in 2017. The second Dark Artifices book, Lord of Shadows, is expected in April. The Magnus Bane book, as mentioned above, is due in November. And the official site of the Shadowhunter Chronicles still says that the first Last Hours book, Chain of Thorns, is expected in 2017. Clare has a sixth series planned after getting some of these finished, The Wicked Powers, so there’ll be more Shadowhunters coming to a bookstore near you at least through the early 2020s.

Perhaps the decision to publish the Magnus Bane trilogy was based on the character’s success on the Shadowhunters TV show, where the fan favorite is portrayed by Harry Shum Jr. Shadowhunters was renewed for a second season by ABC Family, and it looks like they may have many seasons ahead of them.

Clare said, “Over the years writing the Shadowhunter books, Magnus Bane has emerged as one of the most fun and fascinating characters for me to bring to life… There are so many things we don’t know about Magnus, from the story of his first love to the secrets of his parentage, to the beginning of his relationship with Alec. All those are things I was able to touch on in The Bane Chronicles, but I’m excited to dig in even more deeply in these three volumes devoted to Magnus, his past, his future, and his present.”

Are you excited for three books all about Magnus Bane, or is this Shadowhunter overkill?

The Boxcar Children are heading to the big screen for a new movie series.

Many of us grew up with the wonderful Boxcar Children book series when we were kids. The stories by Gertrude Chandler Warner follow Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny, who live in a train boxcar as they search for a home. As kids we all wanted to live in that boxcar (or at least I did — I thought it was so cool to live in a train car with friends!).

According to a press release from Shout! Factory Studios and Legacy Classics, work on a new Boxcar Children animated movie series is well underway, with the first movie aiming for a release in 2017 (which marks the 75th anniversary of Boxcar Children #1). Two more Boxcar Children stories are also in development.

If the animation quality is at the Sunday-morning-cartoon level I probably won’t be very excited about it, but if it’s a more mature animation style (like a Pixar or a Coraline) I can imagine myself loving it.

boxcar-children-books

The Boxcar Children movie series is poised to do well thanks to the overall success of the books they’re based on. The novels have collectively sold over 70 million copies worldwide, with over 160 books (?!) in its arsenal. The two most recent books are titled The Legend of the Irish Castle and The Celebrity Cat Caper, which were both published this year. Looking through the history of the series, roughly four Boxcar Children books have been published annually. The original author, Gertrude Chandler Warner, only wrote the first 19.

A low-budget animated Boxcar Children film debuted two years ago, but today’s announcement marks a reboot with a new studio at the helm.

Arrested Development‘s fourth season aired three years ago today. To celebrate its legacy (and to try to forget how much we’re missing it right now), let’s rank the best recurring Arrested Development jokes!

It’s really no secret that Arrested Development has some of the best recurring jokes and gags of all time. Even people who don’t watch the show are familiar with things like “There’s always money in the banana stand” and “I’ve made a huge mistake.” The jokes in this show are just so understated and catchy that it would’ve been crazy had they not have caught on. Thanks to Arrested Development‘s recurring jokes, pop culture has never been quite the same.

To celebrate our undying love for Arrested Development, we decided to forgo the banner (sorry, everyone) and instead put together a list of all of the gags and jokes that we think are the best ones the show’s ever done. Not only that, but we’re leaving it up to you to rank them!

How to play: Love a certain joke and think that it should be at the top of the list? Upvote it. Really hate another joke and don’t understand how it got on the list in the first place? Hit that little downward-facing arrow. Don’t care either way for some of these gags? Then you can just leave them untouched. It’s all good! We just want to know what YOU think! With everyone participating we’ll be able to build a definitive list of the best Arrested Development jokes!

So, grab your denim cut-offs and hot ham water, and maybe even do a little chicken dance to get yourself pumped up (but not with the hot ham water in your hand, please). If you’re an Arrested Development fan, you’re sure to love ranking these jokes.

(Just be careful about which arrow you hit. You don’t want to hit the wrong one and find yourself saying “I’ve made a huge mistake.”)

Are there any ‘Arrested Development’ jokes missing from the list? Add them below!

 
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