“A Friend of the Family” on OCS: a chilling true story

A neighbor who did not wish them well. The fiction “A Friend of the Family” depicts the incredible story of the Broberg tribe, whose members were totally manipulated by the father of the family who had just moved next to their home, in the United States, in the 1970s. The series, broadcast from this Tuesday at 9 p.m. on OCS Max (and available on the OCS platform) with two episodes per week, is based on a true story.

Mother Mary Ann and daughter Jan Broberg are producers. The latter, main target of predator and pedophile Bob Berchtold, even appears on camera in the preamble to the first part, ensuring that as incredible as it may seem, the events on screen really happened to her and her family.

Indeed, reality exceeds the wildest imagination of screenwriters. For years, Bob Berchtold managed to impose his influence on the Brobergs, seducing them figuratively or literally one by one. All while targeting the eldest daughter, Jan, whom he managed to kidnap twice by convincing her that she was an alien destined to save humanity.

Multiple nuances of play

“A Friend of the Family” is so well written that the series manages to build a chilling tension from start to finish. She thus unfolds her plot accurately, allowing us to understand the ins and outs of this crazy story. A feat which also owes a lot to the multiple nuances of acting demonstrated by the actors.

In the role of the predator, Jake Lacy delivers a breathtaking performance. He exudes a charm as powerful as the perversity of his character. First known for his roles in comedies (“Better With You”, “The Office”), the now 38-year-old actor made his mark in the first season of “The White Lotus” in 2021, as an arrogant and obnoxious young groom to his wife. Here he confirms all his talent for two-faced roles.

In the genre of “true crimes”, a real surprise

Facing him, parents Mary Ann and Bob Broberg are played by Anna Paquin (“X-Men”, “True Blood”) and Colin Hanks (“Roswell”, the new “Jumanji”, the series “Fargo”). Tom Hanks’ son is unrecognizable and in tune with his partners in the quality of his interpretation. As for young Jan, she is first played by Hendrix Yancey (seen in “Stranger Things”) then by McKenna Grace, who already has a very long CV despite her age (17 years) and notably played an important role in the final seasons of “The Handmaid’s Tale: The Handmaid’s Tale”.

In the teeming jungle of “true crimes” »these fictions inspired by very real news stories, “A Friend of the Family” surprises, both in the amazement it arouses and in its quality on all levels.

Editor’s note:

A Friend of the Family “, American series by Nick Antosca (2022) with Jake Lacy, Anna Paquin, Colin Hanks… Episodes 1 and 2/9 (2 x 50 minutes). Two parts added every Tuesday, the last three on December 19.

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