Benjamin Law’s SBS series The Family Law will break new ground with its central character’s coming out story in its final season, starting tonight.
Created and co-written by the journalist and author (pictured, centre), the acclaimed show is loosely based on Law’s memoir of the same name and is a coming-of-age story told through the eyes of teenager Ben (Trystan Go), as he navigates growing up on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast with his dysfunctional but heartwarming Chinese-Australian family.
In the show’s third and final series, screening on SBS tonight, a “mildly terrified” Benjamin will delve into the world of booze-drenched teen parties as he comes to terms with his homosexuality.
Law said he had always envisaged the show as a trilogy.
“The first part was always going to be a comedy about divorce, the second part was recalibrating what family means after that and the third was always Ben’s coming out story,” he told News Corp.
“In a way the final season becomes a new show.
“The Family Law broke ground for being the first show to have an Asian Australian family at the middle of the story, and now we become the first show to become about gay Australian teenagers.
“We were really excited in being able to tell a new story with the same family.”
Law said a family comedy is an ideal vehicle to spark discussions around teen sexuality and LGBTIQ issues and he said The Family Law is “definitely the show I needed when I was growing up.”
He said he co-wrote the third season at the same time as his Quarterly Essay looking at the conservative “moral panic” around the Safe Schools anti-bullying program.
“In 2018 in Australia that anxiety about sexuality and gender identity hasn’t gone away,” Law said.
“We can all congratulate ourselves about [legalising] same-sex marriage, but what we’re seeing now in the world of politics is that kids and their sexuality and safety have been politicised in a significant way.
“We didn’t plan that timing to be like that, but it means the show is more significant than we anticipated.”
The Family Law series 3 screens on SBS tonight, with all episodes available to stream on SBS On Demand afterward. Watch the trailer below: