The TV series “Bloodline” is a perfect example of the dichotomy between the image we are sold about parenthood and what really happens

By Nina Steele 

BloodlineBloodline is a Netflix 3 part series that was first broadcast in March 2015 and ended its run in May of this year. The Rayburn family is the focus of the show. John Rayburn (played by Kyle Chandler) who is the main protagonist in the show and also its narrator, is the favourite son and the de facto head of the family. On the surface, they are the perfect family. They are wealthy, with a lifestyle most people can only dream about. Yet, deep unhappiness is what really binds them together. Happiness is the one thing that has eluded the family from the very beginning and things got steadily worse as the show progressed.

Paul Mendelsohn who plays Danny Rayburn, the black sheep of the family, was violently beaten up by his father as a child, so much so that he was never able to recover from the pain both physically and psychologically. That his siblings were made to lie about what really happened to the police is one of the dark secrets the family has had to live with and one that would eventually contribute to its downfall.

It is often the case that some people never manage to recover from the deep unhappiness they experienced in their childhood and in the case of the Rayburns, that applies to all the children. As a show, it manages brilliantly in its effort to show that often, people are so desperate to hold on to the image of their family as this perfect and happy unit that they are willing to do anything in order to keep up appearances.

As I wrote about recently, society want us to believe that having children only brings joy when the reality is often the complete opposite, and Bloodline shows this brilliantly. Since parents are made to feel bad about telling the truth about parenthood, younger generations are often left in the dark as to what being a parent really entails. One obvious impact of this glossing over is that people who obviously should not have children have them and then everyone else is left to pick up the pieces.

Thankfully, the proliferation of social media and the Internet as a whole, along with shows such as Bloodline and many others, are helping lift the lid on all those uncomfortable truths. By doing so, younger generations can see for themselves what being a parent is really all about and make informed choices as to whether or not it is a path they wish to travel.


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