Stream or Skip: Peacock’s ‘A Friend Of The Family’ about the kidnapping of Jan Broberg by family friends

It’s rare to see real subjects True Crime The scripted series appears as herself before the show begins. But the story that Jan Broberg was kidnapped not once but twice by friends from the same family years apart is something most people find hard to believe. Most incredible, after the initial kidnapping, the friend returned to the Broberg family. Could a scripted series capture how weird Broberg really was?

Opening shot: The real Jan Broberg on set family friend. She thanks her viewers and affirms, “It seems unbelievable, but we lived in a different era back then.”

yeast: “Pocatello, Idaho, 1975” Jan Broberg (Hendricks Yancey) says goodnight to his mother, Mary Ann (Anna Paquin). After the lights go out, Yang hears something. As she relaxes and tries to go to sleep, she sees a shadow in her room.

“Years ago”, the Broberg family would be considered your average LDS church group doing puzzles, games, etc. together. Prepare to meet Berchtlez. He meets Bob Burchtold (Jake Lacy) outside the church and gets along so well that he thought the family could get together.

When I met Bob Berchtold telling everyone to call him “B” so they wouldn’t be confused with Bob Broberg, he seemed like a friendly guy and told Jean and the other Broberg girls Jan seems obsessed with Berchtolds, and B’s wife Gail (Lio Tipton) tells Brobergs how her father saw UFOs. I’ve heard stories about it.

As the months pass, the two families spend more time with each other and Bob Broberg begins to worry that B is changing. that too Near Mary Ann and his children. It comes to her mind when B persuades Mary Ann to let Jan go horseback riding after school without telling her that Bob has already told him no. B also actually approached physically when Mary Ann asked. This would have confirmed Bob’s fear had he been there and seen it.

Jan gets into B’s car, but notices that he doesn’t go near the stable where B rides. Late at night, hours after B says he has brought her Jan back, Mary Ann and Bob question Gail where her husband is. Little do they know that Bob’s car is parked in a dark alley, the windows are smashed, and Jean is strapped to the bed in her RV far away.

family friend
Photo: Erica Doss/Peacock

what does that remind you of? A documentary about the Broberg case, kidnapped in plains eyesight, which should provide a good background on how confusing this case is. aesthetically, family friend It reminds me of another recent true crime series. action.

Our opinion: inside story family friendby Nick Antosca (fresh cherry flavorthe aforementioned action), a complicated thing that happens over the years. B Berchtold was so manipulative that he was able to keep Jan Broberg intimidated and still be friends with his family. Despite the fact that he kidnapped Jan once, Brobergs didn’t prosecute and somehow decided that it was fine for B to spend time with his family, and that when Jan grew up, his It led to a second kidnapping.

There are several layers to this case, including Broberg’s parents having an affair with B and enough creepy manipulation to make heads spin. What Antosca did in his first episode was set up just how manipulative B could be with just a simple riding request. He skillfully played Joe against Mary Ann because he knew Joe wasn’t the angry type and knew how attractive he would be to both of them. You know how persuasive he is when he whispers to Mary Ann, “I wish I had met you sooner.”

Lacy makes a living these days playing a seemingly decent guy with a dark and very creepy side, and those skills are B. You know something is up, but he It walks the line between friendly and creepy enough to let you know things aren’t right. Paquin also does a good job as Mary Ann, who opens up to everyone and sometimes does her a disservice.

As the layers of the Broberg case grow more complex, I wonder if Antosca can get things right for viewers. But the true story behind the drama is so weird, so crazy, and so horribly creepy that just seeing how it unfolds is fascinating.

sex and skin: Nothing in the first episode.

Farewell shot: Jan is tied to the RV bed. She calls B, but no one answers. The speaker keeps shouting the words “female companion” over and over.

Sleeper Star: An older version of Jan. It will be interesting to see how Jan ages with the kidnappers still hanging around despite what happened.

The most pilot-like line: “If you can ride a horse, you can take Jean yourself,” Mary Ann tells Bob over the phone. “I’m allergic to horses!” cries Bob. “Not B!” she replies. Bob, I live in Idaho and am allergic to horses. Anyway, that may have been true, but it felt like a ridiculous line out of place.

Our call: streaming. family friend By the end of the first episode, it’s already reached eerie and harrowing heights, just scratching the surface of how much B Berchtold has manipulated the Broberg family.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and technology, but he’s not kidding himself, he’s a TV addict. His writings have been published in The New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, Vanity Fair.comFast Company, etc.

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