There's A Feeling for Every Bit of Life In Pieces

Published: 25 July 2016

Life in Pieces, season 1, channel ten

The thing we all love about family comedies like the star-studded Life in Pieces is how familiar they are to us. From the joy to be found in a child’s first words, to the tears shed as those last few shards of post-outburst plate hit the floor. Along with ‘thank god I’m not alone’, here are six things we felt while watching Life In Pieces.


Let’s face it, families are frustrating, particularly parents. And you will feel the occasional urge to scream when watching scenes involving the matriarch and patriarch of the Short family, Joan and John, played by acclaimed actors Dianne Wiest and James Brolin.

“Pause it,” Joan urges John while the TV blares in the background “Just pause it, sweetheart,” she continues as he juggles remotes, searching for a pause button. “Honey, just pause it.” And then, borderline shrieking – “Pause it!”

How is this helpful, mum?! How is this helpful?!

Life in Pieces, season 1, channel ten


Even if you’ve had kids, watching other women give birth to them can still cause your fallopian tubes to shrivel. But Greg and Jen short (Colin Hanks and Zoe Lister-Jones), make defecating during labour and the annihilation of the vagina (“Do you remember when the Predator took his mask off?”) seem like …

No, it’s still terrifying. But that’s OK. We have to laugh about these things. What new parent doesn’t sit weeping in the hospital car park wondering how it is the hospital actually let them take their baby home?


Heather (nee Short) and Tom Hughes (Betsy Brandt and Dan Bakkedahl) are throttling past milestones at high speed. Their oldest kid is going to college, their youngest has just discovered Santa Clause is a lie.

These are major shifts in any nest, it’s enough to make you want to have another baby, the making of which could happen against the ice machine in the hotel you’re staying in.

Oh but what’s that? Your husband wants to know if ‘it still works’ and he ain’t talking about the ice machine. No more baby making. We empathise with all of this.

Life In Pieces, season 1, channel ten


There are few things more thrilling and euphoric than the beginning of real love, and sharing in Matt Short’s delight as he finally gets to revel in all that romance is a joyous affair.

Watching him reveal to his new squeeze that is his parent’s home and he’s the forty-something offspring living there with them, made us feel two extra emotions. Embarrassment and shame, mostly.


When John Short arrives at his own funeral, yes that's right, because that's how he wanted to celebrate his 70th birthday, by having a faux funeral where he could sit down and listen to people eulogise him (cause that's not conceited), you can’t help but enjoy how ridiculous it is.

And when his wife lambastes him in front of everyone for his “jerky idea, jerk” you feel pure satisfaction.

Life In Pieces, season 1, channel ten


“What you kids don’t get is life is about these moments, these pieces of time, these slices of life that flash by, but they stay in your heart forever.”

Wise words from John Short, spoken at his 70th-birthday-funeral party. And that’s what this show’s about. All those things – the milestones and the minutiae – that make us human.

Life In Pieces premieres 9.40 Tuesday on TEN