A Friend Of The Family is a Peacock original miniseries of nine episodes. It is based on the true story of Jan Broberg, who was kidnapped by a family friend twice.
Bob Broberg (Colin Hanks) and his wife Mary Anne (Anna Paquin) bring their daughters Jan (Hendrix Yancey, Mckenna Grace), Karen (Mila Harris, Maggie Sonnier), and Susan (Elle Lisic, Norah Murphy) to meet the family of Robert “B” Berchtold (Jake Lacy) and his wife Gale (Lio Tipton). B slowly works his way into their lives and manipulates the family, even seducing Bob and Mary Anne separately. When Bob protests B’s closeness, B enacts a plan and kidnaps Jan and takes her to Mexico. During this time, he brainwashes her into believing they have a mission from aliens. When her frantic parents find her, he blackmails them into letting him plead out. Now a teen, Jan is taken once again by B and they vanish into thin air. Her parents panic and turn to the FBI who hold little hope that the predator would be fine.
This is a disturbing and enthralling story of a little girl who was abused and brainwashed by a predator. The twists and turns of the entire case are worth knowing as a cautionary tale. It was a delicate matter, but one that anyone from Hollywood would expand on the more seedy aspects of the case. Fortunately, the miniseries did not go down that road and instead showed the monster that was Berchtold.
I applaud the story and the acting. The miniseries did a good job of presenting the story. They did change a few things, such as how Berchtold first met Jan and some of the details of the case, but it still continued to show what a predator B was. I also loved how it examined the pressure, fright, and confusion that Jan felt. It focused on her and how the abuse nearly destroyed her. I also loved how the real Jan Broberg gave an introduction to the series and at the end, it highlighted her organization for fighting sexual abuse.
Check out the trailer below:
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Disturbing subject matter, Foul language, Sexual content, Abuse involving a child
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