During tonight’s Emmy Awards, The White Lotus star and Emmy nominee Jake Lacy took to the stage to present the trailer for an upcoming Peacock limited series. Based on a terrifying true story, A Friend of the Family has Lacy as the title character and centers around a girl that was kidnapped and abused several times by a man who no one suspected. The series is set to premiere in early October.
The trailer for A Friend of the Family reveals a 70s setting – a time when it was even more difficult to identify predators. Robert Berchtold (Lacy) took advantage of that, and formed close ties with the Broberg family to the point that the parents trusted him enough to leave their children under his care.
The series is produced by the victim herself – Jan Broberg, played by Hendrix Yancey (Stranger Things) and McKenna Grace (The Handmaid’s Tale) – who released an official statement to reveal what she expects the series to achieve and to mention some aspects of the story:
“’… A Friend of the Family’ tells our family’s story and my story. We were a loving, trusting, educated family. We were not stupid or careless. So how could this happen in our neighborhood, where we knew everyone, and everyone was a friend? The truth is that most predators are not strangers but people we know — people who can build trust, create special friendships, and separate family members psychologically. […] This story will make you talk, shout, cry — and it will make you angry. Good. The [series’ team] have captured the heart of how good people can be manipulated and their children victimized. Our story is relatable because so many families have direct experience with this sort of abuse. I hope that our story will start conversations — because secrets live in darkness and silence.”
A Friend of the Family is created by Nick Antosca (The Act), who serves as executive producer, showrunner and writer. In an official statement, Antosca says that, much like most of us, he had the tendency to wonder “how could these parents have let this happen?” He reveals, however, that the more he talked with the family, the more he realized they had simply been the victims of a master manipulator. The showrunner states that the series is a horror story, but also about survival, and it’s “more relatable than it first seems.” From the narrative standpoint, Antosca revealed the series’ thriller aspect is equal parts obsessive relationships, family drama, and a “nightmarish” coming-of-age story.
Aside from Lacy, the cast also features Anna Paquin (True Blood), Colin Hanks (The Offer), and Lio Tipton. Peacock premieres A Friend of the Family on October 6 with 3 episodes. The remaining six episodes will roll out weekly. You can watch the trailer below:
Check out the official synopsis here:
‘A Friend of the Family’ is based on the harrowing true story of the Broberg family, whose daughter Jan was kidnapped multiple times over a period of a few years by a charismatic, obsessed family “friend.” The Brobergs — devoted to their faith, family, and community — were utterly unprepared for the sophisticated tactics their neighbor used to exploit their vulnerabilities, drive them apart, and turn their daughter against them. This is the story of how their lives were permanently altered — and how they survived.