Latest: What to Watch This Weekend: A Dysfunctional Family Dramedy

Ah, the recurring fantasy of moving to vacation. I mean, someone lives at the shore, someone makes the lobster rolls, someone owns the family estate that doubles as a resort. Why not you? “Moonshine,” a Canadian dramedy available on the CW’s website, has enough dysfunction and wild behavior to largely disabuse one of this dream … but enough Canadian charm that it still holds a certain appeal.

“Moonshine” follows the Finley-Cullen clan, mostly artsy-earthy types except for Lidia (Jennifer Finnigan), the big-city sister who returns home to the family’s Nova Scotia compound when her aunt dies. Her parents and some of her siblings run the Moonshine, a shabby but endearing collection of beachy cottages and various outbuildings, but only to the degree that hippies ever really “run” anything. So when the aunt’s will makes Lidia the primary owner, she decides to make a go of it, bringing her sullen teenagers and ditching her crummy husband. Haphazard management of the hotel turns out to be the least of her troubles, though. The Finley-Cullens also dabble in drug-dealing, scandalous secrets, shady police behavior, substance abuse and generation-spanning rivalries. “This is how the war starts,” one sister says, not joking.

In more doleful hands, this becomes “Ozark.” Here, though, it’s closer to “Gilmore Girls,” “Schitt’s Creek” or “Northern Exposure,” a festival of small-town oddballs with the characters’ pain buffeted by warmth. Oh sure, tempers run high and criminal activity abounds. But it all unfolds in a fun, beachy way rather than as part of an anguished plumbing of the darkness within.

“Moonshine” can feel a little overstuffed, as if all the squabbling siblings had each lobbied to get a fair amount of story for themselves — and their offspring and their plus-ones. OK, OK, fine: Everyone’s invited to the plot! The snappy dialogue sometimes feels too forced and cutesy, and there’s a fine, occasionally crossed line between quirk and contrivance. This too-muchness is an asset, though, when group arguments crest into chaos, which they often do.

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