One of the first things that I noticed about Liv is how much she cares about people. She really is a protective and caring person toward her adoptive family and her little sister Maude. Many people vilified and looked down on Liv for her actions with Nick in Series 5, but what I kept coming back to was how loving Liv is. So this post is dedicated to exploring her family life/adoptive family life and while exploring I found Liv to be quite a lioness.
Liv’s family life is complicated. Her father is no longer in the picture deciding to leave his three daughters and his wife. This incident changed the Malone family dynamic dramatically.
Bella who is Liv’s oldest sister begins blaming Liv’s Mom (Agnes) for their father leaving. Bella’s resentment builds and builds until one day Bella attacked their mother. The details of this event are not clear though we know it was violent and she was put in jail for this incident. This is more a headcannon than a piece of analysis; however, I always pictured that Liv was there at the time trying to shield Maude while this attack was happening. The fact that Bella went to jail not for stealing, but for assaulting their mother makes the relationship Liv has with her sister even more complicated.
After this incident Agnes begins to soul search. Trying out different hobbies and going through different phases. Trying to find some way to heal her from the disappointment of the father leaving and being attacked by her own daughter. Though Bella’s resentment drove her to attack Agnes. I also feel that Agnes blamed her children as well. Based on statements she has made to Liv…”I can’t fuck off like your father did.” That kind of rhetoric makes children feel like they are an obligation oppose to being loved. The attack that happened increased the animosity between Agnes and her children. You can also tell that none of the Malone children seem to respect their Mom much.
Liv’s relationship with Bella is strained. She visits her in prison until that moment when she storms off declaring that she will never become like her sister. Bella does not like to talk about things and it seems as if the Malone family has been keeping many feelings bottled up. Which is driving Liv crazy. I also think that when you find out your friends keep secrets it drives anyone mad, but for Liv it is a million times worse due to the fact her family is made up of repressed feelings and secrets. Liv feels as if Bella has been selfish and not thinking about her and Maude who seem to have been forgotten by both Bella and Agnes.
Liv is the ultimate big sister to Maude (who is an awesome character.) She is sassy, honest, intelligent, nerdy, and amazing. Liv is quite protective over Maude. Scolds her for swearing and makes sure she eats breakfast. Liv though has been distracted and has momentarily forgotten her sister a few times. Usually when she tries to escape reality like for instance her drug filled day with Matty and when she becomes attached to Alex. Though what Liv should realize is that Maude needs Liv and in return she needs Maude. Out of everyone in her family Maude is the only one who tells Liv the truth and Liv is the only one who pays attention to Maude. Evident by Maude’s confession that she decided not to bathe to measure how long it took people to notice. Kids do this when they feel ignored.
The bond that Liv has with her sister is inspiring and it shows the depth of Liv’s heart. That her love for Mini and Grace who are her adoptive sisters and even her love for Rich who is like an adoptive brother. Then of course there’s Alex.
I loved her friendship with Rich. I think that Rich provides a stable force in Liv’s life much like Grace only a manlier version. I love that she reminds Rich that he is metal and tries to get him to be a fighter instead of feeling so defeated. Which Rich did during his episode. He was exhausted. He has been fighting for so long and nothing has gone his way that he was starting to be a defeatist even in his delusional state. She reminds him though that he is a fighter. He also cares about her and ultimately wants to cheer her up. Even in the library when Liv confronts Rich about how strange he has been acting. Regardless of the things she was saying he was trying to calm her down and then became immediately concerned when she gasped in pain. Then at the end at Grace’s grave the smile these two characters shared melted my heart. I wish that we were able to see their friendship more and I hope we see it more in the specials. Liv needs someone like Rich and Rich needs someone who is on the same page as him when it comes to Grace being gone.
No matter what happens with Mini through bad days and good days, fuck ups and make ups, and then everything in between—Liv is Mini’s best friend. You know that your friendship has turned to family status when you cannot walk away. So much has happened between them and yet none of them can walk out on one another. Liv was there holding Mini’s hand at the end while she was giving birth to her baby girl. Her rightful place. In Series 5 Liv was upset with Mini and acted out in unhealthy ways to show how upset she was. However Liv did try to make an effort with Mini and tried to make things right. In Series 6 it was Liv dealing with tragedy on top of dealing with how things have changed so dramatically with Mini. Sometimes the people we have known the longest are the ones we hold onto the hardest. Sometimes we fight natural changes, because it scares us. To me this was Liv in many ways during Series 6.
Grace was in many ways Liv’s salvation. She was an escape from Mini’s bitchy moods and an escape from her complicated family life. Grace always had a solution and gave Liv a smile or four. She accepted Liv for who she was and loved her no matter what. She was in essence Liv’s sunshine. This positive energy that Liv relied on to get her through the tough times. When Grace passed away it killed Liv more so than many of the others. Liv was essentially alone. Rich a good guy friend left for awhile and came back seemingly okay. Mini was distracted with Alo and her big secret. Franky with her own guilt. Nick was distracted by both Matty and Nick. Alo is Alo and distracted by Mini. Matty left her. Grace died. She was alone. Her sunshine wasn’t there. The person who Liv knew would love her no matter what was gone. This is what drove Liv throughout Series 6.
Then lastly we have Alex. This new exciting friend that belonged to Liv. He offered her an escape from her family by allowing her to stay in his Grandmother’s house. He offered her an escape from Grace and her issues with her friends by permanently sticking to his hip.. She loved Alex and Alex loved Liv. Ultimately though Alex had to leave, because he is that strange nudist who comes into town aimlessly and then leaves town just as aimless. Alex though will always play an important part in Liv’s heart. However it is time for this queen to start beating the shit out of her problems and not escape in Alex.
No matter what you think of Liv. One thing is for sure…she loves people with her whole heart and will protect the people she loves with tenacity.