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Modern Family

An American mockumentary comedy TV series.

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all shapes, all sizes

  • Apr 11, 2011
While growing up in a pretty conservative household, I always knew one thing even pretty early on that no one family is the same.  Circumstances arise that almost guarantee that the "Leave it to Beaver" nuclear family can be a minority in regards to how many families grow and form.  Some may be the "ideal" nuclear family but some may have adopted children or even a family member that passed on.  Maybe a child ran away or theres only one parent who loves the children and must deal with raising the kids.  Maybe it's an interracial family or a family with same sex parents.  Families come in all shapes, sizes, races, creeds, sexual preferances and in some cases, a mix of these elements.  The title "Modern Family" may not be the most accurate name for this show since these are hardly new concepts, but to the network watching masses they still might be.

The show in a "reality style" with characters speaking in a confessional has at it's center Jay played by Ed O' Neill who has finally scored himself a TV role apart from Married With Children that major audiences can identify him with.  Jay is a successful business man who lives in a luxurious home with his smoldering hot new trophy wife, a Colombian woman named Gloria.  They're life is wonderful and fruitful, Gloria does not mind Jay's age as he is well over 30 years her senior and Jay knows she isn't a golddigger but there are a couple of things that irk Jay, Gloria's ex husband who is a hopeless and irresponsible philanderer and to a far lesser extent, Manny Gloria's bright and sweet 12 year old son.  Jay cares for Manny, but it is clear at times that Jay sees Manny as that one item that keeps Jay and Gloria from weeklong vacations and sex.  Gloria says that Manny is that glue that makes the alone time special: "He keeps us grounded" says Gloria.

"Like fog at an airport" retorts Jay.

From Jay and another marriage which collapsed horribly, he had two kids who went onto have families of they're own.  His daughter Claire married Phil Dunphy and had three children: two daughters and a son.  Jay's son Mitchell is in a same sex partnership with Cameron and they have an adopted Vietnamese baby girl named Lily.  Claire's world is spent trying to keep her family under control while Mitchel and Cameron strive to learn how to stay happy and raise a little girl properly.  Mitchell is a successful lawyer and is the bread winner but has little masculine tendencies while Cameron enjoys physical activities like sports but his maternal instincts kick into gear full force when a member of the family is threatened or in trouble, ESCPECIALLY little Lily.  For those wondering it doesn't seem like there is a clear "male/female" in this equation and thank God Mitchel and Cameron aren't completely stereotyped in this regard or have to remind us of they're sexual orientation every 10 seconds the way characters would on Will and Grace.

The Dunphy household has husband Phil as one of those typical dumb TV dads who has a great job in real estate and loving all sorts of new tech items that come out.  You'd be surprised he can run anything more complicated then a TV remote but as it turns out he has his own universal super remote and one episodes focus has him trying to get Claire to learn how to use it.  Of the three kids: Haley is the oldest and could have a panic attack if she wasn't near her cell phone, Alex is the next oldest daughter and is always ready with a smart ass remark when her face isn't buried in a book and finally Luke is the only boy and there are days when you would think he could get trapped putting on his own sweater.  The Dunphy family is the clearest "nuclear family" of the three but ironically seems to have the most problems going on in a daily grind, at least in relation to what Jay or Mitchel and Cameron go through in their day to day activity.

There is no laugh track to tell us what is funny thankfully and each episode has at least one laugh out loud moment and manages to mix some effective drama into the works as well.  The show does of course go for some stereotyped humor but it is kept at a minimum with the biggest offense in this dept being directed at a guest character at the end of one episode.  Modern Family will usually have some kind of focus such as competition, love or dating, togetherness and a thread from each family will connect it in some way which is wonderful touch and normally coupled with a voice over from a cast member.  Three different families with members that walk in different circles that all come together with a common theme.  How could that be?  The answer is simpler then you think.
all shapes, all sizes all shapes, all sizes all shapes, all sizes all shapes, all sizes

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More Modern Family reviews
Quick Tip by . February 02, 2011
posted in Modern Family Fans
A look at three connected but very different American families and they're lives. Could have been so poor and cliched but takes some chances and makes for one of the best shows in years.
review by . May 12, 2010
I wasn't sure if I would watch but decided to give it a try and found I liked it quite a lot. It's about a family that  is truly modern, the father is played by Ed O'Neill and it's about him and his family. He's married to a Latinia with a young son, his son is gay and married and adopted a baby and he has a married daughter.  The show is very funny and shows, at least to me, where there is love, a blended family can work quite well. It's a very funny show but it also has it's serious …
Quick Tip by . May 06, 2010
I can't believe Mr Morgan jammed up Manny at the airport. Almost interupted his shoe shine for chrissakes.
Quick Tip by . April 09, 2010
The best show on TV.
Quick Tip by . April 03, 2010
It's great to see healthy family living in American sitcom. Great to see the return of "Family Ties" & "The Nanny"!
Quick Tip by . April 02, 2010
posted in Modern Family Fans
Seriously my favorite show on tv!
Quick Tip by . March 20, 2010
posted in Modern Family Fans
Best Representation of a Modern American Family...
Quick Tip by . March 04, 2010
posted in Modern Family Fans
A hilariously refreshing series. Can't get enough of it!
Quick Tip by . March 04, 2010
posted in Modern Family Fans
my favorite new show on TV. I hope i have some on my DVR so i can watch them tonight!!
Quick Tip by . March 04, 2010
I am not a big TV watcher but every episode of Modern Family is laugh outloud funny. Now I have a TV show to rave about!
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #5
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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About this tv show


Modern Family is an American mockumentary comedy TV series. The half-hour series, which was created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan, is produced by Fox Television Studios. The mockumentary follows the families of Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill), his daughter Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen), and his son Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson). While Claire is a homemaker mom in a traditional family, Jay is married to a much younger woman and raising a pre-teen stepson, and Mitchell and his partner have adopted a Vietnamese baby. The show premiered on ABC on September 23, 2009 to critical acclaim.
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Premiere Date: 2009 (USA)
Description: A satirical look at three different families and the trials they face in each of their own uniquely comedic ways.
Genre: Comedy
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
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