Back in 2009 I heard rumblings of a new sit-com starting to gain a lot of attention called ‘Modern Family’.
Starring Al Bundy (or Ed O’Neill as fewer people know him) and a cast of mostly unknowns, hopes weren’t high on the show gaining an audience.
Little did I know as ‘Modern Family’ has become one of the highest rated sit-coms in modern history.
The show consists of one big family and follows three couples individually. Jay Pritchard (Ed O’Neill) is the family patriarch and father of Claire and Mitchell, more on them in a moment. Jay is married to his second (and much younger) wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara). She has a boy called Manny (Rico Rodriguez) who’s intellect exceeds that of his other 10-year old friends.
His daughter Claire (July Bowen) is married to Phil (Ty Burrell), together they have 2 daughters: Haley (Sarah Hyland) and Alex (Ariel Winter) and a younger son called Luke (Nolan Gould).
Claire’s brother Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) is gay and lives together with Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) whom, at the end of season 1, adopt a baby girl called Lily (Aubrey Emmons).
Modern Family follows all of them as they set about in their daily lives, more often then not involving stories that overlap one or all of the other couples.
The catch of it all is the fact that (though this is never explained) there lives are followed by a Dutch cameracrew documenting their lives. This means there are clear moments when the show breaks the 4th wall and they look at the camera. Segments in which they are interviewed also feature at the beginning and end of most episodes.
What’s interesting about the show is how balanced it is.
Modern Family takes it’s first season to really define the people inhabiting it. Whether it’s the very wise Manny acting as an adult, Jay being a grumpy old men that’s still coming to terms with his son being gay, or even the Dunphy’s and their house full of kids, by the end of the first season you start to care for them.
What’s most important in a sit-com is whether or not this show is funny, and MF delivers in spades.
By now, the show is in it’s 4th season and some of the characters in the show have a loyal and growing fanbase.
The cast has been nominated for a host of awards, with Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet already winning Emmy’s ® and Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Sofia Vergara nominated.
The show has won a Golden Globe© and received several other awards over the course of it’s still young production.
It’s safe to say that the ensemble is the glue keeping it all together, and I urge you to take the time to discover this show.
It seems that outside of the USA, Modern Family is still struggling to get an audience. Whether that’s due to the fact that it is a very ‘American’ show, or the fact that syndication runs have started 2 years later across Europe, the fact remains that this is one of the finest offerings on TV right now.
Some might argue that shows like ‘The Big Bang Theory’ or ‘How I Met Your Mother’ deserve equal praise, yet those shows are almost entirely surviving on it’s 2 biggest characters Sheldon Cooper and Barney Stinson. Modern Family inhabits 6 Sheldon Coopers and remains the show to beat.
Whether you are a die-hard fan of Phil and his ‘wisdom’ or Claire’s obsessive behaviour, every week brings at least 3 loud laughs and makes you wish the next episode would follow directly after.
Time will tell if the show gets enough seasons to become whats known as a modern classic.
Looking at the development of the characters (Luke is becoming more and more like his father, Hailey is off to College, Jay is getting a baby) there’s a lot more in store for us to witness and love.
Don’t be afraid to try out something new, watch this show people!