Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Modern Family 101

I love to laugh.  Needless to say this is one of the reasons why I'm excited about the return of ABC's Modern Family. This well-written comedy about family dynamics in the 21st century always made my roommate and I break out into laughter (sometimes to the dismay of our next door neighbors). I'm sure this season will be no different. Before the new season begins (Wednesday, September 22), I think it's only appropriate that I introduce you to the show's basic premise, in what I'll call Modern Family 101.

The sitcom offers a fresh take on an American family living in the 'modern' world.  We get a glimpse into this extended family's somewhat dysfunctional and always hysterical everyday life in the form of a mockumentary.  Revolving around three separate households (comprised of the Dunphy, Pritchett, and Pritchett-Tucker families), Modern Family shows us what happens when two parents attempt to control their three unruly kids, a gay couple adopts a baby, and a grandfather marries a woman half his age.

Phil, Claire, Alex, Haley, and Luke
The Dunphy Household 
Claire and Phil Dunphy are the parents of three children: Haley, Alex, and Luke.  Of the three households, the Dunphy's are the most typical (if there is such a thing).  Claire is clearly in charge of the family, as she is more serious than her husband.  She's struggling to keep her three kids (really four if you include Phil) in place, while dealing with the fact that her father just married a woman who could be her sister. Phil is a goofy guy who means well, but usually screws up in one way or another, and usually ends up embarrassing everyone (although he's oblivious to it).  He's the perfect example of what happens when a dad tries too hard to be "cool."  Haley is the typical teen--she's dense, boy crazy, and not impressed by her parents.  Alex, the middle child, is the smart one. She makes fun of her sister's lack of depth and sees her parents as silly.  You get the feeling that she's constantly rolling her eyes at how ridiculous her family is.  The youngest child, Luke, isn't the brightest crayon in the box, but he's young so it's ok (for now).

Jay, Gloria, and Manny
The Pritchett Household
This home is comprised of Jay Pritchett (Claire's father),  his sexy young wife, Gloria, and Gloria's son from a previous marriage, Manny.  Jay and Gloria are opposites in every way. Jay is white and Gloria is Colombian.  While Jay is more subdued in his old age, Gloria is full of life, which is to be expected when you're so young and hot.  Gloria is gorgeous, showing off her curvaceous figure in bright, tight, revealing clothing (as evidenced by the fact that Phil can't keep his eyes off her...even when his wife is around). Jay on the other hand is not much to look at in his jogging suits. I don't know what Gloria sees in Jay, but it's clear that these two truly love each other, proving that "age ain't nothin' but a number."  Jay is still trying to come to terms with the idea of having a gay son (Mitchell), while also adjusting to the fact that he is once again the father of a young boy (Manny).  Manny is truly one of a kind.  Although in middle school, he carries himself like a middle-aged man.  The kid is more comfortable playing chess than video games. He's intelligent and speaks with great maturity, making most of the adults look like children in comparison.  Not your typical preteen, but he has no problem being himself. He stands out in this crazy family and I love him for it.

Cameron, Mitchell, and Lily
The Pritchett-Tucker Household
Mitchell (Claire's brother) and Cameron are the proud adoptive parents of a baby Vietnamese girl, Lily.  Again we have another couple made up of opposites: Cameron, a stay at home dad, is a drama queen who's in need of attention, while Mitchell, a lawyer, is more serious and cautious.  Cameron is in your face and over the top (singing, dancing, causing a scene), sometimes this annoys Mitchell, but he always gets over it.  This may be a gay couple, but they deal with the same problems as any other couple (from the trials and tribulations of being new parents to disagreements about the way the other dresses).

So there you have it, Modern Family, has a little bit of everything for everyone, which is why each episode is so fun.  It also explains why the show won three Emmys this year for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Actor for a Comedy Series (Eric Stonestreet, who plays Cameron).

Tune in next Wednesday on ABC for the season premiere, and then tune in here to see what I have to say about this family's crazy antics!


  1. I love this show! I'm excited to see what the new season brings!

  2. I also love this show and I think you did an awesome job with the synopsis of the first season for those who do not watch it. Great job Lauren!

  3. Thanks Jennifer! Glad you liked it. Can't wait for the season premiere!