I’m aware that I’m about two years late, but I am in love with Modern Family. I don’t know what took me so long to finally watch it.
When it comes to “sitcoms,” I can be very picky. They have the possibility of going extremely well or bombing horribly. It’s a tough job to make people laugh week after week for years and years. While I adore shows like How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and (classic) Friends, they are all very similar. Too similar. Laugh tracks. Friendship. Romantic entanglements. Living with and/or across the hall from your best friends in a cozy and rather roomy apartment where all kinds of craziness ensues (with a bar or coffee shop to mix it up every so often). Perhaps that’s why I like them. It’s the familiarity.
As of late, my favorite has been Parks and Recreation, which is an insanely good show you are truly missing out on if you haven’t hopped on board. If you like The Office, then you will LOVE this. And why do we love The Office? It was a new approach to the sitcom. First of all, I love a show that doesn’t have a laugh track. Don’t tell me when to laugh! Be funny enough to make me laugh consistently and without pointing it out. But that’s not what really won people over. The show sort of broke down the fourth wall. The characters know they are on camera. They acknowledge the camera (Dear Jim Halpert is famous for it), and it has become a character in the show. And, to put a cherry on top of that delicious cake, they added real emotion. I have cried at episodes of The Office (and now Parks and Recreation) because they have made me care so much about the characters by really allowing the audience to be a part of the show. The characters speak directly to the camera (and, thusly, us), showing us into their (fake, I know, but still!) personas. It is truly fantastic when a comedy can bridge so many gaps and touch so many areas of your brain, and heart, and funny bone.
Which brings me to Modern Family, which is basically a new spin on the mockumentary TV show that The Office made famous. Instead of looking into a workplace, we get an inside glimpse at,well, a modern family. There’s the typical husband and wife + 3 kids, the gay male life partners with an adopted Asian daughter, and the grandfather who is married to a younger Colombian woman and has to deal with a stepson on top of it all. It’s a genuinely funny and genuinely heartfelt show that touches on so many different aspects of family, good and bad. I have definitely teared up at a few episodes, as much as laughing out loud.
I don’t want to say too much and give it away, but you have to check out this show. I highly recommend it (but you’ve all probably been watching it since it started and don’t need me to tell you that).