Thursday, November 05, 2009

Modern Family

A bunch of people have been emailing me or posting in the comments asking if I've been watching ABC's "Modern Family." And I'm happy to say yes, yes, I am. And I LOVE it. I think it's one of the funniest things on TV and it's only because I haven't had time yet that I haven't posted on it.

It's the story of wealthy Jay (Al Bundy) and the much-younger Gloria, his new gorgeous Colombian wife who he married after 35 years married to Shelley Long (remember Diane from Cheers?) He's rich and sarcastic but loves his family very much, she's fiery and sassy and has a precocious and wide-eyed optimist for a son (who provides some of the show's biggest laughs). Jay's two kids -- Claire and Mitchell -- are fully grown. Claire, who we know best as Jack Shephard's ex-wife Sarah, is married to Phil, a dopey real estate agent who thinks he's a barrel of laughs but is just plain annoying. They have three kids -- a very smart little girl, a slightly stupid boy in the middle, and a teenager whose hormones are running wild and who brings home guys they just don't approve of. Mitchell, Claire's brother, is gay and married to Cameron. Mitchell is the more timid and sensitive of the two, always assuming that people are mocking him for his sexuality, while Cameron rolls his eyes, makes a quick excuse for Mitchell, and gets them both out of the situation. They have just adopted a new baby daughter from China and are learning all about parenting, whether it involves sleepless nights or dressing her up in ghetto fabulous costumes and taking her portraits.

Together they form a family that is at once at war while also loving each other very much. The result is absolute hilarity. The show is told through the documentary style that Parks & Recreation and The Office both use (in this case it's not clear why they're talking to the camera and on a purely structural level comes off as a cop-out, but on the other hand it TOTALLY works and that's where most of the humour comes from). I only tuned in the week Shelley Long made her appearance as dear old crazy mom, and we got a flashback of Jay's wedding to Gloria, which was HILARIOUS, and I was instantly hooked. I'm looking forward to catching up on the earlier episodes I missed, but I'm so happy to have found it.

If you haven't watched it yet, check it out. And if you're a fan of Arrested Development, you'll find this show is very similar in tone and humour. Here's a quick preview clip ABC sent out before its premiere:


Joan Crawford said...

I am in love with Cameron!

"Turn it off!"

"I can't, it's who I am!!!"


And when he is screaming and holding the trash can to break open the car window - priceless!

Nancy said...

So glad you posted on this, Nikki! This is truly the best new show of the year, and probably one of the funniest comedies out there. My favorite lines so far have been:

"WTF: why the face?"

"And daddy wins!! Do you believe in miracles? USA USA USA!!!"

"She's right, don't stop the car. I have priors. Remember that ticket at the mall?"

Classic. Can't wait for the next episode!

Nikki Stafford said...

Nancy: I loved Claire's line about Manny being the only 10-year-old she knows who wears aftershave. HAHA!!

Joan: Cameron is the BEST. When he was telling Jay how "doable" he was and Mitchell looked like he was going to be sick, I was laughing my head off. And the trash can moment was hilarious, esp because Cameron's always the one who keeps it all together.

Paticus said...

Manny is a classic.Wait until you see the one where he has a crush on a girl at the mall.

Lisa said...

I hate to say this is one show I can truly say I hate. I tried and tried to like it and finally gave up. Just a bunch of people fighting, trying to be supper gay and such. Just not me. Glad everyone else likes it.

Robert said...

YES! I'm glad you haven't missed out on this show, because it is just amazing. Love pretty much every character, even grumpy Jay.

BTW, Gloria's accent is not fake! When you know that, it just makes it all the more hilarious.

Robert said...

Lisa: I don't think everyone has to like the same thing, but I gotta say, commenting on characters being super gay is like saying other characters are super straight. Not sure how that factors into anything entertainment-wise unless you mean that in a pejorative manner.

Also, while I think this family is particularly dysfunctional, they always have a loving moment in the end capped with Jay's voiceover, so I think the underlying value here is unconditional love and support.

The Leonard's said...

LOVE this show! I actually laugh out loud when I watch it. I have not done that since Buffy.
Oh by the way did you catch the Castle Halloween Episode when Captian Tight Pants made at least 6 Joss Whedon references? classic!

Lisa said...

Oh I meant it in no disrespect to the different people out there. What I meant is that I find the show disrespectful of people that are gay because in the show, it seems to me that they are making the stereotype just over the top. It's not how my friends would behave and they found it rude. Nope, everyone doesn't have to like everything, if they did, who would argue with me about history shows being on all day lol Glad everyone else likes it :-)

asiancolossus said...

Thanks Nikki for blogging about this show! I'm glad you like it. As to Lisa's point, the show is not for everyone, if it was it would be doing 20 million every week. I personally find it brilliant in writing, acting and most of all chemistry. They do have to be careful not to make the characters into caricatures but so far they've balanced things perfectly. Ed O'Neill has to be given credit for balancing the gruff uncaring SOB with the softie marshmallow inside. And I love Jay, he is so incredibly funny how he tries to fit in but fails miserably!

asiancolossus said...

I meant Phil as the doofus dad, how could I forget the pilot where Gloria thanks Phil for his compliment about her dress and with her accent he interprets it as "Feel", which of course he does LOL

Teebore said...


"Now that you've ruined gay for me..."

"I'm talking to a dork I met in the malt shop."

I LOVE this show. It's freakin' hilarious, and I howl with laughter several times an episode.

Glad to know you're enjoying it as well, Nikki.

Robert said...


Ah, that I can see. In comedy, people tend to stereotype gay people, it's true. Still, I love Mitchell and Cameron because they don't falter about their relationship.

ashlie said...

The last episode where Phil was using Luke to help him sell the house had me in stitches! "I think my foot is backwards, these floors are too slippery, they're like ice!" "Don't blame the floors, you shouldn't have been running." "I saw a ghost!" Oh man. I also loved the Costco episode, "We're going to be the guys with the diaper shed." Priceless. Casablanca.

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