What does it mean to be a Modern Family?

So, this time around I want to talk about what I find to be the funniest show on television this season. Modern Family airs on ABC on Wednesday nights at 9pm, and it’s truly a quality show with witty jokes and comical incidents surrounding the dynamics of a somewhat non-traditional “modern” family.  The story is told from the prospective of an unseen documentary film-maker, and the main characters shift between interacting with each other and “breaking the fourth wall” by speaking directly to the camera.  The family patriarch and grandfather character, Jay (formerly Al Bundy on Married With Children), is married for the second time to a Latina woman named Gloria who is approximately half his age. Together they are raising her 9-year-old son Manny who takes pride in his Columbian heritage by drinking coffee and espresso and wearing a traditional ethnic poncho to school. Jay has two adult children who are also main characters in the show, Claire, an attractive blonde, and Mitchell, an unassuming gay man who is still trying to win his father’s approval.  Last week this sibling pair dramatically re-enacted their figure skating pairs routine from their childhood in the parking lot of Manny’s fencing competition and used this moment to poke fun at over-the-top gay stereotypes.  Expanding the family dynamics, Claire is married to Phil and they have three rather quirky children, two of whom they admit are not particularly bright or exceptional in any way. Mitchell and his flambouent gay partner Cameron recently adopted a Chinese baby named Lily, and Lily has been seen dressed as various celebrity figures including Cher. The storylines to date have focused on various issues facing families everywhere while adding a few unexpected twists and laugh out-loud one-liners and still managing to poke fun at regressive stereotypes often utilized in media representations. I recommend checking it out.
Andrea Bergstrom, Department of Mass Communication
Pierce Arrow Blogger
 
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