Modern Family: A multi-award winning mockumentary sitcom that represents how daily life as an American family is like.
In A Nutshell
Modern Family is a story that revolves around three families living in Los Angeles. The three families are interrelated through Jay Pritchett and his children, Claire Dunphy and Mitchell Pritchett. The series shows the day-to-day life of three different families.
The Pritchett family are the main family of the story. Jay is your stereotypical old American white alfa male who has trouble showing affection. Gloria is a young Colombian exuberant lady who often gives funny commentaries with an accent. Her son, Manny, is a super mature kid who always acts more like an adult. The main issues of the family are the fact that Jay has a second chance to be a father even though he feels old or the fact that everyone sees Gloria as a gold digger.
The Dunphy family are the typical American family we have seen many times on TV before. Father and son are constantly competing to see who is the silliest, the mother wears the pants in the relationship, the older sister is super popular but has bad grades, and the younger one is a nerd. Phil, the father, works as the one who drives the main storyline, often coming up with new ideas and lame jokes. There are often fights among the siblings.
Cameron, Mitchell and Lily (they don’t have a family name). Cameron and Mitchell are a gay couple who adopt a Vietnamese baby girl, Lily. Cameron is the one with the spotlight, as he’s the most eccentric and funny one. Both of them have couple issues and their dynamic almost works as an auto-parody of stereotypical homosexual beliefs. Over the seasons, Lily has grown up and become a more fleshed out character.
A Brief History of Modern Family: The When, Where and How
Modern Family is an American mockumentary and is an adaptation of the French series Fais pas ci, Fais pas ça. The series premiered on ABC in 2009 and has currently aired 7 seasons. As a mockumentary, the characters often break the fourth wall by talking directly to the camera, in an interview-like style similar to the one in The Office.
The series has earn worldwide recognition for its originality and comedy. It won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in each of the past five years and the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series four times so far. It also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy in 2011.
Why It’s Awesome
As the title suggests, all these families represent modern-day family and real life situations, making the show realistic and very relatable.
Modern Family is a mockumentary. It’s not the first sitcom to do this, but it’s definitely the most popular one. This system enables the cast to shine even more as characters will explain to us why they’re acting they way they’re acting, and sometimes even look at the camera expecting our reaction after a certain thing has happened. The way the series is filmed from the zooming in to the camera shaking feels very organic and, sometimes, some actions will happen all at once, making everything more realistic. Some people won’t like it because it puts them off, while others will love it.
Sure, this makes it so that the structure is pretty much the same for the majority of the episode and it can become a bit repetitive if you binge-watch the series. The conflicts are nothing original but, again, that’s because they’re meant to reflect daily family issues. However, the way they handle not only the relationships between the characters but also between the families is very entertaining to watch. Storylines develop and interlace in a natural way due to the structure of the families and their relationships, without the show needing a super interesting script or big character arcs.