Emmy-winning “Modern Family” begins a sucessful third season


By Aaron Newman

When I first saw an episode of ABC’s “Modern Family,” I was pleasantly surprised by the show’s candid and spot-on humor. It was gratifying to see a sitcom that could so accurately pick apart family relationships, especially with characters that on the surface seem like caricatures, but prove to be more. The show was full of situational irony, sarcastic talking heads, and scenarios that, no matter how extreme, were held together by the believable, glossless performances of the actors.
“I love the toned down humor in Modern Family. It’s such a good break from the over-the-top humor in most shows,” said freshman Liam Knox.
“Modern Family” is a show all about family issues. It’s the continuing story of a defective trio of families: Jay, his second wife Gloria and her son Manny; Jay’s daughter Claire, her childish husband Phil and their three children; and Jay’s son Mitchell along with his partner Cameron and their adopted daughter, Lily.
“Modern Family” had high expectations to meet going into its third season from the last two. Luckily, the first few episodes have not disappointed in the slightest, and Tam students agree.
“[Modern Family] came back with the same fun dysfunctional family humor that they had last season. The characters are balanced and they all have incredible chemistry,” said senior Ian Johnston.
Even though the third season’s premiere was set in an unorthodox, potentially over-the-top situation —a family trip to a cowboy “Dude Ranch,” with horses, lassos, etc.—this didn’t cheapen the comedy. Exploring novel one-time settings admittedly isn’t a new device for “Modern Family,” but the tactic is still entertaining and effective.
Although the specific situations presented on the show may not exactly mirror those of their viewers, the escapades of the families on “Modern Family” are still very much relatable to their audiences.
“The show is very easy to relate to in terms of the family issues that happen in my life. It is also very light hearted and fun to watch,” said junior Haley Harris.
The characters on “Modern Family” are embodiments of virtues and vices we ourselves hold. Each family is composed of distinctive people, who, when brought together, compose a full palette of traits for the viewer to empathize with. Take for example the Dunphys. Overwrought homemaker, protective, and mature Claire (Julie Bowen) is totally at odds with her goofy, juvenile, fun-loving husband Phil (Ty Burrell), and their children, too, are all unique types (ever-texting, socially savvy Haley, brainy daughter Alex, and Luke, their eccentric, wacky son). Both Burrell and Bowen won as Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series, respectively, at the 2011 Emmy Awards.
“[Modern Family] is different,” Johnston said. “It is comprised of a bunch of actors who haven’t been in anything huge, and it is able to set itself apart from the three CSI’s, three Law and Orders, and all that. I think that the writers create an originality that many shows lack these days.” ♦

4/5 Stars