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WHAT is a modern family? I found the answer in the award-winning TV show, aptly titled Modern Family, airing two episodes back-to-back every Sunday at 10.20pm on Fox (Astro Channel 710).
It certainly lives up to its name. The series features the trials and tribulations that families today go through.
The creators encompass so much more into the series, including a man who remarries a hot Latina many years his junior, parents who have a genius yet socially-awkward daughter and a dim-witted son as well as a homosexual couple who adopt an Asian baby girl together.
Viewers will find some of the issues mentioned on the show are completely relatable. The way these issues are presented on the show is brilliant and hilarious.
Plus, the show is done in a mockumentary style, where the cast speaks to a person off-camera, explaining his/her actions. That is certainly something new in the television world.
I knew the show had won many prestigious awards, but I had never felt the interest to watch it, not until I was on a long-distance flight to Los Angeles. Since that day, I’ve been hooked. I’ve never seen a show as funny since Friends!
Just like the latter, Modern Family has an ensemble cast. Each has his or her own uniqueness and no one is boring.
The head of the family is Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill), whose distaste in his sons-in-law is sometimes very obvious, much to their chagrin.
His two children (from a first marriage) are Claire (Julie Bowen) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), who are married to Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) and partnered with Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet) respectively.
Claire is loving yet competitive, and is easily stressed from trying to control her family, while Phil is more of an easy and laidback parent with a juvenile attitude. Their kids, Haley (Sarah Hyland), Alex (Ariel Winter) and Luke (Nolan Gould) are so comically different that you are amazed they are siblings in the first place.
Mitchell and Cameron are adorable with their own couple problems. Their awkward handling of their daughter, Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons), is always a entertaining.
My favourite character is Jay’s new wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara), a Columbian woman with a son, Manny (Rico Rodriguez). Vergara is a super-talented actress and I think no one else can play the part better than her.
One episode sees Jay and Manny teasing her heavy accent, as she mispronounces things frequently. The thing is, Vergara herself isn’t faking it. For example, she says “Don’t you give me an old tomato,” when it should be, “Don’t you give me an ultimatum.” Offended, Gloria tries an “American” accent but that also brings laughter.
Another memorable episode shows the Pritchetts celebrating an early Christmas, since they have separate plans on the day itself. Each one is given a task but things start to go wrong from the beginning.
All these unique characters add up to one dysfunctional family that hardly has a calm day but they always come together for family gatherings, dinners and birthdays, without fail. When they are in need of something, they seek each other out. It’s like they are each other’s friends, not just family members.
Despite all the flaws the Pritchett/Dunphy family have, the series never forgets to instil the importance of family. The strong messages behind every problem that the Pritchetts solve are very valuable.