Forget the typical primetime sitcom format or those cheeky Saturday Evening Post covers. ABC’s cheery and witty show Modern Family portrays a not-so-stereotypical 21st Century family through a satirical-yet-kindhearted lens. The show’s mockumentary style and understated hilarity are like that of The Office. The show also presents life lessons and stresses the importance of family, no matter how dysfunctional or backwards it may be.
Modern Family first aired on ABC in 2009, and was soon facing rumors of cancellation after only the first season. However, the humor and lightheartedness of the show captured the attention of millions of viewers, and it went on to earn three Emmys in 2010, including best comedy.
The show follows the lives of one big and diverse family. Jay Pritchett, a somewhat cranky retired business owner who would rather golf and watch football all day than anything else. Jay is newly married to Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, a young, fiery Colombian woman with a lust for life, and being right all the time. Together the two help raise Gloria’s son, Manny Delgado, a preteen who shows wisdom and refinement far beyond his years.
Jay is also the father to Claire Dunphy, a middle-aged wife and mother of three who loves each of them through just about anything. Claire’s husband Phil Dunphy sells real estate, and sometimes takes on the role as the fourth child of the family, as he’s constantly striving to be the hippest dad on the block. Haley, the oldest of the three kids, is a ditsy, diva-tastic teenager on the verge of obtaining a driver’s license. Then there’s Alex, a middle school bookworm that is still looking for her place in the world, but at the same time is never short of witty jabs at her siblings’ expenses. Finally Luke, the youngest Dunphy, would be best raised under constant supervision, or maybe even kept in a bubble.