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For those still in withdrawal from the cancellation of Arrested
Development, let me write you a prescription: Modern Family.
The comparisons are obvious and with good reason. The postmodern comedy for the 21 century was ushered in by The Office(UK) and Arrested Development, but I, for one, doubted something could come along and satiate my longing for another truly, original comedy.
Albeit, you may initially be wary to see yet another mockumentary-style show, but by the end of the pilot, you'll be smiling/laughing way too hard to stay cynical. Thus far, the plot lines have been really fresh and the characters are so, for lack of a better word, lovable. This show fulfills all my comedy needs, and I feel like I must resort to the listing of relevant adjectives: Witty, dry, smart, outlandish, silly, clever, cute, sarcastic, subtle, not-so subtle. HILARIOUS.
I hate to say it, but the laugh tracks and raw goofyness of classic sitcoms like 'Seinfeld' and 'Friends' are obsolete and leave something to be desired. You will find that something in Modern Family.
And who knows, maybe some of the more painfully funny and poignant scenarios will reveal insight into the changing dynamics of both the modern family and modern comedy.
Great f_cking show. Period.
And let's get it right this time around: don't cancel good TV shows. Pretty please?
Give this show a chance. I really kind of watched it against my will,
but figured I'd give it a shot. I bet out of a hundred pilots, I would
like maybe one - this was that one. I literally laughed out loud at
numerous parts - the way that it comes together is interesting /
well-done - each couple has an interesting balance - great dialog (IMDB
won't let me spell it with a "ue" at the end) - original characters -
I don't think I've ever seen ABC come out with something in this vein. Normally their shows are a bit watered down, but this is edgy and as fresh as anything I've seen hit network TV. I know that comparisons to Arrested Development will be frequent, but I think that this has more structure. The characters aren't as wacky, but they're more believable and easier to sympathize with in my eyes. Tremendous acting, great kid actors - I forwarded the pilot to a bunch of people already, and I feel lucky that I got to watch it before it came out officially.
Modern Family is one of the best shows on TV in 2009.
It's written by smart and funny people. It shares some DNA with Arrested Development and Fraiser, but has a little bit more heart.
6 episodes in and I am still impressed and still laugh out loud.
I usually avoid ABC because their programming in years past has been terrible and vanilla. Happy to see they have taken some chances on this show and hooray for them, it seems to be finding an audience and critics love it too.
I usually hate shows with little kids in the cast... they usually end up getting used as cute crutches when writers run out of ideas, but Modern Family has been giving the kids sharp dialogue to match the grown ups.
The gay Mitchell and Cameron couple are portrayed honestly and they are hilarious.
The very underrated Ed O'Neill is pitch perfect as the grouchy but soft family patriarch. Sofía Vergara who plays his Colombian trophy wife is excellent and very funny in what could have been written as a terrible bimbo role.
I wasn't sold on Ty Burrell as the dad who tries too hard to be cool after the pilot... but he's a slow burn, and now it works.
Julie Bowen as the slightly off kilter mom adds an anchoring charm to the mix.
Every person on this show gets good lines, and the quality is holding up... I hope they win a boatload of Emmys.
I just want to say that I love this show!! It is good family entertainment. I believe all of us can relate to someone in it or have a relative that can. For those of you who only saw the pilot (which I watched by accident and loved)please don't give up on it, it is really good comedy. I can't decide who my favorite character is, Cam, Phil...all of them, each week another one cracks me up. I rarely watch TV but this one has me hooked. I agree that the format is much like The Office, which I also think is funny, but the shots to the camera, the expressions are some of the best parts. We have all of the shows on dvr because my daughter and I usually can't wait till the next Wednesday to see it again! Again...Best show in years!
When I saw summer promos of this sit com I thought it looked forced and very predictable. As Cam would exclaim, "Surprise!" It is well cast, written, and consistently laugh out loud funny. The documentary camera bit is actually as well done, no, even better than one of the best, The Office. I recognized most of the talented adult cast, they have great chemistry, and it was so hilarious when Shelley Long guest starred as the ex wife. But it is the kid actors on the show who are amazingly well directed in their parts- Manny, as a son, stepson, brother, uncle, and cousin is a hoot: he can wisecrack with the best of them, and then break your heart when dad isn't able to fulfill his promise for the weekend. I always thought Steve Levitan did agreat job with "Just Shoot Me", on NBC and I think he and ChristopherLloyd have got a hit show for ABC. Take a look at this so ABC won't cash in on some more ridiculous reality shows.
Because I have not one, but two, DVRs I'm able to give all the new
shows a chance, which I did with "Modern Family". Am I ever glad I
did!! I have found that everything about this show is believable.
Though the situations that occur during any given half-hour show would
obviously never all happen in that short a stretch, I have no
difficulty in believing that they would all happen. I never feel that
anyone's exaggerating to draw a laugh or milking a laugh. It's just the
only "laugh out loud for the whole show" on TV today. It is, IMHO, the
funniest show since MASH, and that's saying some.
There are some parallels to another of my favorites, the little appreciated "Arrested Development", "Modern Family" has its own unique flavor; and the flavor is . . . hilarious!!!
I saw the trailer for this show a while back and was instantly intrigued. Shot in a "mockumentary" style it follows the lives of three couples who's various members are related as family members. Although the set-up is slightly cliché, a gay couple, a stereotypical family and a Columbian wife and son (from her first marriage) with her American husband, this is where the standard ends. The dialogue is fantastic and at many points I found myself really laughing quite loudly, something which is very rare for a TV show to accomplish for me personally. The casting is also spot on with the inclusion of Ed O'Neill (the infamous Al Bundy!), Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen and Sofía Vergara, with each actor really bringing something unique to the mix. I strongly recommend this show to anybody who appreciates good comedy, the "to-camera" sections of the dialogue have a very close resemblance to the original UK version of "The Office" and for those who are familiar with this, Modern Family will be a welcomed return. Great show, great acting, great script. Highly recommended.
I decided to check out "Modern Family" after hearing all of the
critical praise about it. The show was five episodes in, so I caught up
on the action online. And I must say that the acclaim is well-deserved.
The show is nothing like what I'd imagined when I read about it. It is
not a typical three-camera sitcom and it actually IS as gut-wrenchingly
funny as people say.
With any modern TV comedy, people are going to compare it with "Arrested Development", which is highly regarded as one of the greatest shows ever by many. "Modern Family" is not quite "A.D.", but I can see why some people may compare the two.
"Modern Family", like "Arrested Development", is a comedy about a wacky extended family that is filmed in a quasi-documentary style, similar to "The Office". The characters don't acknowledge the camera, but they do contribute "talking head" segments to supplement the action. The show is less cartoony and surreal than "Arrested Development" or "30 Rock", but the comedy can still get pretty off-the-wall.
The ensemble cast is great. There are three branches of a single family. The patriarch (Ed O'Neill) has re-married, bringing a Colombian-born wife and her son into the fold. The daughter (Julie Bowen) and her husband (Ty Burrell) have three kids. The son (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and his partner (Eric Stonestreet) have just adopted a Vietnamese baby. The show focuses mainly on the parents and how they raise their families and interact with each other in today's society.
My favorite character is Phil (Burrell), who plays the dad who tries to be "hip". He means well, but he's really kind of a wimpy husband. Phil's always putting himself in awkward situations (without always realizing it) and some of his lines are hilarious. He tries so hard to be the "cool dad". Next I like Cameron (Stonestreet), who's gay and proud of it. He's sensible and sensitive and he has some great lines, too.
Although I haven't really connected with the show like I have with some others (just a matter of personal style), there's no denying that "Modern Family" is an above-average comedy. It's written well, with humor sewn throughout the fabric of each episode, and each episode packs some laugh-out-loud moments. And I say this as someone who rarely actually bursts into audible laughter. (Occasionally, with shows like "A.D." or "30 Rock".) This show does it, though. Phil, in particular, has me in stitches.
To give you a comparison, I'd say "Modern Family" is like a cross between "The Office" and "Arrested Development". Presented more like the former, with humor and content drifting more toward the latter. More grounded in reality than "A.D.", though, and without some of the triple-entendres and zingers.
The show finds windows to sneak in some wholesome family morals like togetherness and acceptance, but the episodes always end with a laugh.
But the rumors are true. "Modern Family" IS a very funny new comedy. Check it out on ABC or ABC.com if you don't believe me. (Or wherever else it's available.) It definitely should be on your radar.
I wasn't sure about this show. I liked Ed O'Neil and wanted to see him succeed in another comedy. I talked my girlfriend into watching the pilot episode and we laughed uproariously. The casting was so good. Ed O'Neil's delivery is absolutely pitch perfect. Ty Burrell is annoying but, in the perfect over-compensating way that you would expect from a dad who feels his Life has aged while he has remained a teenager. Julie Bowen manages to under play her role as Ty's annoyed and insecure wife. Sofia Vergara is absolutely gorgeous as O'Neil's younger, Latina wife. Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet are hysterical together. The show ties together so well each and every episode.
Scripted shows that employ a documentary format often use the P.O.V. talking-head shot as a gimmick to put more visual variety into the show, and to create a style of story-telling that they hope will keep your attention without having to improve the plot or characterizations. You can tell because they often go back to the interview at the most weakly-written moments. This is one problem, but not the major one, with Modern Family. The aspects that disturb me the most are these: they're supposed to be modern families and there are no working mothers (do the writers misunderstand the term "post-feminist era"?) except for a few temporary jobs in single eps. Also there are no poor or even lower-middle-class characters. Actually, I do remember one character who was poor, but of course he was a one-time character on a Christmas episode. I'm sick of the characters whining about first-world problems like not being able to buy the "perfect gift" for their spouse on their birthday. What's so tragic about buying the iPad the day before or after their birthday? I realize this is a satire, but the writers don't seem to have that much contempt for the people they're satirizing. They don't seem to be TRYING to show how spoiled and self-centered many upper-middle-class are (it just comes out that way). That's not part of the satire, except maybe with the character of Haley (Sarah Hyland). Another thing that bothers me is that Claire (Julie Bowen) comes off as a lot crazier than the writers seem to intend. She's ALWAYS breathlessly freaking out, and it's more irritating than funny. In real life she's be at least an OUTpatient in some psychiatric facility. The gay couple (Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson) are gay stereotypes, especially Cameron, but since I hate political correctness and they're actually funny it doesn't bother me much. It would be nice, however, if the show did what it could to improve America's perception of gay people. Since Camoron is a prissy, whining, crying drama queen, the other character, Mitchell, could be the antithesis of a gay stereotype. The comedy could come from people thinking the character is straight. Manny's (Rico Rodriguez's) character doesn't resemble any human being on the planet. He's too cartoonish (sitcoms have always had kids who act like adults and adults who act like kids) and neither funny nor well-acted. On the positive side, Ed O'Neill is amazing as Jay Pritchett. As he was in "Married, With Children", he's like a comedy machine, delivering every line perfectly. To sum up, Modern Family is funny and entertaining but not particularly witty and intelligent, and uses a kind of soft-edged, sentimental satire that flatters, but doesn't challenge, the audience's ability to laugh at itself.
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