Modern Family. Or ModFam, as I like to call it.
As in, “Is there a new ModFam tonight?” Which was one of the first things I asked Dave when I walked in the door last night. And every Wednesday night.
I unashamedly love this show.
In some ways, this show is the present-day Frasier or Everybody Loves Raymond – it wins tons of awards and it’s often the highest-rated sitcom on TV. It’s so popular that critics and TV watchers often overlook (admittedly) funnier shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Happy Endings.
Sometimes it seems as though sitcoms have to choose between having a mass appeal and being genuinely funny. Cases in point: the sitcoms that are currently high in the Nielson ratings, which are all very popular but – in my opinion – not funny.
- Big Bang Theory? Terrible.
- Two and a Half Men? Ugh.
- 2 Broke Girls? Never seen it, but based on the commercials, it can’t be very good.
- Mike & Molly? Come on, Melissa McCarthy – you’re better than this!
ModFam is always highly rated, along with these other shows, but is so much funnier. My problem with shows like Two and a Half Men is that they appeal to the lowest common denominator. The writers don’t write smart jokes because they might go over some viewers’ heads. Contrast that with a show like 30 Rock (RIP). If you don’t listen carefully, you’ll definitely miss some of the jokes, and if you do listen carefully, you’ll probably still miss a few. And the genius of people like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who have created their own comedies, is that they don’t really care if you don’t get all the jokes. I mean, they want SOME of the viewers to get it, because they don’t want to have their shows canceled. But for the most part, they aren’t trying to appeal to everyone.
And I love that.
But ModFam walks the line between subtle, fast-paced humor, and beating-you-over-the-head humor, and they do it well.
For every shot of buxom Gloria (played by Sofia Vergara) saying something ridiculous about how her large chest gets her in trouble, there’s a genuinely witty joke rattled off by a truly funny performer.
The actors are genuinely hilarious, and although the rhythm of the show follows the carefully-tread path of cheesey sitcoms like Full House and Everybody Loves Raymond (something funny happens to various members of the family, hijinks ensue, and at the end of 22 minutes the problems are all resolved and the family members love each other once again), it’s still one of the most entertaining shows on TV right now.
Every actor on the show is pretty funny, but the real scene-stealers are the two youngest members of the cast: Lily, played by 5-year-old Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, and Luke, played by 14-year-old genius (seriously, he’s a member of Mensa) Nolan Gould.
If you’re not watching ModFam (is that nickname getting annoying yet?), just watch these clips of Lily and Luke’s finest moments, and I think you’ll change your mind. If you are already watching, then I know you’ll enjoy these clips:
Lily doesn’t want a new sibling:
Lily wasn’t invited to the third wedding of guest-star Elizabeth Banks:
Luke runs into a screen door (gets me every time!):
Luke shares his birthday list:
Luke manipulates his family: