A new series premiering on FX this week is called the Modern Family, starring Alexander Gould as the father, Noah Taylor; Julia Ormond as the mother, Beth; Daniel Weismenk as the son, Nick; and childcare expert, Chuck Traynor as the grandfather, Homer. The premise of the show is that the modern family interacts in the modern age after it has been left behind in the 1950s. In many ways, the family is trying to hold on to the things that it perceives to be traditional. Things such as the apple and the daisy, for example.
Many of the Modern Family facts and quotes are taken from real-life events. For example, one famous episode is called “Pilot” and the whole concept is about a company that makes plane crashes seem like successful airplane crashes. There are several real-world examples of how the show has helped make children and parents smarter.
The Modern Family
In the show, there are several lessons that are built into the storytelling format. In the first season, for example, Noah Taylor (Alexander Gould) was getting home from school when he got into an argument with his mother over a television set that she had purchased. She tried to fix it but ended up damaging it so Noah decided to break it.
The entire family was impressed by his ability to mend things, including the television set which was destroyed in the process. One episode later, Noah and his mother were seen discussing the situation while having breakfast in a park. The entire episode was punctuated with a montage of the entire family watching the destruction of the television set. Another great example of one of the Modern Family facts is when Richard (David Hyde Pierce) and Devon (Alyssa Milano) decided to get some help from the local police force for their son, Eric (Ben Kingsley). Devon accidentally threw the police baton into the toilet while trying to throw an egg at Richard; while Richard broke the butt of the baton on the floor and put it in his pocket.
Another episode of American Family was the exchange student between David Hyde Pierce and his brother, Dean (John Bon Jovi). In the opening scene, the two younger brother’s house is being demolished as their father, Mr. Pierce (Harvey Gluckstein) walks in on the scene. He chastises the younger brother for destroying the house, stating that their family is rich and that he will have to watch his brother until he understands what he is doing. The younger brother then states that his father said he doesn’t know what he’s doing but can try.
A Much Ado
When the exchange student returns home, he continues on with his family, stating that he does not understand what he is doing. He then enters the kitchen, finds a piece of paper on the counter that says, “Please forgive me, I am sorry.” This prompts the entire family to sit down and start talking to him about the circumstances of his statement. When the boy realizes what he has done and asks why he did it, his father tells him to stop asking questions and explain why he did it.
One episode later, in the second season of American Family, the episode “Love Day” sees the entire family celebrating Valentine’s Day. Dean wants to celebrate with his best friend, Kit Harrington (James Russo). The only problem is that Kit cannot come because she works abroad during the week. David has convinced Dean that he can pay for her plane tickets and they celebrate the day in the comfort of David’s apartment. While at first glance, this seems like a perfect day, Sam increases the stress by ordering a pizza without any toppings and then leaving it in the oven for thirty minutes.
The writers are smart enough to realize that the pressures of modern parenting do not take away from the show’s core values of family, friendship, and togetherness. Despite the long hours most families spend together and the rules they create, the characters in The Modern Family have the ability to maintain the positive qualities that made the show so popular in the first place. Sitcoms such as The Office and Scrubs have successfully showcased the stresses of modern life and the characters have yet to lose their optimistic outlook on life. It is clear that The Modern Family is here to stay. I look forward to new episodes every week. If you are waiting for an animated version of your favorite romantic comedy, you should get over that notion just yet.