Five Reasons Why Modern Family is Television’s Best New Comedy

December 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Modern Family News, reviews 

Checkout Paste Magazine‘s five reasons why Modern Family is Television’s Best New Comedy:

1. Gay Characters Created Lovingly, Without Resorting to Embarrassing Cliché

2. Ed O’Neill

3. Effective Running Gags

4. Phil Dunphy is the New Michael Scott

5. Manny: The Little Adult That Could

Modern Family – One of the Top 10 TV series of the decade

November 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: reviews 

Barry Garron from Reuters selected Modern Family as one of the top 10 TV series of the decade:

Every decade has its landmark TV shows, and there will or should never be complete agreement on which 10 series belong at the top of the list.


* ABC, 2009-present

It’s a little risky to pick a new show as one of the best of the decade, even after seeing about a dozen episodes. In the case of “Modern Family,” the risk is minimized by the track record of its creators, Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd. At a time when most new shows are just finding themselves, this one has been so consistently funny, smartly produced and crisply written that it has all the earmarks of a classic in the making.

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Modern Family ABC – Laugh tracking

November 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: reviews has a great review of ABC’s Modern Family, here is part of it:
Maybe it was when 10-year-old Manny put down his newspaper to get another cup of espresso, like a little executive Buddha, or maybe it was when he insisted on wearing his traditional Colombian poncho to grade school, that it came to me: “Modern Family’’ is an instantly lived-in and fleshed-out sitcom. The ABC comedy arrived in September fully formed, filled with the rich inner life that usually only exists on a TV series over time. The characters are already indelible.
And that’s a rare thing, especially for a sitcom. Good half-hour comedies usually take many months to find themselves, to define their individuality (see: “Seinfeld’’). ABC’s “Better Off Ted’’ and NBC’s “Parks and Recreation’’ – both series with promise – are currently following that more familiar route, trying to discover their distinctive mojo while they’re on the air, hoping not to become just more brokedown sitcom chassis by the side of the road.

Each a member of the sitcom class of 2009 and each a single-camera show, “Modern Family,’’ “Better Off Ted,’’ and “Parks and Recreation’’ actually stand a chance of joining the likes of “Scrubs’’ and “Extras’’ in the canon. “Better Off Ted,’’ which returns for season 2 on Dec. 8, is a solid setup crying out for tweaks; “Parks and Recreation,’’ now in season 2, has just been nicely tweaked; and “Modern Family’’ is in need of no tweaks whatsoever. It is just right. They represent three marks on the map to sitcom excellence, with “Modern Family’’ already having reached the destination point.

Created by Steven Levitan (“Just Shoot Me’’) and Christopher Lloyd (“Frasier’’), “Modern Family’’ is a rare pleasure. The family dynamic among the large collection of characters feels thoroughly established, as if their histories are genuinely interwoven. Ed O’Neill’s Jay is the father – of Claire, who’s married to Phil and has three kids, and of Mitchell, who’s living with Cameron and has an infant daughter. Jay has a second family, too, with a much-younger wife, Gloria, from Colombia and a stepson, the inimitable Manny. When the three families interact, you can see all the casual intimacy, resentment, stubbornness, and forgiveness of an extended family in play.

Within the group chemistry, each character is finely etched. Among the most vivid are Cameron (Eric Stonestreet), a queeny gay man who once played football, and Gloria (Sofia Vergara), who unwittingly torments her husband with stories of her early sex life. And, of course, there’s Manny (Rico Rodriguez), the little guy who swoons over older girls and fences like a royal prince. These characters are already beautifully established, and yet you can detect the actors’ pleasure as they discover more and more about their roles with each episode.

Read the rest of the review at

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New Comedy Throwdown: Community vs. Modern Family

November 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: reviews has both Community and Modern Family has the best new comedies of the season, but they are trying to decide which one of them is the best. Here are some of their thoughts:

Cast: This critical category is a tight one. Community boasts Chevy Chase, the man who once played Fletch, and Joel McHale, the man who could play him today. Add fall’s freshest faces—Danny Pudi and Donald Glover—and you’re looking at TV’s most surprising new motley crew of a cast. But Modern Family has Ed O’Neill, who is looking like an Emmy candidate right now, and adding Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara, and a bushel of funny child actors only seals the deal. Point: Modern Family.
Guests/Recurring Actors: Like sexually frustrated couples, comedies need to throw others into the mix to spice things up. Shelley Long in ModFam’s “The Incident” was hilarious. It was nice to see Diane Chambers get absolutely lubed on booze and destroy a wedding. Unfortunately, Ed Norton’s appearance as Spandau Ballet’s bass player was a disaster, despite the “Fandau” gag. Elizabeth Banks was so-so, but just reminded us how much we’d rather watch Cam and Mitchell instead. On Community, John Oliver’s portrayal as Jeff’s nemesis/friend (frienemesis?) is hysterical, and I don’t care what anyone says, Ken Jeong as Senor Chang is muy awesomo. Fred Willard’s upcoming role as Phil’s dad in Modern Family could change our minds, but for now, it’s Point: Community.

The Winner: Just a second as I count the votes… it’s Modern Family by the official score of three to two! But let’s face it, we’re all winners here! Except for Community, which is slightly less of a winner. But in this race, there’s no shame in second place. Let’s just be happy we actually have “best new comedy” candidates this season. Modern Family, stop by the offices anytime to pick up your trophy.

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Worth sticking with ‘Modern Family’?

November 18, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: reviews 

Maureen Ryan has her mid-season review of the TV shows, and this is what she has to say about ‘Modern Family’:

“Modern Family,” 7 p.m. Central Wednesday, ABC: This sterling comedy is still the season’s best new show. Sure, not every episode is as gut-busting and perfectly crafted as “Modern Family’s” best outings, but then, very few comedies on the air now can match “Modern Family” at its best. This show unites sharp-eyed observations about family life with characters who still seem believable (and believably flawed, not sitcom-fake). The best part? I can’t pick my favorite character. Some weeks it’s the dorky Phil (Ty Burrell), other weeks, I’m in stitches thanks to guest stars such as Shelley Long (Edward Norton and Fred Willard are among the upcoming guest stars). But it must be said that the delightful Cameron (Eric Stonestreet, pictured at left) steals every single scene he’s in. (My original review of “Modern Family” is here.)

Will I stick with it? Absolutely

Grade: A

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Support “Modern Family” for Peoples Choice Award

November 10, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: reviews 

Peoples Choice has their anual award, and “Modern Family” is nominated for “favorite new TV comedy”.
Show your Modern Family support and vote now for Modern Family!

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Modern Family Review on Slant Magazine

November 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: reviews 

Slant Magazine has a review of Modern Family TV show; here are some parts of it:

In ABC’s Modern Family, the funniest new sitcom of the season, the titular family is an extended one. Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen play Phil and Claire, a suburban couple with three children; Claire’s father has recently married a much younger Latina bombshell and Claire’s gay brother has just adopted a baby girl with his partner. A lesser show would have focused on the nuclear family, with wacky interludes and complications brought on by the unconventional secondary characters, but what is refreshing (and truly modern) about Modern Family is how all of its characters are given equal time and importance. And by extension, how all of the actors are given an opportunity to shine in their respective roles.

It’s a testament to the strong writing that, six episodes in, my favorite character has changed several times. Ty Burrell has been consistently funny as Phil, a cheerful dad completely oblivious not only to the embarrassment he causes himself but to the embarrassment he piles onto his wife and children. As he says to the camera at one point (the show is shot in the faux-documentary style of The Office): “Claire likes to say that you can be part of the problem, or part of the solution, but I happen to believe that you can be both.” He delivers the line with pride, yet the endearing way he causes problems, then tries to fix them, makes him both the fleeting heart of the show and its most clichéd character.

Other standouts include Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet as new parents Mitchell and Cameron. Neither is defined by their gayness, but they are not made to act straight to prove a point either. Mitchell is buttoned-up and anxious while Cameron is big and boisterous, a man who loves to eat, loves football, and who presents his adopted daughter to a family gathering while wearing an African robe and playing “Circle of Life” from The Lion King. My current favorite character, however, is Manny (Rico Rodriguez), the 11-year-old son of Gloria (Sofia Vergara), the new wife of the family’s patriarch (Ed O’Neill, both gruff and decent). Manny is an old soul, a kid who drinks coffee to honor his Colombian heritage, and who would rather have a heart-to-heart with Claire than play with her kids.

Read the full story at Slant Magazine.

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A ‘Modern Family TV’ miracle for sitcoms [source: Variety]

November 7, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: reviews 

At Starbucks locations across Los Angeles, out-of-work comedy writers are polishing off their “Modern Family” spec scripts.
For the first time in a while — and definitely since the writers strike — there’s optimism in the comedy ranks. And much of that good feeling can be traced this fall to ABC’s breakout “Modern Family.”

“For morale in the comedy business, it’s been huge,” says Alphabet comedy topper Samie Kim Falvey. “All of us who love comedy and refuse to abandon it as a business feel validated.”

“Family” is one of several laffer success stories this season: ABC’s “The Middle” and “Cougar Town” also have performed well enough on either side of “Family” to earn full-season pickups, while CBS newcomer “Accidentally on Purpose” and recent NBC additions “Parks and Recreation” and “Community” have picked up some ratings ground recently.

Then there’s CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” which has graduated from hit to megahit thanks to its new timeslot behind “Two and a Half Men.”

But “Modern Family,” even rival network execs agree, is having a major effect on the laffer biz, thanks to what it represents: the revival of the family comedy.

ABC execs were high enough on the show that they picked up the pilot early, which Falvey says allowed the network and studio to cast the show well, starting with Ed O’Neill, as well as Julie Bowen, Sofia Vergara, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

The Alphabet also gave the show an early series order, and screened the entire pilot at the net’s May upfront presentation to advertisers.

But “Modern Family” was by no means a slam dunk. The network gave the show the nearly impossible task of holding down the 9 p.m. anchor slot on a Wednesday night completely filled with new shows. And when awareness studies showed low returns for “Family,” the net shifted more marketing money to the show immediately following it, “Cougar Town.”

The net also was forced to give away “Modern Family’s” big pilot reveal: The fact that the three separate families are actually related, something that viewers don’t discover until the very end of the episode.

“We did some early research on tracking and marketing, and people were not getting how special this show was,” Falvey said. “A lot of the heart comes from understanding this is a big family unit.”

Levitan and Lloyd weren’t big fans of the marketing decision, but didn’t protest.

“They did everything you could ask for in launching the show,” Lloyd says.

Salke says she believes the show has fallen into the zeitgeist of the moment — that audiences, faced with economic woes in the real world, were looking for more feelgood fare.

“Shows like ‘Modern Family’ and ‘Glee’ have tapped into the audience’s real desire to be entertained, to laugh, cry, have fun,” Salke says. “It’s not the typical tone that you have seen.”

The success of “Modern Family” has helped populate network development reports with more family-oriented laffers. Net and studio execs say they’re also busy looking at other forms that have been missing as of late — including the modern take on a relationship comedy like “Mad About You.”

“People are looking, and saying, ‘where’s our “Modern Family”?’ ” Salke says.

[read the full story at Variety]

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Critics will always be critics

November 5, 2009 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: reviews 

It seems that yesterday a few critics were on Twitter jawing about which they considered the best comedies on right now. Modern Family came up, and while there was general agreement that the show is hilarious and clever and warm, James Poniewozik added that he hoped that its warmth didn’t get expressed, in every episode, as “[Ed] “O’Neill says something gruffly sweet in last 30 secs.”

Here is what he says about the ending monologues:
I’d like to see the show change up from those here’s-what-we-all-learned homilies, for a couple reasons:
* First, and most obvious, a show is just better if I can’t predict its ending the afternoon before it airs.
* It undercuts the documentary format. There’s nothing inherently wrong with ending an episode with a longer speech from one of the characters’ “confessional” interviews in a mockumentary show. But the Jay we hear in a speech like last night’s isn’t entirely the Jay we see in action or hear interviewed on camera in the rest of the episode: he’s more reflective, self-aware and empathetic. Though the speeches end on a tension-breaking joke—like last night’s Guilt fades, but hardware lasts forever—it verges on breaking character.
* Finally, it’s just not always necessary. Modern Family has heart and sentiment to spare, and it doesn’t need to oversell it to get us to like it. If you took the monologue out, the montage it ran over would have been just as affecting, and actually maybe more.

What do you think?

Read more at the: Time.

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Modern Family Is Even Funnier Than 30 Rock – E! says

November 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: reviews 

E! finally admits what we already know – “Modern Family” is the best show on today.

Here are some things they found about Modern Family:

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet, who play Lily’s proud gay papas Mitchell and Cameron, tell us why you won’t be seeing much of their darling adopted baby in upcoming episodes:

Jesse: We have been writing around Lily a little bit because she is a child that cries a lot. We have to remind the writers that we do have a baby. And we have to remember that.
Eric: Yeah, we’ve each gotten emails from people, viewers watching, going—
Jesse: “Where was Lily when you jumped in the pool?”
Eric: “Where was Lily when you went to Costco?”
Jesse: The answer is always, “She’s always napping. She’s very, very sleepy.”
Eric: Yeah. Our baby is the most rested child on TV. Like, our kid is going to really take her young toddler years by storm.
Jesse: I think in seven years when we have the toddler of Lily, she’s just going to be the character who’s just like–[fake falls asleep, snores]. What? She’s narcoleptic.
Eric: She likes to sleep a lot.

The transcription of this interaction might not really do it justice, but suffice to say this cast is just as funny in real life as they are on the series.

Take, for example, Julie Bowen (Claire) talking about the hotness of her “mother” Sofia Vergara(Gloria):  “She’s a modern marvel of architecture.”

And what about Julie’s hubby, Phil? He certainly has a wandering eye. Will he cheat? “You get married,” Julie says. “You don’t die. You can still see other people. Anybody that sees Sofia and doesn’t acknowledge she’s attractive is just lying. It’s just a line between whether or not you’re going to do anything about it. I think Phil (Ty Burrell) establishes himself as a very loyal, good guy. I think Phil would never cheat. He wears his schoolboy impulses right on his sleeve. You see it all.”

As for the money question that anyone who’s even just seen a poster for the show asks: Why in the world is Sofia Vergara with Ed O’Neill (Jay)? Sophia tells us: “Gloria’s attraction to Ed is that she’s in this time of her life that this is perfectly what she needs. You know, a stable guy, that he’s responsible, he’s there for her and the kid, he’s already stable. He has wisdom and she’s an immigrant in this country and her husband before was this crazy playboy…Javier. It’s perfect for her to be with Ed.”

When asked what Gloria sees in Jay, Ed puts it a little more succinctly: “Money.”

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