January 26, 2010 by
Filed under: reviews 

Television Without Pity reviewed Modern Family and criticized Julie Bowen’s character Claire – What do you think?

As Modern Family’s fantastic first season has progressed, it’s just gotten better and funnier, and its characters have become more and more likable with each episode as the show has quickly grown into one of the best on television. With one glaring exception — Julie Bowen’s character Claire. While all the characters on the show are flawed by design, Claire is the standard irreversibly shrill sitcom wife surrounded by otherwise transgressive characters. Even when she does redeem herself by letting her husband win a foot race, or begrudgingly jumping into a pool with her clothes on to satisfy the stepmother she called a gold-digger, she’s still a joyless, shrew of a woman, and that’s a damn shame.

The difference between her character’s flaws and the rest of the cast’s is that not only is there nothing endearing about her, she isn’t trusted with the funny either. Her husband is a lecherous idiot who screws up constantly, but he’s an undeniably lovable lecherous idiot, and he gets the best lines on the show. Her father is a bit backwards in his thinking, but he strives to evolve, has a dog butler, and the scene where he spared little Manny from knowing what a jerk his deadbeat dad was would forgive him almost any insensitive remark he could ever make. And Cam is an over-the-top gay stereotype who should probably offend more than he does, but c’mon, you can’t not love that bleeding heart of an impromptu Lion King musical stager. But when pressed to come up with Claire’s good points, I really can’t come up with any. If she’s not humorlessly yelling, nagging, fretting, or complaining, she’s, well, off-screen.

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