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.
10. MODERN FAMILY
* 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.
Boston.com 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 Boston.com
Marconi Calindas from The Examiner asked today whether Modern Family stereotypes a gay couple:
Yet the question is about the inclusion of a gay couple, which one of them is part of the “modern” family, whether the new show is stereotyping gay men in our society. The gay couple played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet actually are not the physically typical gay men portrayed in most TV shows that are drop dead gorgeous, coming out of a perfume or denim jeans print ads. This couple is one of the “common” gay couples in the world: one being overly healthy and one with facial hair. The gay couple adopted an Asian baby and now is struggling to pass parenthood.
One blogger calls the series stereotyping the gay couples with baby adoption, neatness, argyle cashmere shirts, flamboyant dance moves, snootiness, Meryl Streep and Costco virginity among many others. Getback.Com says “Although on the surface Mitchell and Cameron seem like cliches, they also have an understated, genuine quality in their relationship that keeps them from being gay caricatures.”
Is that stereotyping?
Perhaps it’s the creators Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd’s (“Frasier,” “Just Shoot Me,” and “Back to You”) objective in the first place as they can’t put all the different gay stereotyped characters in the show.
The best thing here is that the show finally has brought back gay characters on mainstream TV after the demise of Will and Grace and Queer As Folk.
What do you think?