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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Does Modern Family stereotypes a gay couple?

October 27, 2009 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: reviews 

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?

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Modern Family’s Steven Levitan Interview

October 7, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Crew 

Movie Line has an interview with Modern Family‘s Steven Levitan. Here are some interesting Q&As:

How is running Modern Family different than the shows you’ve run in the past? How have you modified the process?
Well, I’m running it with Christopher Lloyd, so that’s automatically different. We’re sharing the leadership so we have to constantly check in with each other and sometimes battle it out, you know, “Which way are we going to go here?” But otherwise, you hope to make fewer mistakes with time but there are always new mistakes to be made. I’m not as freaked out by all of this as I was at the beginning. It’s becoming more natural to me. We’re just trying to get as far ahead as possible. I always say, that breaking stories is like Indiana Jones and the big ball. You try to get as far ahead as possibly but by the end of the season, that boulder is right behind you.

How long does it take to shoot an episode?
Five days.

Did you have a sense while writing the pilot that ABC was the best place for the show?
We wanted to do a show about family and we thoughtABC was the right place for it. We pitched it around and several people wanted it. ABC wanted it the most and we took it there. We’re not really good at filling orders. We feel like it’s got to come from our hearts and what we want to write about and then you find the right place for it.

And when you pitched it, did you already have the script?
Actually, for the first time ever, for me, I did a Key Note presentation on the computer because we had so many characters. I thought it would be too confusing otherwise for people to keep it all straight. So I used actors that I wanted or liked or pictures of people that looked like what was in our heads and we took it in and said, “This is our show,” and did a five minute Key Note.

Wow. A PowerPoint.
Yeah, the Mac version of PowerPoint. It was cool. We pitched it three places and three places wanted it. It worked.

The biggest concern was, where does this have the best chance of succeeding. ABC, NBC and CBSwanted it. We didn’t pitch it at FOX. And Steve [McPherson] really wanted it and you know, he’s an old friend, and the series just felt like ABC.

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