The television show “Modern Family” (Emmy, Best Comedy, 2010) is the new craze in my house, and rightly so. I highly recommend it to all my readers, with the forewarning that watching 1 episode (22 minutes without commercials) will lead you to a 24-like urge to watch the next episode. And the next.
It is fun, hilarious, touching, and full of subtle messages for all of us. This “modern family” consists of a close family full of reasons not to be close, and they include a cougar/second/trophy-wife for Grandpa, a gay son and his husband, and a “normal” upscale suburban family with 3 children. (It may sound irreverent, but it is not. The show and it’s characters are in their own unique way pure and good). It is worth learning most of the additional details as you watch the first few episodes, but in order to encourage you to do so here are a few more without giving anything away. At the end of this post is a link to the show’s trailer.
The 3 children in the more traditional family are spectacular, one being a precious and perfect 10 year old boy, another a quick witted and sardonic super-student daughter aged 13, and a 15 year old girl who is exactly what you would expect from an attractive, self-absorbed, but lovable 15 year old. Their parents are caught in the trap so many of us parents are vulnerable to these days, that gray area between being your children’s friends, but also being their parents. The parenting decisions they make fall all across this spectrum and you will find yourself judging “that was too much like a friend”, and “that was too harsh”, and yes, sometimes, “that was just the right way to handle that one”.
The gay couple, which to speak honestly was awkward for me to watch at first, turns out to be a couple made up of two fine men with different strengths and totally different redeeming characteristics between the two of them. They have also adopted an infant girl from Vietnam, adding an important dimension to their relationship.
And then there is the trophy wife (as a man I can say unequivocally, she is indeed a trophy!) from Columbia, her 10 year old son, and the Grandpa of the family (the Columbian’s husband and 10 year old’s stepfather) and described above. If the typical person saw this couple in a restaurant they would likely judge the age difference harshly and wonder about the motivations of each half of the couple, but get to know them and there is something very pure and wholesome in the relationship. And as for her (their) son, he is a joy to watch as he tries to behave like a gentleman 10 years his senior in every situation. All the while he is accepted but challenged by his grandfather, and loved and supported unwaveringly by his mother.
We see this extended family in separate situations in their own homes, and often times together at family events, and the differences between them cause issues, but always there is an underlying bond that you can’t miss, and can’t miss appreciating.
Indeed watching this “modern family” makes one think that if we only had more families like this one in our society it would be a better place. Full of flaws, full of love and acceptance, but seemingly always ending up on the right side of things.
See “Modern Family” Season 1 commercial-free on DVD, Apple TV/iTunes, and some Cable On-Demand systems. Each episode is a very manageable 22 minutes long.
Link to trailer: MODERN FAMILY TRAILER