Friday, June 04, 2010

tv meme, day 3: your favorite new show aired this past season

In terms of new shows, it's rare that any season can provide a show that not only tops established ones in terms of writing and acting, but also provides the viewing audience with a flawless first season. Thanks to ABC's Modern Family, we were given a fantastic season of family comedy in which each and every episode was a stand-out. And if you still haven't jumped on board with this sneakily excellent series, now's the time to get caught up.

From the start, Modern Family made itself out to be a traditional television comedy setting with a twist - to quote its pre-season advertising tagline, it's "one big (straight, gay, multi-cultural, traditional) happy family." Luckily, like any great TV series, it has a cast without a weak spot. Headed by patriarch Jay (played with surprising depth and emotion by Married...with Children's Ed O'Neill), the "family" consists of Jay's daughter Claire (Julie Bowen in control-freak super-mom mode) and his son Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and their respective families. But the real laughs come from Mitchell's partner Cam (played with fantastic gusto by Eric Stonestreet) and Jay's young wife Gloria (played by the hysterical Sofia Vergara) and stepson Manny (played by too-big-for-his-britches Rico Rodriguez).

Another feat that Modern Family has managed that most comedies flounder with is its uncanny ability to properly handle "big-name" guest stars. With the exception of the somewhat awkward Edward Norton guest spot, Elizabeth Banks' party-loving best friend and Shelley Long's neurotic ex-wife were great television. The true greatness of this show, though, comes from episodes that rely solely on cast interaction with no outside help. Any scene involving Vergara or Stonestreet is assured to be a hoot, and it's kind of amazing how much chemistry Stonestreet appears to have with his on-screen adopted daughter Lily. Is it possible for a baby to have deadpan humor abilities? So from Jay's hidden hints of pride in his children to Cam's need to dress up Lily as various musical divas to Luke's inability to step away from an inanimate object without colliding with it, Modern Family is full of sincerity, great gags, and a working, complementary unit for a cast.

2 comments:

Robert said...

Grrr! I was going to do this one! Hahaha, but I had a feeling you would so I decided to wait and see. ;) I couldn't agree with your write-up more, it's such an awesome show and Stonestreet and Vergara are just amazing.

Jose said...

I couldn't stand Sofia Vergara until this came along.
Perhaps the funniest ensemble in a new comedy and at least the funniest since 30 Rock debuted (it pisses me that those Glee kids steal their thunder so much!)