Forget whether it's a good representation of teh gays, or a decent comedy. Just tell me who the fuck they're supposed to be talking to when they talk to the camera a la shows like The Office which have the conceit of a documentary crew following them around.
The problem is that no documentary crew is ever seen or referred to on Modern Family; we've seen the characters in bed, and fighting, and doing tons of things you'd never do if you knew there was a camera present, yet there are these cutaways where they are talking directly to the audience as if they are being interviewed.
The conceit itself is rather tired now that it's done so often, but on Modern Family, it doesn't even make sense.
Or am I missing something?
It's the big flaw in the show that has never been addressed. It's a lazy device that allows the writers all sorts of liberties. Without the broken fourth wall they'd have to actually have to come up with more creative solutions to their narrative problems.
They do it on Parks and Rec too. That's a much better show but it's still such a lazy device.
A Dutch film crew is following the Modern Family families for a documentary on a regular American family.
Not sure what the excuse is on Parks & Rec though.
What I don't get is how they can call the show "Modern Family" and still have the mom be a stay at home mom, like some 50's hausfrau, and commend her when she finally gets off her lazy ass and tries to do something, but fails miserably.
its being transmitted to Omicron Persei 8. supposedly as a reality show about earthlings.
The show with Cam versus the lesbians was hilarious.
Marry me r6.
It was established during Season 1 that a German filmmaker is making a documentary on the Pritchetts, a seemingly typical, upper-middleclass family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his only son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.
what bugs me (i actually love the show), is the strange quite voice over when scenes shift --"duffy's living room" or "cam's bedroom". what the hell is that. its very distracting.
[quote]what bugs me (i actually love the show), is the strange quite voice over when scenes shift --"duffy's living room" or "cam's bedroom". what the hell is that. its very distracting.
I'm sorry, what?
Also, OP, you must lead an empty life if this alternate form of sitcom storytelling truly upsets you this much.
r10, are you on medication? There is NO "transition voice" or ANY voice of any kind that says that shit. Unless it is, of course, the voices in your head.
Thanks R10. I thought it was just me hearing that strange voice over announcing what room they are going to next. I find it very helpful to understand the plot.
What [R10} is referring to is probably the Audio Descriptive Track. Recently mandated by the FCC, this separate audio track (often replacing the second language SAP track) is used to describe the on-screen action for blind "viewers" of programming. Check "Audio Description" on Wikipedia for more info.
However, it can be head-scratching the first time you experience it. :)
R10 is too old to know how to work his TV.
They're supposed to be on a reality show/documentary like the people on The Office and Parks and Recs. What I don't understand is how they can so freely badmouth people and not get shit for it when the show airs.
On the reunions shows for all the Real Housewives shows, people always call out everyone for what they say in the confessionals. On The Office, they are always making fun of their boss and co-workers in the confessionals. How is that going to fly at the reunion??
Plus if all their shows have been on for several seasons, it should mean that they are famous now but none of them act like they are famous.
The "modern" part is supposed to be the mix of family types within their broader family -- regular nuclear family, older man-younger woman from another country, gay couple with kid.
It is strangely retro though that all three couples have one partner who doesn't work.
Who cares? I just watch, laugh my ass off and forget about it til the next episode. I can't be doing with nit pickers who deconstruct comedy shows to try to make you feel stupid for enjoying a half hour of laughs.
Sit coms aren't meant to be 'normal'. Jeezo.
I'm with r19. Chill out, OP. If it bothers you so much, just don't watch the show.
If you think about it, it's pretty bold for the show to basically rape the Reality TV concept and dismiss anything that could get in their way for a punchline or their creative vision to create a comedy drama series.
OP = master of the obvious and trivial, from the year 2009
I think this show is so overrated. It is very pretentious and although it has some funny moments, I just don't get it or all the awards it has garnered. I guess talking t the audience (if that is the gimmick) is supposed to make it original or something.
The conceit is that the audience is IN on the joke. There are often asides to the camera, even if it's not the sit down interviews throughout the show.
It's like the family members each are recounting a slice of life to someone.
Not that complicated.
R23, what's overrated is your opinion and anyone who uses that term as if there's some objective standard by which something is "overrated".
What you mean is, it's not your taste, therefore, by your standard, everyone else must be wrong.
If significant numbers of people like it, it is very likely because they actually enjoy it, therefore, it's not "overrated" to them.
Such a fucking snob.
R23 isn't so much a snob as he is unsophisticated. Some people just need to be told when to laugh at a sitcom and get nervous without a laugh track.
There are enough of these shows on the air now that I no longer think about the alleged documentaries that are being made. I just look at it as a new format of sitcom. In fact, I don't see any reason why they even have to have the documentary conceit anymore. Just have the characters break the third wall and talk to the audience.
I liked this show better when it was called "Soap."
R11 R12 sorry it took so long for me to reply... i was out chopping wood for my steam powered TV. your cogent comments really moved the discussion forward. yes, i'm so old i only had a stick to make moving shadows with (rich kids had TWO sticks and fire, so they could watch moving shadows at night). MF is the only show i have ever heard stage directions voiced -- unless you count Snagglepuss: "Exit, stage right! if this is to help blind "viewers, why is this the only program i've ever heard it on?
[quote]The show with Cam versus the lesbians was hilarious.
I just watch this episode on Hulu last night and the back and forth insults between Cam and the blonde lesbian were hysterical - I always want to stop watching this show, but I never do because scenes like that end up pulling me back in.
Yeah, R27? It's the "fourth" wall, hon. The fourth wall is the one facing us, the audience. If they were talking to the third wall, we'd just see them in profile talking to a wall all the time.
The gays on this show give me secondhand embarrassment. And Ferguson gives me secondhand embarrassment in real life too.
The season finale was hyserical too, with Cam causing all kinds of trouble with the old Jewish ladies and then later wondering why trouble always seems to pop up around him!
R6 I think its just a summer replacement for "Single Female Lawyer".
Word is that the cast members are totally obnoxious assholes in real life.
Agreed, OP. The talking-to-the-camera conceit is tiresome. I could never get into THE OFFICE, PARKS & RECREATION, and MODERN FAMILY because of it.
"Modern Family" is a class-blind fantasy world. (See link.)
It's just a trope. Do you have a problem with the studio audience laughing at the zany antics of the cast on a three-camera sitcom? "Who are these people? Why are they in her living room/his office? Why don't the characters hear all that laughter?"
That trope makes just as much sense as the talking-to-the-camera one, which is to say none.
It's all just TV, and it all exists purely to sell you stuff. Just go with it, or chuck it and pick up a book instead.
OP, as someone said, just stop watching the show instead of bitching about it.
Love Modern Family. It's a terrific show. The episode with Manny and Jay in line at city hall the day gay marriages start was hilarious.
And Claire has a job now.
Is any of this "4th wall" business similar to what George Burns used to do on his TV series many moons ago? I think "The Goldbergs" did it as well.
Luke needs to go. He has become the most self-conscious actor I've ever seen. Just AWFUL.
They're in Australia and ... the show has lost its mojo.
R44 I agree. His acting has gotten even worse the more he moves into puberty.
They were in Australia. And I have a thing for Australian accents so I was all about this episode. When that biker gang showed up I was in heaven.
The wedding is on soon at 9 PM EST.
I think Luke is fun. Not as much these days.
I have to admit I got verklempt when Jay offered to hold the wedding at his country club. And the service was sweet.
And the running gag of Luke and Manny acting like a gay couple after Phil "married" them was funny.
Luke's "acting" ability continues to decline.
Time for a recast. That kid needs to find another profession. Rarely have I seen a worse actor outside of an elementary school pageant.
In real life, the old guy with the hotsy totsy Latino wife would have been fucked to death by now.
"What I don't understand is how they can so freely badmouth people and not get shit for it when the show airs."
You have a hard time with the concept of "fiction', don't you?
I just watched this week's episode and am surprised by the kid who plays Manny. He's become a real actor. He did a great job.
Did anyone see the very first or pilot episode? Did that explain who they're talking to. I find it very annoying that it doesn't seem to have been explained. I never saw it from the first episode so I wonder if they did explain and I missed it.
A side note, I think the daughter and the Gloria character looked much better with their natural hair color. Also I saw an old Law and Order, I think it was an SVU, with the girl who plays the older sister, she is an excellent dramatic actress. I was surprised.
R55, Sofia Vergara is NOW using her natural hair color. She's a blonde, but when the show started, the producers thought that didn't suit their idea of the "spicy Latina," so they asked her to dye her hair. She's simply stopped dying it.
Yes, in the pilot, it was explained that everyone had been killed in a massive car crash on the way to a family get together, and that they are all appearing before St. Peter, trying to explain why they should get into heaven and not into hell.
The final episode will supposedly reveal who go into where.
R55, Haley is played by Sarah Hyland who is the daughter of an actor who has worked regularly on stage and in film/tv for many years, Edward James Hyland. Sarah has been a working actress since she was a little girl, including playing young Jacqueline Bouvier in Grey Gardens on Broadway.
I think they were right on Vergara's hear color. She doesn't look as good with her natural blond, at least IMO.
Sophia Vergara may be a natural blonde, but she looked way hotter with the dyed dark hair. In the very early seasons they dyed Ed O'Neill's hair darker, too. Agree that the older Dunphy daughter should also go back to dark and the kid who plays Luke is a lousy actor. And I don't think the girl who plays Lily will ever be any kind of actress. Mainly I just watch it for Phil and Claire (or the Dunphy segments in general) anymore.
Lily is hard to watch.
Luke is growing up to have a tight little body. He's a bit gay acting, but he's gonna be hot.
R62 = Bryan Singer, now holding auditions for his next pool party.
Do you think the older Dunphy daughter is jealous that her younger sister is suddenly walking around with a D-Cup?
Lily used to be the worst actor on the show, but last season was overtaken by Luke, who gets progressively worse with each episode. Not counting Charo, of course.
I had a tough time buying that for most of its run two of the families only had one parent working, and yet everyone could afford the latest gadgets/electronics, new clothes, new cars, spacious homes, and luxury vacations (it wouldn't surprise me if at the start of next season they go into space).
That said, the show recently hit new levels of unrealistic when the gay couple didn't know who Tom Hardy is.
I doubt Alex (Ariel Winter) will get work once the show wraps. While he may be a kid genius, I agree Luke should be recast.
But they probably won't ever have to work again, right? Ridiculous.
Child actors usually get better as a series progresses, but I have to agree that Nolan Gould (Luke) has gotten worse. I do love it, though, when they have Luke and Manny act like a married couple.
Nolan Gould and Rico Rodriguez were cute as kids, but they are busted as teenagers.
Is Cam still holding Lilly in his arms in the opening? She's getting too big for that if he is. Soon she will be as tall as he is and her legs will be dragging on the ground when he holds her up.
I don't think the kid playing Lilly is bad. She's okay, not great but okay. ITA about the kid playing Luke. He has gone from blah to suck.
Agree about Nolan Gould (Luke) being a horrible actor. And Lily as well. Cringe-worthy to watch them.
I bet when the series is over, Rico Rodriguez loses a lot of weight and turns into one hot little tamale.
I still love the show but mostly watch because I want to do unspeakable things to Ty Burrell. My God that man is hot.
We can all thank that English mutt Ricky Gervais for this cack.
Al Bundy is still Al Bundy. That alone makes the show unwatcheable for me. That the rest are conservative cliches is then no surprise.
I wish Phil would dump Claire for Haley's ex-beau, Dylan. They are such a cute couple.
R72 I have the same bizarre attraction to Ty. Still can't believe he's straight
No R71, because he doesn't have a neck.
He is the white Esther Rolle.
I've often worked with men like Phil -- they're creepy.
Levitan's prior sitcom, "Back To You" centered around a TV newscast, starred Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton, but is required viewing for MF fans. Burrell is in it, playing a not-quite Phil character. Fred Willard was the sportscaster, there was a Spicy Latina weathergirl (Mo Non Ga HEE La), plus Josh Gad.
I know the Datalounge Politburo institutionally abhors Grammer and Heaton, but this was a series with great potential. However, "The Middle" and "Modern Family" are more successful.
Burrell also played a very un-Phil playboy in the Stockard Channing-Henry Winkler series about a family of doctors.
Burrell also played not-too-convincing pussyhound in "Dawn of the Dead". It wasn't until the movie was 3/4 finished until I realized he was supposed to be straight.
Honestly, I'm not convinced any male performer on Modern Family is straight. Gayest set since Frasier.
ITA none of them, IMO, are straight. I don't know about the kid who plays Manny but I'd place bet that the kid who plays Luke already knows which way he swings. And I don't care what he says, no way the guy who plays Cam is straight. I never thought he was straight even when he didn't play someone who is gay.
Ty Burr has come out as bisexual.
And who is "Ty Burr?"
Post the link [R83] or you're not invited to my new years brunch.
Isn't Lily supposed to be Asian when she was a baby? When did she become half white? And did they time travel? Because she went from a baby to a 5 year old all of a sudden yet none of the other children aged. How did they explain that? Is this a sci-fi show?
I think "Luke" is adorable. He doesn't need to act any more or better than he is. This "Alexander, The Other Side of Dawn" for Christsakes. (LOL) Hopefully he has smart parents who are socking away his money for when it all wraps up and he can figure out what he really wants to do.