Modern Family, Sky1

by | Oct 25, 2009 | All, Reviews

Apparently the traditional sitcom is dead but hopefully it won’t be long before the irritable, shaky one handed filming technique (just use a sodding tripod!) pioneered by shows such as ‘The Office’ and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ follows suit and it’s hideous amounts of grotesque box sets is banished to the dark hellish realms of the Tesco bargain bin.

So it’s time to step forward for your day of reckoning ‘Modern Family’, the new ‘hit US show,’ a statement that is slapped on American imports far too casually nowadays. This sitcom follows the lives of three interlinked families in the style of a mockumentary. Therefore, it consists of a huge ensemble cast where naturally no one gets just the right amount of screen time. It’s nice to see Ed O’Neil back on our screens as Jay Pritchett , a man who could challenge Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson for the title of ‘Worst Father of the year,’ his Columbian trophy wife Gloria and her son Manny. Also along for the ride is Jay’s daughter, paranoid house wife Claire, her husband Phil and their brats Haley and Alex. Finally is Mitchell, Jay’s son and his flamboyant partner Eric. The pilot episode begins with their return journey from Vietnam after adopting Madonna style.

However, ‘Modern Family’ is riddled with flaws;

  1. The mockumentary, rogue camera style accompanied by dead pan humour has now became so stale it’s difficult to even decipher where the joke was meant to be, let alone find it funny. At times I thought I was watching a poor drama or genuine documentary the laughs were that flat.
  2. Following on from this, although writers Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd probably think that the mockumentary element sets this show apart, it’s actually its biggest downfall. The slow and monotonous pace doesn’t allow for any real story progression. Nor, does it have a relatable narrative that we can genuinely care about. All in all it just seems like it’s trying too hard.
  3. The heavy focus on such two-dimensional stereotypical characters is bound to set the fight against xenophobia back at least a decade.
  4. Sky One has scheduled it so that it proceeds brand spanking new episodes of unarguably the world’s most treasured and celebrated modern family; ‘The Simpsons.’ The comparisons are inevitable and it’s obvious who will triumph

Perhaps, I’ve given ‘Modern Family’ too rough a ride, after all this was only the pilot episode, which on a first watch always feels like a marathon and isn’t always the best indicator in setting the standard for the remainder of a season. But still, things need to improve quickly if this particular ‘hit US show’ is to accomplish the holy grail of my Sky Plus series link.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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