FAVORITE THING WEDNESDAY: Modern Family

Oprah has her “Favorite Things” shows where she gives away a bazillion dollars worth of stuff that she likes.  Well, I ain’t giving anything away – except a free blog post once a week in 2011 where I spotlight some of my favorite things.  It’s FAVORITE THING WEDNESDAY!

Today I thought I’d start off this new concept with talking about one of my favorite new television shows, “Modern Family.”  If you’ve not gotten a chance to see why this show is getting such rave reviews and good solid ratings, you ought to check it out.

Its sort of like a fake documentary, similar to “The Office,” but the documentary aspect is not as pronounced.  The show features Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neil from “Married with Children”) as the patriarch.  He recently married a woman from Colombia (the delightful Sofia Vergara) and she has a son, the precocious Manny (Rico Rodriguez).  Right there would be where many TV sitcoms would stop and they could mine those three characters relationships for at least a season.  However, the creators of this show had the insight to know that would be too traditionally sitcommy so they also decided to feature Jay’s two adult children and their families.

His daughter, Claire (Julie Bowen), is married to a real estate agent named Phil Dunphy (the hilarious Ty Burrell), and they have three children all with distinct personalities and good comic timing.  This set of characters is great fun and the goofiness of Phil matched with the deadpan exasperation of Claire makes for great TV.

My favorite comedy moments, though, come from Jay’s gay son, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and his partner of five years, Cameron (Eric Stonestreet).  They have adopted a baby from Vietnam and their interactions – specifically when Cameron gets snippy – are hysterical.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve laughed harder than when Cam flips out running from a scorpion at a birthday party, arms flailing and screeching.  The comedy from that is that earlier in the episode, he nearly got in a fist fight at a gas station with a rude man who was picking on Mitchell.  The depth of the character is bountiful and Eric Stonestreet deserves his Supporting Actor Emmy tenfold.  The scenes between Cameron and Jay are laugh-out-loud funny nearly every time they’re on screen together.

This is a tremendous show and I’m so glad that ABC has given us hope for the future of sitcoms.  Among the trashy and contrived reality shows that dominate our television landscape, “Modern Family “is a true gem.  It airs on Wednesday nights on ABC.  You really should check it out and see why it is one of my favorite things.

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