Nov 12, 2015

[TV] Modern Family: Season 6

Here's another episode of Rocky writing catch-up reviews! And I'm still addressing the gap in the reviews related to the award-winning comedy Modern Family. And given its seventh season is already on-going, this should be the last review to address things - at least until the current season finally comes to a close.

It is interesting how Modern Family has managed to survive this long without getting too tiring in terms of its on-going narrative. And while it hasn't necessarily been breaking new ground as of late, it's still a pretty solid entertainment experience that is worth dipping into from time to time.

And whether we like it or not, it's still one of the more stable depictions of an LGBT family, no matter how "stereotypical" you can argue some of the behaviors are. The writers have done a pretty good job of making the most of its diverse cast while keeping the stories funny more than anything else. Important messages are always a welcome thing here and there, but you don't necessarily want to burden your comedic entertainment with that sort of a deal.

Synopsis: Modern Family is an American mockumentary-style sitcom created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan. The show primarily airs on ABC although syndication rights have been sold to the likes of the USA Network and other Fox affiliates, to name a few.

Beyond Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell's (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) honeymoon as a follow-up to last season, what actually struck me most about the season premiere for the show was the plot line related to the Dunphys. In this case, we had Phil (Ty Burrell) and Claire (Julie Bowen) are enjoying an unusual period of peace at home with no one fighting and things just getting done. But then things all change once Alex (Ariel Winter) comes home early from her summer humanitarian trip and then chaos resumes. Given how Alex has always been presented as the honor student who has been entirely focused on her college career, it was nicely ironic how somehow her presence was leading to all the arguments with her siblings.

The main sort of undercurrent for the season was providing more time for Haley (Sarah Hyland) and Andy (Adam DeVine) to get to know one another and thus plant the seeds for the potential relationship following the pattern of the unlikely romantic pairing. Of course such slow burn relationships are most effective when they are never fulfilled and thus we see them really milk this idea throughout the season. I actually like the notion of Haley and Andy being a good match for one another and thus having them become involved makes so much sense. But then yeah, the writers know what works and thus things don't immediately work out for the better.

One of the best episodes of the season has to be "The Day We Almost Died". This episode was presented as a clever multiple perspective story of several cast members being in a near car accident together. The episode nicely explores what each of them were thinking at the time and how they may or may not have contributed to the potential accident. And the fun part is looking at how they decided to behave after the accident, which made for good writing.

Then you have the episode "Connection Lost", which could be perceived as a bit of a gimmick, but in the end was quite clever. The whole episode takes place as we view Claire's laptop screen and she video chats different members of her family. We also get to see the sort of websites she visits and how she organizes things while juggling a family crises while waiting at an airport. I wanted to dismiss the episode as a cheap trick at first but in the end it was a really, really enjoyable one indeed.

Modern Family is a nice comfortable comedic experience, the sort of show that can act as a nice little night cap after a long day. It has things that you can relate to since it relies on family tropes and it doesn't mess up its own formula too much. Thus the season gets a good 4 near-misses between Haley and Andy out of a possible 5.

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