Oct 5, 2018

[TV] Modern Family: Season 7 Review

It's interesting how American sitcoms can just keep on going and going and going. Somewhere down the line they just manage to develop a steady, loyal following and their writing really gets consistent but not necessarily remarkable and the show just keeps on going. I feel this applies to any show that manages to get past a fifth season. When you play your cards right you have quite the steady ship to steer.

Modern Family has always been a good show. In fact it started out pretty great. And then it just stayed good in a fairly consistent manner. Despite the many different storylines and character developments over the years, in the end it ended up hitting a rather particular steady stride of good entertainment.

Each season has some great moments and some good moments and some not so memorable instances. It's not bad enough to get canned but it remains good enough to linger and still have a place in your home every week.

Synopsis: Modern Family is an American mockumentary comedy series created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan.The first five seasons of the show consistently won awards but that has somewhat tapered off over time.

The last season ended with Haley (Sarah Hyland) learning that Andy (Adam DeVine) had feelings for her and that promptly got pushed aside as he had also proposed to his longtime girlfriend Beth (Laura Ashley Samuels). To balance things off, this has her going back to Dylan (Reid Ewing), which probably wasn't the smartest thing to do. Alex (Ariel Winter) leaves for college early.

A big theme this season also involved jobs for some reason. Claire (Julie Bowen) continues to work for her father Jay (Ed O'Neill). Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) loses his job and this leads to him picking a rather controversial alternate job instead and eventually Gloria (Sofia Vergara) is convinced to try to sell the family hot sauce. And Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) is still coaching at Lily's (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) school. But really the big plots this season center around Haley's unresolved feelings and oddly enough, ducks.

What I Liked: To be fair, the whole Haley-Andy romance initially felt like a bit of a one-off joke from the last season but really evolved into something truly intriguing in this season. There's really something going on there and I'll admit that I was pretty keen on seeing where things would go throughout the season.

Working Claire always makes for a lot of good comedy more than stay-at-home-mom Claire. It helps that she's working at a family business so that adds a whole separate level of neuroses given her history. And the sub-plot with Gloria getting into the hot sauce business was also a nice way of getting her out of the house more.

What Could Have Been Better: Some personal bias here, but I have to point out that it really feels that Cameron and Mitchell are largely played out as characters - at least in terms of how the writers are handling them. A lot of times they're reduced to gay caricatures and Lily is really mostly one-liner comic relief. It's rather disappointing to see them stagnate in this manner.

Phil (Ty Burrell) is another character who really hasn't gone all that far as of late, and this was heightened even more now that Claire is working. He's still a real estate agent but his somehow his lack of steady income has somehow justified an even greater shift in the power dynamic from an already dominant Claire from the start of the show.

TL;DR: Modern Family continues to entertain even though a lot of its characters are locked in particular versions of themselves in order to deliver consistent laughs at predictable moments. I still like the show but I know it's no longer quite as breakthrough as it used to be. And thus it still gets a good 3.5 crazy duck moments out of a possible 5.


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