I’m usually fairly late to the table with what’s good to watch on the telly.
I do catch up in the end. I’m normally there about two years later, raving on twitter or on my blog, about an awesome series that hubs and I have just got into, while no doubt everyone is thinking, “Honestly Jen, you’re very behind with your TV. Do you not have TiVo?”
I do have TiVo but it’s largely full of Peppa Pig and Something Special courtesy of one 21-month old diva.
I’ve been very late with all the seriously cool TV. It’s happened with Luther. And Sherlock. And House. We get there eventually as I’m sure we will with the some of the latest things I’m hearing about – Breaking Bad, The Killing etc. (am I missing anything else that’s really cool?) but at the moment, we are seriously behind the times.
The one exception to this rule applies to my favourite TV show ever. And who’d have thunk it, but I’ve actually been watching it since the day it aired in the UK back in 2009.
And this show is of course, Modern Family.
If you haven’t seen it, I would strongly advise that you head on over to Amazon right now and order it. And I mean NOW. Go on, off you go. Come back when you’ve done it.
Good. Ok, let’s continue.
I remember the first night it came on Sky1. Al and I lived in our flat at the time (it was the best place we have ever lived; it was very modern and clean and tidy – unlike our very small, untidy, messy house which we currently reside…!) I think we may have just got married but we didn’t have Brooke yet. We watched it that night, stuck it on series-link and laughed every single time we watched it. It was one of those shows that anytime we talked with our friends about what we were watching on telly, we always highly recommended it.
I think we realised how much we really loved it, when we became a family and had our baby girl. It was then that this whole new level of appreciation and understanding sang at us from our TV screen.
If you haven’t seen it, Modern Family centres around; you guessed it, a family. One big family for that matter and the “Modern” aspect comes from how the individual families and relationships are depicted.
Jay Pritchard is the head of the family. He is remarried for the second time to glamorous Colombian Gloria, who is considerably younger than him and she has a young son, with an old soul, Manny.
Jay’s son Mitchell, a sensible and considered lawyer, lives with his partner, effervescent and outgoing Cameron, and their adopted Vietnamese daughter, Lily.
Jay’s daughter Claire, an over-bearing, “I can do everything” Mom, is married to Real Estate broker and funny-man Phil and they live with their three children, ditsy Haley, clever-clogs Alex and big-kid Luke.
My descriptions of these characters do them zero justice whatsoever, as it is their specific relationships with each other and as a family that makes this sitcom one of a kind. Filmed in a mockumentary style, a simple glance at the camera at the right time, or listening to the one-on-one interviews with each family member, makes you feel like you’re really in on how they’re feeling and what they’re actually thinking.
The programme touches on so many issues that we each deal with in our own family lives and whilst it does it in a way that will literally make you laugh out loud, on more than one occasions both Al and I have sat and shed a tear or two at a beautiful Daddy-Daughter moment between Phil and Alex, or over Jay’s genuine sensitivity and love towards his step-son Manny.
Modern Family is so different from any other family sitcom I’ve seen because it is so real. The father-in-law/son-in-law relationship between Phil and Jay is classic because it actually happens. You can feel Phil’s desperation for Jay to accept him, despite the fact he’s happily married to Claire and has been for 17-years, yet you can laugh along because it’s so obvious that Jay is simply toying with him.
When Mitchell and Cam decide to adopt another child and are literally moments away from having their son, your hearts break for them when it comes to no fruition and you see Mitchell devastatingly break down. You feel it all with them as they’re characters and lives resonate on such a genuine level with ours.
So many times, Al and I sit and ask each other, “Who’s your favourite character?” and it’s so hard to pick just one. Phil is legendary. Cameron is hilarious. Gloria is amazing. And as you watch them each interact with each other, you appreciate them all a little bit more and see real depths and humility you didn’t think could be there.
Now on its fourth season, it’s really going strong and getting better and better with each episode and if I could ever recommend something to watch, it would be this in a heartbeat. So go and watch it and enjoy! And you can thank me later.
I’ll leave you with this from Phil.