(Published Nov. 5, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit
The antics of three connected families elicit consistent laughs in the relatable weekly sitcom “Modern Family.”
Sixty-something Jay (Ed O’Neill) is married to hot Latina Gloria (Sofia Vergara), mother of a mature-thinking 11-year-old (Rico Rodriguez). Jay’s gay son from a previous marriage, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) has a partner, Cameron (Eric Stonestreet), and recently adopted a baby girl. Jay’s daughter Claire (Julie Bowen), meanwhile, is married to real estate agent Phil (Ty Burrell) and has three kids.
The half-hour program’s “mockumentary” format allows for “interview” segments between scenes, helping expound on the characters’ personalities and thoughts, just like in “The Office.”
The various relationships are established and explored in season one, easily distinguishing each family member in just a few episodes.
From imperfect childhood issues to cultural differences, “Modern Family” manages to identify and make fun of real topics, while giving a broader view of the chosen subject through the interactions of the three families. Some of the more watchable moments are those that focus on how differently the parent characters raise their disparate and unpredictable children.
This family is generally accepting, flawed but generous. They’re non-judgmental when it comes to each other’s decisions, but they’re still revealed as having unspoken apprehensions. Claire initially thinks that Gloria is a gold-digger, for example, but is more welcoming when she realizes that the younger woman genuinely loves Jay.
Tapping universal situations and familial concerns, but still harnessing them creatively into giggle-worthy and even heartwarming stories, “Modern Family” manages to regularly focus on what makes these unique families tick.
"Modern Family” airs Thursdays, 8 p.m., on Solar TV