Saturday, September 25, 2010

What I'm Watching: Modern Family (Season Premiere)

Modern Family: Season 2, Episode 1 "The Old Wagon" (B+)

I'd like to officially welcome back last season's best new comedy, which deservedly won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series (the DVD of the first season just arrived in my mailbox!). The second season is off to a great start, focusing once again on family familiar tropes, like broken-down cars, construction projects, and jealous mothers. Though all of the plotlines were top-notch, I'm a sucker for anything involving Phil, especially since it was at this time one year ago that the brilliant Ty Burrell first wowed me (and others) with his hilarious performance of the wacky Dunhphy patriarch. His best moment on this episode was jumping on the hood of the rolling car, prompting exclamations of "What's the plan, Phil?" from Claire and others, though it's also worth pointing out his presentation of the retooled car ad. Mitchell getting stuck in the playhouse was very funny, and I loved his taunt of "enjoy your light beers," which resulted in Cameron's clarification that they only have light beers. Gloria/Sofia Vergara is just wonderful, and the way she talks about being a Colombian mother is great. I must say - this idea of salt and chocolate milk seems terrifying to me, but maybe it's good? The strongest part of this episode, as it often is of the show, is the surprisingly and surprisingly effective dramatic ending of the episode, linking together all the threads and noting that it is often tough to say goodbye. I can hardly wait for episode two.


Richter Scale said...

I love this show, and this premiere reminded me why. As much as I laughed throughout the episode, my favorite moment was not a comedic one, but one that made me fall in love with Phil and Claire as a couple (not that I didn't already love them). It's that scene after Claire breaks down about the car and Phil comes into the house to console her. It includes that line "I love you when you're human". What a beautiful line. Yes, Ty Burrell is hilarious, but he's also very endearing, and he has such sweet chemistry with Julie Bowen.

To me, that's what sets this show aside from most sitcoms on TV. In most sitcoms, I laugh at the characters and enjoy the situations, but I don't love most of them as people. Not in Arrested Development, not in 30 Rock, a few of them maybe in The Office, but in Modern Family I don't just find the characters funny, but I love them as people (flawed as they may be). These are people I wouldn't mind spending time with, because underneath all their quirkiness, they are a loving family.

As for Emmys, I'm hoping this show has an Emmy track record similar to The Golden Girls and The West Wing, in which a different cast member wins every year. Eric Stonestreet won this year, so next year it should be Ty Burrell (that would be my first choice) or Jesse Tyler Ferguson, or Ed O'Neill, and I also want both Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara to eventually win (I would also include the kids, but that's too much to ask). I know it's way too early to think about that, but I would love for this show to earn Emmys for every cast member in the years it will be on (I'm pretty sure it will be on a while).

Movies with Abe said...

That's a great sentiment, and I really do hope that you're right, and next year Burrell gets it, followed by O'Neill and Ferguson in the future. The show certainly has fans on its side, and at this point there aren't any new comedies to threaten its chance to repeat.