Modern Family


What students are talking about today (November 8th edition)

Alcohol Studies, the Sandy Five, & a riot over Obama

Three stereotypes walk into a diner...

Three stereotypes walk into a diner…

Are walking ethnic clichés better than no clichés in sitcoms?

I’m weddy for my close-up, people

Babies are taking over television

As actors, they’re notoriously obstreperous, but babies are television’s hottest stars



Newsmaker entrances


The Emmys: Accent on Youth

Finally some “new blood”; but not of the ‘True Blood’ variety


Daddy knows best

More and more gay men are having children, and a new study shows they are very good at ‘mothering’


Someone give Glenn Close a hug

Today the popular shows, like ‘Parent­hood,’ are sweet and mushy, not mean like ‘Damages’


Who on earth are they talking to?

The hit show ‘Modern Family’ never bothers to explain who’s interviewing the characters


Community > Modern Family

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Second and First Episodes

The data from ABC’s attempt to build a comedy night: good ratings for Modern Family in its second week, a larger decline (but still pretty good numbers) for Cougar Town, and the “Back To You Twins” — Kelsey Grammer’s Hank and Patricia Heaton’s The Middle — won’t last long. The upshot seems to be that, as expected, Modern Family has the most hit potential out of this group; it’s got a durable format, a good team and, most importantly, it has something resembling a breakout character who can forge interesting, unusual comedy relationships with other characters. I’m talking, of course, about Ty Burrell’s Cool Dad character. His “why the face?” immediately became the big catchphrase of the pilot, and the choice of “The Bicycle Thief” as the second episode may have had something to do with the fact that he had a big part in it. (I read somewhere that this was not the second episode in production order and that it was aired second because it would make the strongest impression after the pilot, but I can’t verify that.) In my mammoth sitcom post the other day, I somehow neglected to mention the importance of having at least one character/actor combination that takes off and goes beyond the easy TV stereotypes; Burrell, who makes his character seem weird and lovable rather than pathetic, is that guy.


The five new TV shows worth watching (and a couple to ignore)

Let critic Jaime J. Weinman be your fall TV guide