Since college, I’ve made it a point not to keep up with television. I’ve never personally owned a TV and used to chastise those talked about popular shows. Then I had to relocate to New York and spent a lot of time alone. During the moving process, my D.C. roommate hung out with her family a great deal, so I found myself losing my mind in our empty apartment for much of that transition. When I first got to New York, I sublet an adorable studio in the west village for three weeks. Though I enjoyed my personal space for a day or two, I become lonely pretty quickly.
To feel a little more comfortable with all the alone time, I decided to keep the TV on every hour I was home. I watched “Modern Family” and was immediately hooked. Sofia Vergara’s emotionally driven character made me laugh, Phil Dunphy’s failed attempts at being smooth reminded me of some of my uncles, Ed O’Neill’s curmudgeon personality and constant use of the phrase “Oh, Hell” brought back childhood memories of my own no-nonsense dad giving others a piece of his mind, and Alex’s bitter and sometimes vicious ways were reminiscent of my pre-teen insecurities.
A friend once criticized “Modern Family” for displaying a dysfunctional bunch. She complained that we need more programs about stable families. I know I’m not the first to say this, but many of today’s families are unusual in some way. The great thing about “Modern Family” is that it always ends on a nurturing note. Everyone cares about each other no matter what, and the sitcom goes to show that many different types of families can be strong. A family is not in trouble simply because it doesn’t fit the “Brady Bunch” mold.
With that, I’m glad that “Modern Family” landed the Golden Globe for best TV series. It sends the message that you don’t have to be the stereotypical white picket fence family to be happy. On the final episode of season one, Ed O’Neill’s character says:
“Back in ’68…I had this mental picture of the family that if I was lucky enough, one day I would end up with. Perfect wife, perfect kids. Guess what? I didn’t get any of that. Wound up with this sorry bunch. And I’m thankful for that everyday…Well, most days.”