I’m always on the look out for fresh, creative and funny comedies that make me laugh, cry and gasp in sheer amazement at the quality of talent that takes its place on our TV screens these days. Sky1’s ‘Modern Family’ is that comedy. The show centres around three main families who are all linked via brother/sister/parent, etc. And it is a work of absolute genius. Conceived by creators, Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan – after they retold stories about their own families – the series premiered to critical acclaim, and was watched by 12.6 million viewers.
Modern Family has won numerous Emmy Awards (including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in each of the past three years) as well as Ty Burrell (who plays the absolutely hilarious and loveable) Phil Dunphy winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Ty plays the husband to Julie Bowen (who plays his wife, Claire Dunphy) and their three children, Ariel Winter (Alex Dunphy), Nolan Gould (Luke Dunphy) and Sarah Hyland (Haley Dunphy). Most of the main storylines focus on this family (there is a particular highlight in Series 1, where Phil is crying out on his bed after coming down with a case of kidney stones: “Oh, it’s gotta be death, death is coming!”) Makes me cry with laughter every time I watch it.
The second family centres around couple Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell Pritchett) – the brother of Claire Dunphy – and Eric Stonestreet (Cameron Tucker). They are parents to Lily Tucker-Pritchett (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons). Most of their storylines are about Lily and the dynamic between Mitchell and Cameron as a couple. There is a memorable scene in Season 2 where guest actor, James Marsden (there are a host of great names to look out for across the four series) hides in Mitchell and Cam’s doll house and pretends he’s moved into the apartment upstairs. Of course, Mitchell and Cam can’t help admiring him taking a dip in their swimming pool as well!
The third main family focuses on Ed O’Neill (Jay Pritchett) – you also may remember him as Al Bundy from ‘Married… with Children’. He plays the father of Claire Dunphy and Mitchell Pritchett. His partner is Gloria Delgado-Pritchett (who is played by the beautiful Sofia Vergara). She has a child from a previous relationship called Manny Delgado (played by Rico Rodriguez.) He is quite mature for such a young person, and is often seen giving advice to Jay and Gloria on many occasions.
As I mentioned previously, there are many guest names who have appeared in the show, and they have helped to turn it into the phenomenon that it is. Greg Kinnear, Matt Dillon, Nathan Lane and Matt Prokop (who is the real life partner of Sarah Hyland). Reid Ewing plays Sarah’s/Haley’s recurring boyfriend, Dylan, and much of the amusement comes from Phil’s affection towards him and Claire’s annoyance at him. Oh, it’s such a brilliant comedy – I can’t stop gushing. You must watch! It’s ace!
I’ll be honest – the last episode that sticks in my mind is from Series 3 (I haven’t seen all of Series 4 yet). It‘s called ‘Disneyland’. This episode involves Luke taking Phil on a variety of roller coasters, and Phil’s reaction to coming off is to try to walk, and end up falling over ill. I love him! I just need to get myself settled down and watch Series 4 – I have no doubt the writers will continue to amaze and astound me when I do.
Phil Dunphy for Oscars 2014.