So, Modern Family last night: what did you think?
Me, I thought it was one of the tightest-written yet most devilishly-constructed network sitcoms in quite a while. The three-segmented family structure each yielded its own distinct pleasure:
• The “traditional” family with familiar, welcome face Julie Bowen (ah, Ed) married to Ty Burrell’s Phil, who immediately became the best live-action dufus-dad currently on TV. Didn’t I tell you Burrell was good back when he co-starred on the Kelsey Grammer-Patricia Heaton sitcom Back To You two seasons ago?
• Ed O’Neill’s return to sitcoms after some fine work in dramas showed that he’s not afraid to settle into old-fart roles as long as he gets to be a duffer with a hotsy wife and some fine, grumpy punchlines.
• As the gay couple that’s adopted a Vietnamese baby, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet were an impeccable comic duo, delivering their dialogue as though they were riffing and improvising rather than acting their finely-detailed roles. This is an odd couple for a new era.
And by the final scene, Modern Family showed us how this clan can come together and still be distinctively funny, not just a laff riot. O’Neill played his character’s embarrassed self-consciousness about his gay son’s home-life with just the right amount of sweatiness; Burrell demonstrated a knack for slapstick as deft as his deadpan delivery; and… well, I could go on, but I thought this show was, in general, a mighty hoot.
How about you? Did you watch? What did you think of Modern Family?