Saturday, October 10, 2009
Best New TV Show '09 - '10? Modern Family
Generally, network TV - meaning, ABC/NBC/CBS - has been firing out a giant load of crap since sometime around the end of Seinfeld. Or, actually, sometime around after the 7th season of Seinfeld. I mean, with the exception of the Office and Friday Night Lights -- if FNL counts b/c of the DirectTV deal -- there has not been anything there really hasn't been virtually anything watchable (oh, I guess Arrested Development - but it got canceled, and Chuck - almost canceled).
Usually, and I think there's some type of multiplier effect for sit-coms, there are really awful broadly drawn characters spouting catch phrases at each other... with the odd pun thrown in for good measure. And if someone had tried to explain Modern Family it probably would've sounded something like another one of those shows: gay couple with adopted baby, family with a dad trying to be cool getting to know daughter's boyfriend, the wound to tight mother who has to fix everything, hard ass grandfather, etc. and so on.
Somehow though, Modern Family misses the trappings those other sit-coms and comes across -- or has come across through three episodes -- as much sharper. The characters, in particular, the three father figures played by Al Bundy, Ty Burrell "The Cool Dad", and the gay fathers Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet are all a little different, quirky, and their mockumentary style interviews rival some of the best that the Office has to offer.
Now, I'm not sure whether its the mockumentary style that works so well -- quick, name a mockumentary style show/movie that really hasn't worked -- but whether its that, or just that its been a well written show (through three episodes) I think it's going to be the best new show of '09 - '10. Normally that might not be saying much, but, actually, Community isn't half bad either...