A Family of Modern Emotions: A Modern Family Review

(Credits to Netflix for all images in this post.)

Before the lockdown, I binge-watched Modern Family, all 10 seasons, on Netflix. It was just an impulse click. I was just looking for a light-hearted comedy series to unwind to in my rare mom me-time.

The pilot episode got me and my melted heart hooked. Maybe I related with it so much that I must shed a tear or two in most of its episodes. Family, is one of our prized possession after all. It is ingrained at the core of every Filipino soul.

Like in the series, we, Filipino families are closely knit up to our old age. I honestly, did not have a problem when Hailey Dunphy needed to stay in with the family even in her 20s, since we do it in the Philippines all the time.  I, myself, lived with my father up until before I got married at 28!

My favorite character is Gloria Pritchett. Not only is she the epitome of a housewife, being fit and good looking, she also stayed very true to her heritage as evidenced by her accent and attempts to share Colombian practices, whether or not they were real.  I believe, she is the gel that glues the family together. She is the sole character who relates with all the others, even the kids, so well. Her good-hearted nature and efforts to belong in her husband’s family, while staying close to hers is impressive.

One-on-one moments… just as every parent, husband and wife should.

Phil Dunphy is the second in my list. I admire his love and relationship with his kids, extending up to their friends (or boyfriends). When he told Hailey to follow her heart upon being torn between her two lovers., I cried buckets! He is also an ideal husband to Claire and a father to die for to his son, Luke. The storyline made sure to include one-on-one moments with his wife and each of his kids, just as every parent, husband and wife should, with each family member; up to the relatives in Phil’s case.

The show touched-base also with personality types, and how to deal with them, including dealing with oneself. Claire Dunphy, ever-competitive and ambitious, had moments of taking the back seat when it comes to loving and understanding her family. Despite her stubborn and egoistic nature, she remembers that she is a daughter first, a sister, a wife or a mom, and this is laid out clearly throughout the show.

Gay relationships are open to other’s interpretation.

I have learned a lot from Cam and Mitchell. I am not used to being around same-sex relationships and this show opened my eyes that homogenous relationships look almost the same as the heteros’. It was liberating to watch how the two interchangeably took the role of the husband or the wife, in terms of behaving towards each other, that is, even if they stress that both of them are husbands. Gay relationships, it seems, are open to others’ interpretation. It is up to us how we see each one of them as to who they are to one another. Not that it matters to them, but for Cam and Mitch, it does!

Adoption is also tackled in the show and adopting from a minority, to add to that. For me, it is one of the show’s gems to have Lily Tucker-Pritchett portrayed as being dearly accepted by her adoptive family and relatives.  Her character, however, seemed inconsistent to me.  It had a hasty transformation, as I see it.  She lacked exposure at the start, then, all of a sudden, here she is with issues and all, that we had to quickly absorb in our working memory to understand her character.  Her issues were kind of also fleeting.  It did not zero in on either being a minority, being left out, or being too smart.

An individual’s uniqueness is what gives color to any relationship or group of people.

The Dunphy kids are very relatable!  Some of us might be the pretty one (like Haley), the smart one (like Alex) or the fun one (Luke) in the family.  An individual’s uniqueness is what gives color to any relationship or group of people.  Living in harmony with others is a challenge faced by every human being.  The trio’s sibling relationship was portrayed well in the scenes such that they were either close or indifferent with each other growing up, then came to be close as adults. This is so true in all of us; or at least that is what we aim for with our brothers and sisters.

Manny Delgado’s character was very special.  He was weird but he was confident and happy, especially at the start of the series.  He might have felt he was different so there were moments of self-denial and self-doubt but through courage, he was able to stick through to his character’s morals.  I love how Jay Pritchett, his stepdad, stepped up to be his father figure even when they quite hated each other at the start.  For me, this is the very essence of being in a family – that you are accepted despite of who and what you are. And I am not just talking about blood relatives.  This also serves true in blended families and what they call “friends that became family.”

In real life, we also tend to have these guests in our families, who may or may not leave a mark on us as a family or as a person.

I appreciate the other characters who were key to the main characters’ past or future such as the grandparents, Joe Pritchett, and Dylan; as well as, all of the other cast that appeared in the series.  Though, some of them were mere guests in the show, in real life, we also tend to have these “guests” in our own families, who may or may not leave a mark on us as a family or as a person. But they definitely become part of who we are in the end. Numerous family issues were tackled in the show in a fun and wacky way. I get it and it always gets me.

I get it and it always gets me.

The continuity of the show is okay, from episode to episode, but it does not matter.  You will still stay glued on your chair to watch the next episode, nonetheless.  The chemistry of the actors is superb! I also appreciate the scenes, solely inserted for laughs and I love how the major dilemmas are highlighted, giving the show its heart. No wonder people loved this show, topped ratings and received awards, its core is wrenching your heart first and then making you laugh, so you feel a mix of emotions, you sometimes, do not understand. And though, there is one more season to wait out for, I am now giving my verdict. It is a must-watch series.  It will tickle your bones and definitely touch your heart, making you ponder how modern families might work. Good Job, ABC! And thank you, Netflix!  Modern Family is highly recommended.

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