Modern Family co-creator takes a stand against Fox News, immediately backtracks

Following the lead of Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane—who followed up his tweet about being “embarrassed” to work for Fox with a $2.5 million donation to NPR and its L.A. affiliate, KPCC, earlier today—a growing chorus of Fox creatives are criticizing the company for its role in such craven lies as “it’s not an…

Jokes about strokes dominate an exhausting episode of Modern Family

C

About halfway through this week’s episode of Modern Family, Jay is doing everything he can to steal a family fishing cabin out from under his sister Becky’s nose. He’s tried tricking her into giving him the security codes, and when that doesn’t work he starts to think he can trick her into believing that their father…

Modern Family successfully muses on the complicated influence of family 

B+

Cam and Mitchell must have a bevy of dark secrets in their past, because karma just keeps coming for them. They’ve been through a lot this season, their marriage pulled in a number of directions due to kitchen renovations, an intrusive Pam, and Mitchell’s uncertain job status. But they’ve always managed to pull…

Modern Family briefly remembers that characters should have lives and jobs

C

Every now and then, Modern Family remembers that its characters have jobs, life goals, and a number of decisions that revolve around those things. It’s not all that often, perhaps only a mention here and there because, for the most part, it doesn’t really matter what these characters are doing with their lives. Modern…

An exploration of insecurity results in a poignant Modern Family 

B+

This week’s Modern Family, “Royal Visit,” does the rare thing of building around a central idea. Every single storyline, one way or another, explores the idea of insecurity. The stories themselves are relatable. We’ve all been there, when someone new comes into our life and we can’t help but compare ourselves to them.…

Wine tasting, hip hop dancing, and Oprah is all that Modern Family needs to succeed

B

For the most part, Modern Family has two approaches to its episodes: there’s either a dominant A story complemented by a few meaningless B stories, or one large, overarching plot that includes every single person in the main cast. Both kinds of episodes have their charms. The former allows for a more focused, personal…

Modern Family succeeds by getting back to basics and foregoing forced storylines

B+

Before every single review of Modern Family I log into the ABC press site and find the press photos I want to accompany my piece. As you can probably tell from week to week, the selection is slim, but that’s not really why I’m telling you this. Instead, I want to give you some insight into a specific thing that…