Modern Family is an American mockumentary comedy TV series. The half-hour series, which was created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan, is produced by Fox Television Studios. The mockumentary follows the families of Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill), his daughter Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen), and his son Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson). While Claire is a homemaker mom in a traditional family, Jay is married to a much younger woman and raising a preteen stepson, and Mitchell and his partner have adopted a Vietnamese baby. The show premiered on ABC on September 23, 2009 to critical acclaim.
On January 12, 2010, Modern Family was renewed for a second season by ABC.
Cast and charactersEdit
The show revolves around three families that are interrelated through Jay Pritchett, his son Mitchell Pritchett and his daughter Claire Dunphy. The families meet for family functions, around the neighborhood, and cross-family bonding.
Jay Pritchett - The patriarch of the family. His wife is Gloria. He has two adult children: Claire and Mitchell; a stepson: Manny; and an infant child, Fulgencio (Joe). He has four grandchildren. His ex-wife, Claire and Mitchell's mother, is Dede.
Gloria Pritchett (Delgado) - Jay's much younger wife. She has a son, Manny, and is currently pregnant. She has two step-children, Claire and Mitchell. She is technically the step-grandmother of four but she dislikes the term 'grandmother'. Her ex-husband is Javier.
Claire Dunphy (née Pritchett) - The eldest child of Jay and Dede Pritchett. Her husband is Phil and together they have three children: Haley, Alex and Luke. She has a biological brother, Mitchell, and a step-brother, Manny. Her step-mother, Gloria, is currently expecting her next sibling.
Phil Dunphy - Husband of Claire. The son of Frank and Sarah Dunphy. He has three children: Haley, Alex and Luke. His father-in-law is Jay and his mother-in-law is Dede. He has an innocent crush on his step-mother-in-law is Gloria. His brother-in-law is Mitchell and his step-brother-in-law is Manny.
Mitchell Pritchett - The son of Jay and Dede Pritchett. Cameron is his partner and his daughter is Lily. Claire is his sister, Phil is his brother-in-law, and Manny is his step-brother-in-law. His step-mother is expecting a baby, which would give him another sibling. Haley and Alex is his nieces and Luke is his nephew. Gloria is his mother-in-law.
Cameron Tucker - Son of Barb and Merle Tucker. His partner is Mitchell and his daughter is Lily.
Haley Dunphy - Eldest daughter of Phil and Claire Dunphy. Her grandparents are Jay and Dede Pritchett and Frank and Sarah Dunphy. She has a sister, Alex, and a brother, Luke. Her step-grandmother is Gloria. Her uncle is Mitchell and step-uncle is Manny. Her cousin is Lily. She has a boyfriend, Dylan.
Alex Dunphy - Middle child of Phil and Claire Dunphy. Her grandparents are Jay and Dede Pritchett and Frank and Sarah Dunphy. She has a sister, Haley, and a brother, Luke. Her step-grandmother is Gloria. Her uncle is Mitchell and step-uncle is Manny. Her cousin is Lily.
Luke Dunphy - Youngest son of Phil and Claire Dunphy. His grandparents are Jay and Dede Pritchett and Frank and Sarah Dunphy. He has two sisters, Haley and Alex. His step-grandmother is Gloria. His uncle is Mitchell and step-uncle is Manny. His cousin is Lily.
Manny Delgado - Son of Gloria Pritchett and Javier Delgado. His step father is Jay. Claire is his step-sister and Mitchell is his step-brother. His mom, Gloria, is expecting another child which would give him a brother or sister. Phil is his step-brother-in-law. Haley, Alex and Lily are his step-nieces, while Luke is his step-nephew but they get along more like brothers given that they are the same age.
Lily Tucker-Pritchett - Adoptive daughter of Mitchell and Cameron. Jay and Dede Pritchett and Barb and Merle Tucker are her grandparents. Gloria is her step-grandmother. Claire is her aunt and Manny is her step-uncle. Haley, Alex and Luke are her cousins.
Some episodes begin with members of the family being asked a specific question, which forms the wraparound for the entire episode. The show then follows the antics, adventures, and mishaps of the three families as they deal with events of a particular day. Episodes may focus on the role of a father, how the children in each family are doing, etc. Episodes typically close out with a voice-over, where one of the members of the extended family provides their opinions as an answer.
Other episodes do not have a wraparound but may follow an event that links all three families, such as the Ohio State-Illinois game in "Coal Digger" or Luke's birthday party.
The series quickly became a priority for ABC after the pilot episode tested high with focus groups, resulting in the network ordering 13 episodes and adding it to the 2009–2010 fall lineup days ahead of ABC's official schedule announcement.
The series was given a full season pickup on October 8, 2009.
On January 12, 2010, ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson announced that Modern Family has been renewed for a second season.
Special guest starsEdit
Former Cheers comedian Shelley Long appeared in episode 4, The Incident, as Jay's ex-wife. Edward Norton and Elizabeth Banks appeared on the November 18, 2009 episode. Norton played Izzy LaFontaine, the fictional bassist of Spandau Ballet, whom Claire believed to be Phil's favorite band; Banks portrayed Sal, Mitchell and Cameron's old friend and reputed party girl, who they meet for a night on the town. Fred Willard guest starred as Phil’s (Ty Burrell) father on the December 9, 2009 episode, "Undeck the Halls". Benjamin Bratt as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett's ex-husband in "Up All Night". Comedian Mo Collins guest starred as Denise the nurse who is the caretaker of Caroline, a little girl Manny defeated in the fencing match, in the episode "En Garde." Chazz Palminteri guest starred as Shorty a friend of Jay's who might (or might not) be gay in the episode "Fifteen Percent". Kristen Schaal guest starred as Whitney, a woman Manny met online and believes he will take out on a date.
Future Guest AppearancesEdit
Minnie Driver as a friend and former co-worker of Claire’s.
The first season has been met with mostly positive reviews. It received a 'critically acclaimed' Metacritic score of 86 out of 100. Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-, calling it "...immediately recognizable as the best new sitcom of the fall...". In Time's review the show was named "the funniest new family comedy of the year." It has also been compared to the 1970s series Soap, in regards to the multiple family aspect, as well as Arrested Development. Some have made comparisons to The Office and Parks and Recreation, due to their mockumentary formats.
Modern Family has been nominated for numerous awards. Modern Family was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy at the 67th Golden Globe Awards and at the 36th People's Choice Awards for Favorite New TV Comedy, but both lost to Glee again. Modern Family is also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at the 16th Screen Actors Guild Awards. The show is also nominated at the Writers Guild of America Awards 2009 for Comedy Series and New Series and also Episodic Comedy for the Pilot. The show was also nominated for Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy for Julie Bowen and her portrayal of Claire Dunphy, but lost to Lea Michele of Glee for her portrayal of Rachel Berry. The series was also named 2nd on "The Top Ten Shows of 2009".