Picture courtesy of ABC
Modern Family is a documentary-style sitcom shot from the perspective of filmmaker hidden behind the scenes. It follows the lives of three families, famously known as the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan, who are interconnected as they navigate through their crazy drama-filled lives. Living in the Los Angelos area, the ‘mockumentary’ is portrayed through the lives of Jay Pritchett, a wealthy businessman, and his two children, Claire Dunphy and Mitchell Pritchett who have separate families of their own. Jay is remarried to Gloria Delgado, a much younger and attractive Colombian immigrant and is now living with accompanied by Manny, Gloria’s son from her previous marriage. Prior to Gloria, Jay had two kids of his own, Claire and Mitchell. Claire is the typical stay-at-home-mom for her three kids while her husband, Phil, supports the family as a successful realtor. Claire’s brother, Mitchell is an attorney who is married to his husband Cameron Tucker, Vice Principal and Varsity Football Coach. Mitchell and Cameron both raise a daughter they adopted together from Vietnam, Lily Tucker-Pritchett.
The well-rounded and relatable character dynamics present throughout the series show the audience the makings of a loving family that is usually accompanied by drama. The differing and clashing personalities of the characters are what makes their chemistry unique compared to other shows. Unlike the typical sitcom TV shows that have utilized laugh tracks in the past, Modern Family has managed to shy away from such traditions and instead, depend on their spot-on comedic timing. The show’s unique spin on a documentary by allowing the characters to speak directly to the camera allows the viewers to feel more connected to the show while simultaneously emphasizing the raw and honest aspects of the show. The interview clips are especially powerful in allowing the audience to understand the characters’ thoughts and perspectives. As cleverly suggested by the name, the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan represents a ‘modern family’ in today’s society as the comedic, but heartwarming, episodes are based on struggles the likes of which countless families have probably faced.