With the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards less than a month away, predictions are starting to pop up about who will win what and what actor/actress/show is going to get snubbed from another Emmy.
Let me preface my reasons for why Modern Family is the least deserving of 7 shows nominated shows by saying this: I know that these awards do not reflect the feelings of the viewing audience. A majority of the time, the public ends up debating whether a actor/actress/TV show really deserved the award, and in most cases the underdog on the list is usually the fan favorite.
Modern Family has won the last 5 Emmy awards for the category of Outstanding Comedy Series and I think that is ridiculous. Sure, it’s a tremendous achievement for a show to be a back to back winner 5 times in a row, and, sure, Modern Family‘s first couple of seasons were amazing.
However, as of recently the show has found an unpleasant comfort zone of overused jokes, plot developments void of any real progression, annoying 2-dimensional characters, and insufferable gay pandering. If they win this year’s Emmy Award it will be a big fat slap to the face of the other competing TV show’s writers who take their time in writing good stories and aren’t afraid to take risks.
I’ll start with what is probably the most irritating aspect of Modern Family:
Anyone who has seen the show long enough knows that, even though Modern Family has an ensemble rather than a main character, they tend to focus on the adults of the show more than they do the kids. For the most part, the children are used as a means of comedic break between the tensions that arise within the adult characters: one trick ponies.
Sadly, that’s exactly how they remained when the writers decided to have some episodes focus on them.
I give credit to whoever thought about the story arch between Haley and Andy. It’s a very cute love story between two completely different characters, and it has caused Haley to grow a bit as a character. It’s also kind of creepy because Andy is literally the younger version of Haley’s father, Phil Dunphy, but that’s neither here nor there.
But that doesn’t mean they’ve won me over just yet. I understand that it takes time for a character to grow on you, but no matter how many times an episode focuses on one of the children I just don’t give a flying f***. They’re older, but they still act and come off as those annoying, spoiled little brats that contribute so very little to the show.
The adults of the show are the only ones who ever have real issues, but even then they don’t really have anything to lose. It seems that after Phil, Mitch, Gloria, Claire, Jay, or Cam finish whatever bump in the road they come across, they go right back to when they started. It’s an endless cycle of, “Today’s a nice day. Oh no, a predicament. Everything is going to hell. *insert forced joke* Well, guys looks like we solved that problem with the power of family.”
Modern Family‘s characters are stuck in this stasis and at some point everyone is going to tired of watching them just float around doing nothing. That basically sums of my whole point of plot developments void of any real progression so I won’t give it its own section.
On to my next point!
After following Modern Family for 5 years I’ve noticed that they still rely on the following things as a source of laughter:
- Haley is a bit slutty
- Alex is a know-it-all
- Luke and Phil are idiots
- Jay is old school
- Mitch and Cam are gay
- Lily is sassy
- Manny is a wannabe Antonia Banderas
- Gloria can’t speak English well
- Claire is an insufferable, annoying, loud-mouthed, control-crazed, unloving mother who does not in any way deserve the love Phil gives her.
Sorry about that last one. Claire just rubs me the wrong way, and I needed to vent.
All these gimmicks were fun when the show was new. They made for some really funny episodes, allowed the audience to see how dysfunctional the family was, and it really did paint a good picture of the modern family.
However, now the show has been running for 5 years and almost nothing has changed. Jay is still correcting Gloria’s English, Alex is still correcting damn-near everyone, Phil and Luke still come up with idiotic ideas that get them into trouble, Manny can’t find love, and Mitch and Cam are still just the gay guys. Honestly, the only thing that I look forward to are the sassy remarks they write in for Lily (and even those are starting to get old).
These aren’t even the worst of the bunch. The absolute worst thing about the show is how it always has the exact same set up. Every. Single. Episode. It’s like misunderstandings between characters are the only way the writers know how to write stories and jokes. The “Connection Lost” episode was literally just one big misunderstanding that went way too far and ended with,”haha oops. Oh well.”
Mitch and Cameron
I want to preface this point by saying that I am not gay bashing these two characters. I know some of you reading might want to jump to that conclusion in order to make my points moot, but that’s not the case. On the contrary, I want the show to accomplish its goal of helping others view gay families as normal families.
With that being said, on to my reasoning.
Modern Family consists of three main couples: the typical idiot who marries the attractive girl, the old man who marries the young hotty, and the gay couple who tie the whole show together effectively making them all a modern family.
Out of three, Mitch and Cam rose above them all for being the first gay couple to hit very high mainstream success and remain key figures of a TV show. It was a terrific thing to see and probably Modern Family’s selling point to the audience and critics.
Along with being gay and happily married, they also have an adopted child named Lily (Vietnamese) who manages to steal the show no matter who else is on-screen despite being the smallest one.
My main problem with this family is how perfect they are. It’s almost offensive how perfect the lives of these characters are. I’m not saying that the show should consist of religious radicals destroying their homes and threatening their lives, but at least give them something other than ‘The Gay Couple’.
Claire and Phil’s marriage was called into question when talks about Claire not loving Phil enough arose, Gloria and Jay constantly bicker over Jay’s lack of respect and understanding towards Gloria’s culture and struggles living in a foreign country, and Mitch and Cam…get a cat.
My point is that if the writers want to make the viewing audience perceive Mitch and Cam as just another ordinary family, then they should treat them like you would any family. Give them struggles. Give them reasons to continue being married. Give them a reason for existing in the show.
Mitch, Cam, and Lily aren’t just trophies you can take off the shelf and polish every now and again in order to make them shine more. They’re real characters that deserve to be worked and treated just like any other character.
With all that being said, I truly believe the award for Outstanding Comedy Series should go to…just about anyone else on that list. Except Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (it was good, but it wasn’t that good).
Louie has been ignored by critics ever since it first aired despite being a really good TV show with consistent laughs,, fearless writing, and a nice fresh twist on the Single Parent Comedy.
Transparent offers audience something new to watch and is about as topical and current as any TV show could get.
Silicon Valley has probably some of the risqué humor on TV right now and even though it sort of teeters on offensive it reminds us all why we loved Mike Judge so much.
Veep gives audiences a nice comedic parallel to immensely popular House of Cards, critiques the backwards political system of America in a way everyone can enjoy, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus is always such a pleasure to watch.
Parks and Recreation’s last season wasn’t that much a tear-jerker in my opinion, but the writers did change-up the show enough to give audiences something fresh to watch without sacrificing too much of what we loved.
Speaking of jerking, here’s a clip to show you guys and gals why I think Silicon Valley should win (but really, it could go to anyone).