If you hear some noise coming from Jurassic Park (Broadcast Television) these days, the sound is probably raucous laughter. We are living in a wonderful modern age of comedy and Modern Family on ABC (Wednesday nights at 9pm) is the latest example of excellence. It must be added to the pantheon of great, smart, hilarious comedy that NBC has revived on Thursday nights with Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office and 30 Rock.
I thought I'd be the last one on the planet to admit it, but lately comedy on Broadcast TV is every bit as good as what I've been touting on HBO. Better, actually, because right now there are no comedies playing on the "It's Not TV" network.
Modern Family is about the many colorful flavors American families come in, circa 2010. There is the traditional family: Dad is Phil, played by fetching Ty Burrell, Mom (Claire) played by Julie Bowen, is quite possibly the only genuinely funny pretty blond on TV. They have three kids that manage to do quirky without being annoying. There is also a lovely gay couple (Cameron) Eric Stonestreet and (Mitchel) Jesse Ferguson. They're raising an adopted baby girl. Finally there is the multi-ethnic, multi-generational family with Ed O'Neill as the middle aged Jay, who is married to hot stuff Charo-like Gloria (Sofia Vergara). Gloria's son, the chubby, adorable, genius kid (Manny) is wonderfully portrayed by Rico Rodriguez. He is the most appealing character on a show chock full of great characters and infused with some of the wittiest writing on television today. Visit the Modern Family website and click on "Bios" to get some of the best lines from recent episodes. Manny says things like, "Her name is Whitney. I met her in the online book club. We both like vampire fiction and the romance of eternal life."
This week's episode featured a guest appearance by the always funny Fred Willard, who played Phil's visiting Dad. Never in the history of TV, have a father and son duo looked and acted more as if they might actually be related to each other. The B-story had Cameron sitting in as the drummer for a teenage Emo band (funniest segments of the night for my money) and the C-story had my darling Manny scared to death by a slasher movie that the clueless Jay brought him to after a dental appointment.
I must give full credit to my sister Leslie for turning me on to this gem. Sometimes word of mouth advertising really is the most effective! Now listen to this blogger and go check out Modern Family. Here's a little taste in the video below.