“Modern Family” began an era of TV comedy by depicting the more diverse definitions of the American family. Despite blatant jokes and lacking diversity, the eight seasons of the show have proven that there is something unique about this “Modern Family” that resonates with viewers around the country. Although the studio may not want to pay the somewhat extravagant costs for the long-running series, it is important to realize the direct impact that “Modern Family” has on its audience and the public.
With the eighth season coming to an end this week, the six main cast members—Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Jessie Tyler Ferguson and Ed O’Neill—have not yet renegotiated contracts for the expected ninth season. While ratings have slightly declined relative to previous seasons, the maintenance of success as the No. 2 primetime comedy series makes the lack of contracts even more confusing. Past debates between the studio and its actors over salary raises may be one of the sources of contention that is preventing the highly anticipated ninth season from becoming a reality.
Although the show has taken a nine percent dive in viewership, the relatable content and family disagreements in each episode present a different vision for everyday Americans trying to find a connection to the characters they see on their TVs. From one couple with a large age gap to two working parents supporting their three children to a gay couple raising their adopted daughter,
“Modern Family” connects people from every walk of life to create one chaotic but cohesive family unit. In the ever-
changing political climate, “Modern Family” provides people with a comical escape from the insanity to embrace what some would classify the ‘new normal.’
And yet the decreasing viewership and harsh critiques of the show may signal a needed change in order for this senior comedy show to survive in the coming years. The show often shies away from addressing the stereotypes that members in the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities face until there is uproar about it on social media. When viewers noticed that Mitch and Cam almost never publicly displayed affection, they launched a protest to get the characters to kiss, which eventually appeared on air. With new shows like “This Is Us” becoming more popular every week, “Modern Family” may need to address more of the issues facing the communities of its characters in real life to make it another season.
The magic of “Modern Family” lies in its ability to make everyone connect and laugh to an average American family. As the second-most popular primetime comedy, there is no doubt that “Modern Family” is still fulfilling its main purpose of making people laugh despite the threat of time that tempts it to fail. “Modern Family” has represents more diversity in primetime comedy than almost any show before. It continues to help pave the way for shows like it that are valued more for their content than superficial makeup.
Sabrina Leung ‘18 is the Digital Editor majoring in International Relations-Political Science with a minor in History. She is best reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @sabrinatzleung on Twitter.