Overview

Modern Family is a mockumentary family sitcom which was created by Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd. The show first aired in 2009, and it focuses on the lives of Jay Pritchett and his family, who are based in Los Angeles.

During its first five years on air, the show received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series each year. It also won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. In total, the show received 75 nominations and 22 awards from the Emmys.

Premise

The show centres on three different family types living in the LA area. They are all related through Jay Pritchett and his children. Jay has remarried a much younger woman. Jay’s daughter Claire has returned to the business world and is married with three children. Meanwhile, Jay’s son and his husband have an adopted daughter.

Cast and characters

  • Jay Pritchett – Ed O’Neill
  • Jay’s second wife Gloria Delgado – Sofia Vergara
  • Jay’s daughter and Gloria’s step daughter Claire Dunphy – Julie Bowen
  • Jay’s son and Gloria’s stepson Mitchell Pritchett – Jesse Tyler Ferguson
  • Mitchell’s husband Cameron Tucker – Eric Stonestreet
  • Claire and Phil’s daughter Haley Dunphy – Sarah Hyland
  • Claire and Phil’s other daughter Alex Dunphy – Ariel Winter
  • Claire and Phil’s son Luke Dunphy – Nolan Gould
  • Gloria’s son and Jay’s stepson Manny Delgado – Rico Rodriguez
  • Mitchell and Cameron’s adoptive daughter Lily Tucker-Pritchett – Aubrey Anderson-Emmons
  • Jay and Gloria’s son Fulgencio ‘Joe’ Pritchett-Delgado – Jeremy Maguire
  • Haley’s on and off boyfriend Dylan Marshall – Reid Ewing

Filming locations

Most of the principal photography for Modern Family is centered in Los Angeles. Similarly, many of the exteriors used are located in the Westside area of the city. The Dunphys’ house is located in the Cheviot Hills neighbourhood, and Luke and Manny’s school exterior is the Palisades Charter High School (as of 2014).

Trailer

The trailer for the final series of Modern Family shows two men holding up a baby and excitedly announcing that they’ve adopted. Later, they are seen saying ‘We lost our baby in the car and people are judging us’. Then two people bend over and touch butts, with one of them standing up and yelling ‘What the hell was that?’

The patriarch is seeing saying ‘Least I’ll always have my special girl,’ and his wife is seen smiling next to him in response. Then he picks up a dog, and her smile falters. Afterwards, a girl is seen on a video call with her mom. She says ‘Dad, Mom needs you,’ and the father is clearly seen turning around from his spot on the couch as he yells ‘Tell her I’m in the shower’, unaware his wife can see him lying.

Production

The idea for Modern Family came about when Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan told stories about their families before realising it could be the basis for a show. It was originally called My American Family and pitched to CBS, NBC and ABC.

CBS wasn’t ready to make a big commitment to single camera filming, so rejected it. NBC also rejected it as they were already broadcasting The Office and Parks and Recreation, so they didn’t want to take on another mockumentary style show. However, ABC accepted the pitch.

Episodes and reception

Modern Family has 11 seasons. The first six seasons have 24 episodes, the following four have 22 episodes, and season 11 has 18 episodes. The show has released a new season every September since 2009.

IMDb rates Modern Family 8.4 out of 10 at the time of writing. Rotten Tomatoes gives it 86%, and TV.com gives it 8.1 out of 10. Meanwhile, 95% of Google users reported that they liked this TV show.

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Although Prime Video hasn’t been around for as long as Netflix, this doesn’t mean you should expect a less extensive service. Like its main rival, Amazon has placed a large focus on investing in high quality content, as well as its own original productions. Key examples of popular titles include Transparent, Mr Robot, The Tick, The Man in the High Castle and The Grand Tour. If you want the security of knowing a series won’t be subject to rotation due to licensing, you can be sure that all Amazon Originals – like Netflix Originals – are there to stay. Outside of original content, you can expect to stream classics such as The Walking Dead, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy, plus exclusives like Lucifer, Vikings and Preacher. (These titles may come and go, but plenty of other exciting ones are sure to replace them!)

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Cons

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Moonlight

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Jonah Hill directed this movie, making his debut in this type of role. The plot follows a 13 year old named Stevie who spends a summer in LA, torn between a troubled home life and a group of friends who push him to try out new things beyond his limits. It explores coming of age and the skater culture which was prominent in LA at the time.

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This is a dark British comedy featuring a ton of dry wit and a star cast. The plot involves a man who has to arrange his father’s funeral without any help from his successful brother. When the day comes, the father’s ex-lover blackmails the family with salacious photos and Daniel’s cousin doses her new boyfriend with LSD, thinking it’s Valium.

The Sopranos

This show has several seasons to its name and over 80 episodes. Viewers watch the life of Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini, as he goes through life. The only difference is that his workplace is running a criminal organisation, and there’s an Italian family who are just a bit complicated featuring in his life. Many people regard The Sopranos as essential viewing.

Deadwood

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Curb Your Enthusiasm

HBO fans will know all about this show, as it’s been running for quite a while now. The premise focuses on the details of everyday life, with a hefty dose of cynicism thrown in for good measure. The main character is a fictionalized version of Larry David, and it’s received dozens of Emmy nominations.

Downton Abbey

During the first half of the 2010s, all anyone could talk about was this British series. It focuses on an aristocratic family and their mansion full of servants as they go through major historical events such as the First World War and the sinking of the Titanic. Viewers can expect to see plenty of gossip and scandal from the servants’ quarters.

Luther

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Hannibal

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Utopia

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