Thursday, September 16, 2010

Five characters make a modern family.

Okay, let's take another try with this subject matter. Hopefully it makes at least some sense this time.

So, I've been kinda disappointed that Modern Family won the Emmy for best comedy series.

I mean, yeah, the show can be pretty funny. The absurdist stuff definitely works. Eric Stonestreet is a treasure and Ty Burrell can be funny too. (especially in the moustache episode)

However, in my opinion the family part on the show doesn't work. Cameron and Mitchell with their adopted daughter is the only part that I find believable.

Other than that, I feel that the dynamics aren't there and the show even seems a bit dishonest to me. Especially when the writers try to pull off those emotional wraps and try to inject some meaning into those episodes.

It just doesn't feel like a real family nor does it feel like a real show to me.

But why is that so?

Well, I guess the biggest problem is that there are simply too many characters on the show:

Jay the dad, Gloria the mom, Manny the son, Mitchell the son and dad, Cameron the dad, Phil the dad and son, Claire the mom, Haley the daughter, Alex the daughter, Luke the son, Dylan the boyfriend...

It should have been pretty obvious that there's too much ground to cover here and it's almost impossible to pay attention to all those storylines at the same time.

In comparison, let's take a look at the casts of some other current popular and award winning family and "family" sitcoms.

The Simpsons: Homer is the dad, Marge the mom and Bart, Lisa and Maggie are the kids.

30 Rock: Alec Baldwin is the dad, Tina Fey plays the mom while Kenneth, Tracy and Jenna play the kids.

Entourage: Ari Gold is the "dad", Eric is the "mom", Vince and Johnny Drama are the kids and Turtle is the family pet.

All these shows have five main characters, and yet, Modern Family has ten.

When it comes to having characters on the show, you have to keep it relatively simple and not make it unnecessarily convoluted. That's why five characters is about right. Ten is simply way, way too many.

I mean, could you for example imagine five more main characters on Entourage? I don't think so.

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