Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Modern Family 5x22: serious is good.

One of the biggest issues I've had with Modern Family over the years is the fact that the show hasn't been, well, it just hasn't been that real. Too many times the episodes have been about things that don't really matter.

So naturally I was pleasantly surprised when last Wednesday's episode, titled "Message Received" had some actual drama in it. There was a real conflict between Jay and Mitchell about Cam and Mitch's upcoming wedding.

As it went in the episode, Jay wasn't really excited at all about the wedding ceremony. He's an old school guy, and even though he has accepted Mitch and Cam as a couple, the wedding just didn't feel right to him.

Mitchell of course was hurt by this revelation. In his opinion, had this been about Claire getting married, Jay couldn't have been more excited about the whole thing - and that his father has something against him.

Jay denied this and tried his best to explain what the reasons for his thoughts were, but it didn't make Mitchell feel any better. It made Mitchell think that perhaps Jay shouldn't even attend the wedding at all.

This conflict was well written and for once felt completely real. We also didn't get an immediate resolution to it. The issue was left open, which made it even better. This was pure drama, for the first time in years on the show. It made us care.

Although, to be honest, the episode as a whole was a bit uneven. There were parts that weren't really that well thought out. Especially when it came to the "is Claire pregnant again" farce. It didn't really work.

Nevertheless, I'm not the only one who appreciated this sudden switch to seriousness. A lot of people also responded positively to it and it was difficult to  find negative comments about the episode. The audience felt good about it and for a reason.

Not surprisingly, "Message Received" was written by Steve Levitan, the co-creator of Modern Family. I think he's the most reliable writer on the show and he still hasn't really disappointed me. 

All in all, I just wish they would write more these episodes that tend to have actual conflicts and real drama. There's nothing wrong with being serious. In fact, serious in many cases is good. In this case, it was very good.

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