Ed O'Neill shines on Modern Family
by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 25th 2009 7:01PM
One of the true breakout hits of this fall season is ABC's sitcom Modern Family. The critics have been singing the praises of this show, and the ratings have been good enough that I will predict without equivocation, that Modern Family will see a second season. And Ed O'Neill deserves a lot of the credit.
I like Modern Family. I don't love, love, love it, but I like it. The guys that were together on Frasier, Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, have given us something good here. It's not Frasier level yet, but it might get there with time.
If there's one part of Modern Family that has won me over completely, it's Ed O'Neill. You might think, well, sure, it's Ed O'Neill. But I have never liked Ed. I was never a fan of Married With Children. I loathed it. And don't tell me I'm a moron for saying that; it's just a show that never worked for me.
Modern Family, however, does work. The ensemble is first rate, with big props for Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ty Burrell -- did you know his two previous two sitcoms had a Lloyd or Levitan connection, too, Back to You and Out of Practice? I also think the young actor playing Manny, Rico Rodriguez, is wonderful.
But the glue holding all this comedy together is Ed O'Neill. He's the patriarch of this disparate modern family, whether he wants to be or not. And that's how he plays it. He's not touchy-feely and into emotional confrontations. He's not overjoyed at being a step-father at this point in his life. He's got issues. Jay is the center of most of the action, the catalyst for much of the comedy.
Kudos to Ed O'Neill for bringing a lot of subtext -- and wry humor -- to this character.
[You can watch Modern Family on SlashControl.com.]