Unpopular post of the day: Modern Family is overrated
by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 5th 2009 2:15PM
First let me say that Modern Family is a good show. Let me repeat that in italics, bold and with asterisks around it so it stands out even more: *Modern Family is a good show.*
But the reason why I say it's "overrated" is because I've been hearing from various critics that they not only think it's great, but it's going to be on their list of the top ten TV shows of 2009. And that's where the overrated part comes in.
Top ten? Really?
I've enjoyed each episode of Modern Family, for the most part, but at the same time I think the show is a bit contrived and it's almost as if the various characters were created in a very blunt way to show the various members of the family as a wacky mix. So we have the gruff old guy with the incredibly hot wife, the gay couple who bicker about everything, the cute wife with the clueless husband, and a bunch of kids.
And the way it's filmed seems like a mix of better shows like Arrested Development and The Office, with the use of handheld cameras and a faux-documentary style that I still don't understand. Is someone filming a documentary a la The Office, and if not, why are the characters sitting and talking directly to the camera and also looking at the camera sometimes during regular scenes? It's the same thing that happens on Parks and Recreation, but I think subliminally I accept it more because it's from the same people who do The Office.
I think that the people behind the show (and this is just a wild guess) went with the documentary style because if the show was structured differently it might not hold up as well and that realistic look (speaking to the camera, no laugh track, very little music) is all the rage now.
I find Modern Family amusing, but I rarely laugh out loud at something like I do with shows like 30 Rock or The Office. I think that the show that precedes it on Wednesday nights, The Middle, is a better show. Maybe because it's not trying to position itself in any sort of way, it has the basic format and structure of a sitcom, and while that might seem like a dig, a basic premise can be quite good if the writing and the cast and the execution are all well done, and I think The Middle gets it right.
So, to summarize: Modern Family is good, but not great.
Now you can hit me with your vitriol in the comments.