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July 29, 2014

Modern Family

Ed O'Neill on Being the 'Modern Family' Patriarch

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 17th 2010 5:02PM
Ed O'Neill of 'Modern Family''Modern Family' is a repeat tonight, so I figured it would be a good opportunity to give fans a little taste by posting the quick talk I had with Ed O'Neill in January. It was the last day of the press tour, and the critics were in the middle of an epic day of set visits; one of the most fun aspects of the day was that were able to wander through the sound stages at 'Family' and talk informally to the show's stars.

I found O'Neill in the kitchen of the house where his character, Jay Pritchett, lives with his trophy wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and old soul stepson Manny (Rico Rodriguez). As my fellow critics were beckoning me to get on the bus to go to the next set, I asked Ed a few questions about how Jay has changed this season, and what he thinks the legacy of 'Married... With Children' might be.

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Delta Burke on 'Modern Family'? Make it Happen!

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 13th 2010 1:20PM
delta_burke_fan_smilingThere's a rumor buzzing around the Internet that Delta Burke will guest on 'Modern Family' as Cameron's mother. TV Guide had something in the print edition, and it was also repeated here, but the real culprit behind the tale is actor Eric Stonestreet who plays Cam. He said he would love Delta Burke to play his mama ... and it's a great idea.

Listen to how Eric described his character's background in a November interview: "Cameron is from a rural area in Missouri, he grew up on a farm. We don't know quite how he came out of the closet yet. You're going to find out little tidbits in the next few episodes about how my parents knew I was gay, but I think the thing is my parents are very supportive, very passionate and funny people. I can't wait for America to meet Cameron's mom -- I think Cameron's mom probably has a lot to do with his vivaciousness."

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'Modern Family' - 'Truth Be Told' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 11th 2010 4:42AM
Ed O'Neill, 'Modern Family'(S01E17) Dammit! Wives are more right than we'd like to admit, aren't they, guys? I was convinced Claire was completely overreacting to Phil's Faceook communications with his ex-girlfriend. My wife and I both have several people from our pasts that we talk to online, and it is completely innocent.

If anything, perhaps the events of this episode could be criticized by saying that they are promoting negative sexual stigmas attached to social networking sites. While the sites do have their dangers, they're certainly not worthy of fear-mongering.

But I'm not going to jump on that soap box. Instead, I'm going to say that this episode was absolutely brilliant. Everything from Flyza Minelli to "A little bit louder" was pitch perfect comedy. I laughed out loud more at this episode than I do entire seasons of most comedy series.

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Ten Oscar Observations -- A Morning After List

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 8th 2010 2:00PM
oscars_abc_gold_2010"The morning after ... we ask the right questions. The morning after ... we make the suggestions."

Those are the lyrics to a song Barbra Streisand once sang and it occurred to me this morning after recovering from the long, long and rather uneventful 2010 Oscar ceremony last night on ABC.

Looking back through the bleary-eyes of my memories, there were quite a few things that could have been better, a few that were just plain lousy, and a few moments that lived up to the hype. Danny shared his view. Check out my ten Oscar observations list:

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'Modern Family' - 'Fears' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 4th 2010 3:01AM
'Modern Famliy' - 'Fears'
(S01E16)
What are you afraid of? That was the question facing the three families that make up this exceptional comedy series. Whether it's a fear of roller coasters, tight places, passing your driver's test, getting asked to dance, or that your daughter isn't connecting to you, it's how we deal with our fears that defines us as people.

'Modern Family' actually surpassed itself in one regard this week. In 16 episodes, most of which were fantastic, this was the first one to choke out a genuine emotional response from me. Phil's closing monologue was touching, and touched on another fear that all parents face: the fear of your children growing up too fast. That, and the fear that they're going to kill someone in your car.

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'Modern Family' Going Hawaiian

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 27th 2010 5:36PM
modern_family_placardGidget did it. Elvis had a special there. 'Lost' calls it home. CBS is even bringing it back with a modern take on 'Hawaii Five-O'! Well, the Dunphys, Jay and Gloria, Cam and Mitchell are the latest. That's right, 'Modern Family' is going to Hawaii. It's not a permanent relocation.

At the Paley Festival on Friday night in Los Angeles, 'Modern Family' executive producer Steve Levitan revealed that that show is being filmed next week. He explained why the family is all going native, saying, "Jay thinks that he and Gloria are going by themselves for this romantic getaway, and she surprises him by inviting the entire family."

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WGA Awards Honor 'Mad Men,' '30 Rock' and others

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 22nd 2010 1:00PM
writers_guild_award_trophyOn Saturday night, the Writers Guild of America revealed the big winners for 2010, honoring the best in TV, movies and other media, but for our purposes, let's just stick with television. And as such, we can say the they rounded up the usual suspects.

'Mad Men' was tops in Drama Series and '30 Rock' was tops in Comedy Series. There was something new honored, Best New Series was 'Modern Family,' but seeing how the category makes new a requirement, it's not that shocking that it won.

However, in the episodic categories, for individual shows, there were was variance. The pilot of 'Modern Family' won in a tie with '30 Rock' for the episode 'Apollo, Apollo.' And the two part episode of 'House' -- 'Broken, Part 1 and Part 2' -- overcame all the 'Mad Men' nominees to take the WGA prize.

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Casting News: Kathy Najimy on 'Ugly Betty'

by Kona Gallagher, posted Feb 12th 2010 3:26PM
kathy najimyKathy Najimy, who has recently appeared on 'Desperate Housewives' as Susan's high school enemy, is set to make a guest appearance on 'Ugly Betty.' What's interesting isn't that she's going to be there, it's why she's going to be there. Betty's finally getting the braces off!

Najimy plays Betty's orthodontist and the one responsible for getting all of that metal out of her mouth. I guess Betty decided to switch orthodontists rather than have to deal with the creepy advances of her old one, played by 'Modern Family''s Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

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'Modern Family' - 'My Funky Valentine' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 11th 2010 2:02AM
'Modern Family' - 'My Funky Valentine'
(S01E15)
The myriad relationships and characters in 'Modern Family' make it the perfect show to spotlight all the difficulties one can face in love and romance. As Valentine's Day descends on our cast of characters, they each explore new ways to express how much they care about one another, and they each find challenges along the way.

Jay takes Gloria out for a romantic evening, though it's not the one she expects. Mitchell and Cameron, who've agreed to watch Manny for the evening, wind up helping him express his true feelings to the girl he pines for, after another boy took credit for his poetry and scored a date with her.

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Stouffer's Should Be Doing Product Placement in 'The Middle'

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 8th 2010 9:00AM
the_middle_hecks_dinner
How's this for an odd occurrence of non-product placement? On Wednesday night, during the ABC sitcom block -- actually during 'Modern Family' -- there was a commercial for Stouffer's Family Size dinners. The commercial referred to 'The Middle,' making the case for how positive it is for families to sit down and share a meal together.

It was a great idea for a commercial, but did anybody at Stouffer's realize that with the exception of Thanksgiving, the Hecks don't actually cook dinner? They're usually bringing in bags of take out from a burger joint. You see hamburgers and fries and lots of paper products, but it was only for Turkey Day that anybody actually fixed dinner.

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Review: 'Modern Family' - 'Moon Landing'

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 4th 2010 2:22AM
The Dunphys, 'Modern Family'(S01E14) Sometimes I wonder if I could just write up a review of 'Modern Family' by listing all of the great quotes that come out of this show. Line for line, this has to be one of the cleverest series on television today. Even the episode title, 'Moon Landing,' recalls a great moment.

The action this week was split between Jay and Cameron heading off to the gym to play racquetball, Mitchell helping Gloria with a traffic-related legal problem, and Claire's reunion with an old work colleague from before Claire became a stay-at-home mom. Minnie Driver was well cast as the friend, Valerie, but her performance was completely overshadowed by the brilliance of the episode itself.

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Will the iPad change how we watch TV? Maybe

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 28th 2010 11:03AM
steve_jobs_slates_mosesWill Apple's new iPad really change the way we watch TV? That was one of the big questions that we were asking before Steve Jobs' presentation yesterday in San Francisco. I thought that since he was conferring with network execs to slash iTunes prices for TV episodes, that the iPad would have a major TV viewing component.

Now that we've seen the device and watched it demonstrated, the answer isn't crystal clear. But yes, it should have some impact on TV viewing.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I agree with those that call the iPad just a bigger version of the iTouch or iPhone. On the surface, it is. However, while it's true that someone might prefer a one-hand device like the smaller iTouch or iPhone to watch a show on a commuter train, you have to imagine a different setting for the iPad.

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Five keys to saving Better Off Ted

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 25th 2010 1:03PM
better_off_ted_abc
A couple of weeks ago, Kona wrote about the campaign to convince ABC to save Better Off Ted. Despite these grassroots efforts, the rating for Ted continue to be dismal and ABC probably has "cancel Better Off Ted" on the corporate to-do list.

That's a shame, because the more I watch of Better Off Ted, the better I think it is. Smart, funny, observant and surreal, Ted is an office comedy that makes deserves to survive. If more people gave it a shot, I think it would be a success. Maybe not a monster hit, but there aren't many of those in the sitcom field right now. Emmy winner 30 Rock is anything but a ratings hit.

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Review: Modern Family - Fifteen Percent

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 21st 2010 6:30AM
Modern Family: Fifteen Percent
(S01E13)
As usual, there was a ton going on this week, with all three families dealing with different types of crises. Kristen Schaal (Flight of the Conchords) was in one of the more unusual guest roles I've seen in awhile. You can't really describe how she came to be on the episode without it sounding all kinds of creepy, and yet the show managed to avoid any of the cliche reactions to what happened.

The way they've handled Jay's reaction to and dealing with the ongoing situation of his son's homosexuality has also managed to avoid the trite and formulaic "tough guy" dads we're used to seeing. There's just something more authentic about all these relationships, and I think a lot of it is bucking expectations. Gloria's not a gold-digging foreigner, nor is she just looking for a green card marriage. She's a sweet and understanding woman who genuinely loves her husband and son. Maybe a little too understanding.

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Review: Modern Family - Not in My House

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 14th 2010 2:00PM
Sofia Vergara(S01E12) I want a dog butler now. Sofia Vergara managed to do so much with her simple reactions to this dog, and Jay's interactions with it, throughout this episode, she had me laughing without saying a word. In fact, this may have been one of the funniest episodes of Modern Family yet.

Misunderstanding was the theme for all three families this week. You had Gloria misunderstanding Jay and Barkley's relationship -- Barkley being the dog butler. Cameron's big heart led to all kinds of Latino insanity in their household, to Mitchell's horror, while it was Phil's fear of his wife that allowed several instances of misunderstanding in the saga of the big bare breasted tractor rider (*Ahem* It's a combine).

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