Every new television season, I keep an eye out for good new shows.  I usually find one or two each season that I enjoy watching, and after two seasons one of them typically ends up being cancelled (SportsNight, Studio 60, Aliens in America, Freaks and Geeks, The Mole).  This season, the show I’m really hoping doesn’t get canceled too soon is Modern Family.

If you haven’t seen it already, it’s a sitcom about three generations of a family, where the patriarch (Ed O’Neil) remarries a woman (Sofia Vergara) who’s likely younger (and more attractive) than his daughter (Julie Bowen, a mother of three whose husband – Ty Burrell – has a Peter Pan complex).  It’s questionable how comfortable he is with his homosexual son (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) or his son’s life-partner of five years (Eric Stonestreet).  His step-son is the same age as his grand-son, but he’s mature enough to be in his 40’s.

There isn’t a character on the show that I don’t enjoy.  If I had to rank the people based on entertainment factor (with their relation to the patriarch, played by Ed O’Neil)…

  1. Phil Dunphy – the son-in-law with a Peter Pan complex who wants everyone to like him
    (I haven’t seen the actor – Ty Burrell – in any other show or movie before, but he delivers his lines effortlessly and never seems to be begging for a laugh)
  2. Manny Delgado – the step-son the same age as the patriarch’s grand-children who is very precocious
    (Rico Rodriguez II, another actor I’ve never seen before.  Also very believable in his role)
  3. Gloria Pritchett – the new wife, a fiery Latina  half his age
    (Sofia Vergara, who I mistakenly thought was going to just be a pretty face, but she’s very comedic)
  4. Cameron Tucker – the life-partner of the patriarch’s gay son
    (Eric Stonestreet, who I was previously unfamiliar with due to apparently not having seen enough CSI)
  5. Luke Dunphy – the grandson with below average intelligence
    (Nolan Gould)
  6. Jay Pritchett – the patriarch
    (Ed O’Neil, who does a great job as the main character, but has too many lines to seem as funny.  If he had a smaller role, he’d be higher on this list.  No one can be the focus of a show and funny ALL the time)
  7. Alex Dunphy – the granddaughter
    (Ariel Winter, who could be a great actress someday if she doesn’t end up going to an Ivy League school to make a living outside of the entertainment industry)
  8. Mitchell Pritchett – the son
    (Jesse Tyler Fergusson, enjoyable in The Class and Do Not Disturb from failed sitcoms in previous seasons)
  9. Haley Dunphy – the oldest granddaughter
    (Sarah Hyland)
  10. Claire Dunphy – the daughter
    (Julie Bowen, who isn’t an overly comedic character, but she’s more enjoyable in this show than in Ed or Weeds)

The interactions between all the characters are great. On the whole, the show is enjoyable from start to finish for every episode, and there’s no character who drags down the enjoyment of the show.

Check it out.  Wednesday at 9 on ABC.


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