This is the way the show ends:not with a bang, but with a whimper
The Santa Clara
February 14, 2019
ABC’s long-running comedy “Modern Family” has hit a huge milestone as the show ends its 10th season on Jan. 30. Yes, this may be exciting news for some, but others likely are wondering when the show will finally kick the bucket. The show’s writers had announced that the 10th season would be the last but, in a last minute decision, ABC renewed the show for an 11th season. This leaves us with a question—is “Modern Family” still modern?
The show has historically been a highly acclaimed one, but it needs a tactful swan song if it wants to keep its golden reputation. Haley, Alex and Luke (the Dunphy kids) are not adolescents anymore and their lives have morphed into typical adulthood. “Modern Family’s” audience watches the show for its humor, but since most of the wisecracks and sarcasm came from the innocent kids, the entertainment has begun to devolve and the audience is left with kid jokes uttered from adult lips.
Season 10 had a few funny scenes which were mildly amusing. In episode five “Good Grief,” death occurs in the family for the first time. Earlier this year, “Modern Family’s” showrunners and producers mentioned that a major death would occur and, most speculating that this fate would befall the great Jay Pritchet, the father of Claire and Mitchel and husband to Gloria. He’s also the oldest in the family, and his death would certainly give the show different stories to tell. None of the immediate family bites the dust, but rather Jay’s long lost ex-wife, Didi.
While Claire and Mitch mourn their mother’s death together, the rest of the family have their own ways to deal with the news. These various coping mechanisms provide the episode’s comedy. Haley starts to overeat as a way of comfort which miraculously makes her smart, Alex gets kinky with her boyfriend and…it’s just weird.
The comedy in this episode comes through Cam and Mitch’s daughter, Lily.
While most of the family is distracted and preoccupied, Lily starts putting statues of Didi around the house to terrify Gloria. Didi and Gloria hated each other from the start and now Gloria believes Didi is getting payback for all those years. The potential thought of a ghost haunting Gloria is hilarious because she goes absolutely insane and almost faints when she sees another statue in the fridge. This is one of the rare funny scenes in season 10, and it’s because a child is doing what children do best—pranks.
Haley’s sudden fetish for food and Alex’s romance was the least bit interesting. Making signature characters go in the opposite direction of their trademark is not the answer to make a crowd go wild. This is a consistent issue throughout each episode. The writers are using opposite personalities as a filler to buffer the edges of the episode and it’s ultimately unamusing.
Things get a little more dramatic in episode seven “Did the Chicken Cross the Road?” Haley finds out she is pregnant with Dylan’s baby and decides to keep him as her steady boyfriend. Alex finds out about the pregnancy, but Haley makes her keep it a secret from their parents. Haley is left with the big question of whether she will keep the big girl job she finally enjoys or sacrifice those pleasures for her new child on the way.
This would be the perfect finale to “Modern Family” that gives the audience closure. It would leave room for nostalgic thoughts about how we have witnessed the Dunphy children grow into adulthood. We don’t want our favorite family to go their separate ways and in a world of utopia, this could be the case. But the children are the glue holding the family together and without them, the show would need to end.
Great TV shows reflect our lives back at us, even if it is with the fun-house distortion that sitcoms routinely pull off. Despite all the drama and the sad truth of the precious Dunphy kids growing up, “Modern Family” still has some humorous moments. Everyone has become adults who lead their own lives. Haley will soon be starting a family of her own, Alex and Manny are occupied with college and even the youngest Dunphy, Luke, is shifting his priorities to finish college and get a job. In order to keep “Modern Family’s” awardwinning title, the directors need to end the show while people can still appreciate it.
Contact Azariah Joel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.