Tag Archives: Modern Family tv show

Color wheel

Eric Stonestreet, aka Cam on Modern Family, tweeted just this morning:

Can’t take your road rage seriously, mr. yellow car driver man.

He left the details to our imagination — dangerous in and of itself — but he brings up an interesting point:

Do we assign character traits to drivers based on the color of their cars?

Studies show that red cars get more tickets, so apparently police officers believe these drivers are inherently up to no good.  They watch them closer, and the tickets follow.

But what of the other car colors?

Eric didn’t take the enraged driver seriously because his car was yellow. I have personally shook my head in wonder at bright orange vehicles — not that I don’t love the color in my salty snacks and diet soda and an occasional saucy top or two –

But to drive it down the street every day?  Even I have some dignity.

What car colors do you consider taboo?  Share in the comments section and perhaps save a reader from making an expensive mistake at the dealership.

This. Very. Day.

When I’m wrong

Back in March of last year, I spanked Ron Howard’s new family drama Parenthood.

It had suffered the double misfortune of being forced to miscast its lead actress (Maura Tierney, who had become seriously ill) and enter the television year at mid-season, following the hugely popular breakout comedy Modern Family.

Thanks for playing, guys, but the family show and hit of the year had already been crowned.

I was also disappointed in what I found to be stereotypical characters and storylines.  But I had already set the DVR — the cast, including Lauren Graham, Peter Krause and T. Craig Nelson, was really good, after all — so I hung around to see what developed.

Two years later, I’m still here. 

And last night, when Alex broke up with Haddie — and told Kristina that she was the mother he had never had and that he loved their family — it was gut-wrenching.  I literally blubbered.  As I struggled to see the TV screen through my tears, the memory of that blog entry floated in my memory’s eye.

Mea culpa.

Yep Knope

Modern Family and Melissa McCarthy may have taken home the Emmys this year, but my money’s on her in 2012.

This is one campaign I hope never ends.  (Sorry, Ben.)

Do you watch Parks and Recreation?  No?? Well, good Lord, man — start!  It’s one of the funniest things on TV.

Here’s a sample quote from last night’s show:

Waiter: Would you like any wine to start?
Leslie: Yes, and I’m gonna be direct and honest with you.  I would like a glass of red wine and I’ll take the cheapest one you have because I can’t tell the difference.

Woman after my own heart.

Vote Knope!

Chosen family

Yet another perk of living in New York City…

You get to hang out with the cast of Modern Family on a rainy Monday night.

I wasn’t quite as close as the photo implies.  This pic was taken backstage at Inside the Actors Studio.  Sofia Vergara posted it on Twitter soon after the taping was complete.

It shows Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Vergara, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, and Julie Bowen — everyone but Ed O’Neill, who also appeared on the show.  (Perhaps he took the photo.)

In the Actors Studio tradition, host James Lipton spoke to each person individually to start the program.  While they come from varied backgrounds, as a group they are extremely well-educated, and a few came to acting a bit later in life.

But the room really started rockin’ when they spoke of their time together on the show.  There were pats on the back, hugs, and loving looks. They seemed embarrassed by praise.  They made fun of each other.  They showed lots of clips.  Heck, someone even did a dance.

Family get-togethers are like that sometimes.

And it was a family on that stage.  Even from my seat in the balcony, that was abundantly clear.

Inside the Actors Studio featuring the cast of Modern Family airs on Bravo June 6th.  I highly recommend it.

Dynamic duos

Ricky and Lucy.  Ross and Rachel.  Sam and Diane.   Every generation has had its seminal TV couple.  But not today.

We gots all kinds of ‘em!

Thanks to a really strong lineup of sitcoms — and dramas, too — the current television landscape boasts multiple couples with great chemistry, fun banter, and unconventional relationships.

Do I have favorites?  You betcha!  (Thanks for asking.)

Here are my 2011 Top Five TV Couples:

No. 5Sheldon and Amy, The Big Bang Theory — Call them the ‘uncouple’.  They don’t like to spend too much time together, preferring to Skype.  The terms ‘girlfriend’ and ‘boyfriend’ offend their sensibilities.  And the only kiss they have ever exchanged was more scientific experiment than sexual act.  But their pairing has added a spark to the already smoking nerd fest that is TBBT. Long live Shamy!

No. 4:  Jack and Liz, 30 Rock — We’ve all had that work colleague who is more than a friend.  But in the fantastical world that is 30 Rock, Liz and Jack’s more-than-a-friendship mentor-ship blurs the lines in bizarre, often disturbing, always hilarious ways.  Heck, they even got married by accident.  If I had a nickel…

No. 3:  Castle and Beckett, Castle – This may be a TV drama, but anyone who watches Castle knows this police procedural is sprinkled with a heavy helping of funny, thanks to Nathan Fillion’s take on its namesake.  And his chemistry with Detective Beckett is as Sam and Diane as it gets on TV today.  Will they?  Won’t they?  When?  Hurry up already!

No.2:  Ben and Leslie, Parks & Recreation — My favorite ‘newbie couple’ on TV today, Ben and Leslie are as positive and life affirming as those shiba inu puppies on the web cam.  I love their characters separately; I love the idea of them together even more.  Since the series is relatively young, I thought they’d keep us dangling like a worm on a hook in a lake in a park in Indiana. But did you see last night?  “Uh oh.”

And, last but definitely not least, my choice for the absolute bestest TV couple of 2011:

No. 1:  Claire and Phil, Modern Family – No couple on TV is funnier because no two actors are braver.  The Dunphys’ sexual exploits alone are worth a spin-off.  (Could they be more unsuccessful?  How did they have three children?)   This week’s episode “Bad Dog, Good Dog”  — featuring a brilliant parenting role switcheroo — was yet another tour de force for Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen.  They are, simply put, the very best on television today.

Emmy voters, mark your ballots.



Ah ha

Remember this year’s Golden Globe Awards?

Hard to believe they were less than a month ago.  Modern Family, Boardwalk Empire and The Social Network were the big winners, and Ricky Gervais — with his mean-spirited, low blow jokes — was the biggest loser.

Memories.

My ‘ah ha’ moment — or maybe it was more of a ‘say wha?’ — was Paul Giamatti’s win for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for a little-known movie called Barney’s Version (He beat out Kevin Spacey, Jake Gyllenhaal and two Johnny Depp nods in the process.)

So I decided to give it a look.

Here’s one thing the Hollywood Foreign Press got right.  Giamatti is brilliant as Barney in a movie that spans four decades of his life, three marriages, and literally dozens of bad decisions.  Whoever cast Dustin Hoffman as Barney’s father must be feeling pretty smug, too, because it was nothing short of inspired.

You can make fun of the Globes all day long and be perfectly justified.  But that award alone, and the light it shone on this funny, sad, twisted, lovely film, atones for a multitude of sins.

If Barney’s Version hadn’t won a Globe, it would have no doubt languished on a couple of screens in New York and Los Angeles before calling it a day. Thanks to the Globes, you may get a chance to see it at a ‘theater near you.’

Everybody wins.

Going dark

How long would you last off the grid?  Your Internet connection wiped.  No texting, no Facebook, no tweeting, no, no…

Sorry.  Things started to go a bit dark there for a minute.

Last night’s episode of “Modern Family” posed the question as an intra-family competition, which ended up lasting two short, very difficult days for the Dunphy family.  (Phil won.  Then it turned out his oldest daughter tricked him, and that she actually won.  If you didn’t see it, well my goodness, why not??)

Two days off line?  I wouldn’t last that long.

Heck, to write this blog entry alone, I had six browser windows open — WordPress, Facebook,  AOL, Twitter, NYTimes.com and Google.  Plus, I had my Palm Pre at my side.  And I was watching television and Skyping with my sister.

Off the grid?  More like off the charts.

I can’t remember the last time I sat down and simply watched TV.  Tweeting and checking Facebook have become a natural part of the experience.  See an actor that you don’t recognize?  Look them up on imdb.com.  Hear a funny line?  Post it on Facebook…or share it via an open chat window on AIM.

Sitting back and passively enjoying entertainment is a thing of the past.  Interacting with that TV show or movie or Youtube video — that’s the norm today.  And the thought of even 48 hours without that option gives me the willies.

So, cheer up, Phil.  Your daughter might have pulled a fast one on you, but you would have kicked my butt at this bet (if I had the guts to enter in the first place).

Did you know…Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who met while at Stanford University and collaborated on the Google web search engine, originally called it “BackRub” ?  Snazzy.

Fantasyland

There is all kinds of love being heaped upon the brilliantly funny “Modern Family.”  And it deserves every drop.

But I’m hoping some of those loyal “Family” viewers are lazily coasting right into the whacked out, wine-soaked world of the very badly named “Cougar Town” which airs on ABC immediately afterward.

Those folks deserve some love, too.

They didn’t come out of the gate as strongly as “Modern Family,” not at all.  The cul-de-sac crew took a little while to find their footing…and that’s okay.  They’ve arrived in a very funny, very fanciful place that bears absolutely no resemblance to the real world.

And that’s why I like it.

“Modern Family” is amazing because it is so true.  Every character is spot on, someone you know or will meet soon. 

“Cougar Town” is family life in some Wonka-like, psychedelic alternate universe that I sincerely hope doesn’t exist…but I sure enjoy visiting.

The name is stupid; the show’s creators realized that about two weeks into the process.  They even considered changing it, but instead are making fun of it in the opening titles…’cause that’s what you do in “Cougar Town.”

If you haven’t visited yet, eat the sword and stop by soon.

I’ll be there.

The Late Late Bang

It’s a great day in America!  Why?  Because Craig Ferguson is bringing crossover television back for your viewing pleasure.

At the top of his show last week, Craig appeared in a mini-episode of “The Big Bang Theory” — in true crossover style — and then had the cast take over his show for the rest of the night in a collection of sketches and interviews.

Hilarity ensued.

Thanks, Craig.  We used to depend on television sitcoms and their associated spin-offs for crossover nights.  You know, when Doug from “King of Queens” would appear on “Everybody Loves Raymond” — the show that birthed his series — and vicey versey.

Or remember the night that Paul Reiser’s character on “Mad About You” caused a blackout that affected everyone on “Friends”?  Even though those two series weren’t spin-offs, they did share a common setting — New York City — and the character of Phoebe’s sister, Ursula Buffay, who waited tables at their favorite restaurant.

I guess it makes sense that it would take a show outside of the TV sitcom realm to remind us that crossover television works.  Sitcoms have only recently regained their stronghold on the prime time schedule — thank you, “Modern Family” — and the only spin-offs of late have been the ever redundant “CSI’ and “Law and Order.”

Take a lesson from the Craigy Ferg, programmers everywhere.  Crossover TV is fun.

And it’s great for America!

iPademonium

I am entertained by the online indignation surrounding the iPad storyline in last Wednesday’s episode of “Modern Family.”

Maybe I have become immune to product placement in movies and TV shows, but I thought Phil’s obsession with getting Apple’s new gadget on the release date — and his hilarious steps toward acceptance when he thought he would have to wait a week instead — were perfectly in keeping with his character.

Using an actual product like the iPad as subject matter is one of the things that keeps “Modern Family” topical.  So, I think we should all just relax a bit.

I actually think “Modern Family” missed an opportunity at taking a swing at the product’s truly awful name.  Whether the show renamed it for the episode or simply referenced the disturbing images the real name brings to mind, I would have appreciated their point of view.

Apple, more so than ABC or “Modern Family,” deserves a slap for that one.