Modern Family is a progressive show, featuring three unique familial structures and highlighting real-life problems that normal families face. The series carries on the tradition of television comedies that show the “modern family” evolving with the times.
The Ricardos, of I Love Lucy fame, entertained families from 1951 to 1960. I Love Lucy was groundbreaking in its time for a few reasons. First, the show was the first scripted show to be filmed in 35 mm film. Second, and maybe more importantly, it was one of the first sitcoms to feature a pregnancy. Lucille Ball became pregnant and made the radical decision to write the pregnancy into her show. This was obviously deemed controversial at the time as the network forbade the writers from using the word “pregnancy,” and they instead had to use euphemisms for the term.
The Brady Bunch aired from 1969 to 1974, permanently engraining their theme song in the minds of generations of TV viewers. As many people know, The Brady Bunch was unique for highlighting a blended family, which was especially important in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s as divorce rates began to rise. Despite this, the network wouldn’t allow the circumstances of the demise of Carol Brady’s first marriage to be mentioned on the show, even though creator/producer Sherwood Schwartz wanted Carol to be a divorcée. Despite this, The Brady Bunch still helped open doors for blended families and single parents on network television.
All in the Family, one of America’s most iconic sitcoms, had its groundbreaking original run from 1971 to 1979. All in the Family was so unique due in part to its main character, the working class bigot, Archie Bunker. The show was able to address real issues like racism, homosexuality, women’s liberation, the Vietnam War, menopause, impotence and more. Shows on network television were not previously able to poke fun at or even mention these issues, so having a show that injected real life issues into it was a great triumph for sitcoms as a whole.
The Cosby Show originally ran from 1984 to 1992, and almost single handedly revived the sitcom genre! The Cosby Show was unique first in that it featured an affluent African American family (Cliff was a doctor and his wife, Clair, was a lawyer). This helped pave the way for shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Second, the show was based partially on Bill Cosby’s standup acts, which centered on his family. Other shows, like Everybody Loves Raymond, would later follow this unique format.
Roseanne, which ran from 1988 to 1997, revolved around a working class family from Illinois. Like All in the Family, Roseanne dealt with taboo topics, like poverty, drugs, race, domestic violence, social classes stratification and more in an open and honest way. Aside from dealing with real issues, Roseanne also featured a more realistic-looking cast, including a mom and dad who were overweight, and a strong female figure who challenged the typical role of women in the household. Perhaps because of this realism, the show was one of the most-watched shows on television during its nine season run.
In Modern Family, the extended Pritchett/Dunphy clan faces an uproariously unpredictable array of family vacations, holiday hassles, troublesome in-laws, and surprising secrets, they still somehow manage to thrive together as one big, loving family — even as they drive each other absolutely insane!
Join TV’s #1 family for another hilarious and refreshingly original season of Modern Family, winner of eleven Emmy® Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series two years in a row! Season Three features a hilarious gag reel and never-before-seen couch confessions that will make you laugh out loud and remind you why viewers and critics alike have fallen in love with this thoroughly Modern Family.
Now here’s your opportunity to win a Blu-ray copy of Modern Family: Season Three. All you have to do is answer another one of Malchus’ inane trivia questions. And here it is:
One of the Modern Family cast members recently appeared in a movie as a child with cystic fibrosis. Who is the actress and what is the name of the twisted horror film in which she co-stars?
Email your answers to Senor Malchus (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than midnight, 9/18. The winner will be chosen at random and notified by email.