There's something special about ABC's Modern Family, Bruce Feiler argues at The New York Times. Sitcoms rarely garner both high ratings and critical acclaim, but "Modern Family" has managed to do both. What's its secret? Feiler says the show lives up to its title by probing the dynamics that are reshaping today's families.
Modern Family, Feiler explains, emphasizes the ways technology has upended the
human interactions that are the very essence of family life. The
characters "are so
immersed in technology that nearly every scene is refracted through a
digital funhouse: an iPad screen, a cellphone camera, a baby monitor, a
YouTube video. Characters spend half their time glancing past one
another rather than communicating directly."
As the first family
show to be filmed as a “mockumentary"--with characters peeking at the
camera and delivering confessional interviews in the spirit of reality
TV--Modern Family highlights the instant self-analysis that social
networking has instilled in us, Feiler adds: "we all engage in this sort of
running narrative of our lives, rushing off after dinner (or coitus) to
share our confessions on Twitter or Facebook."