Friday, March 04, 2011

Modern Family

The modern family is not really modern. It’s more traditional, conservative, stereotypical and overtly racist.

Last night, I saw the complete first season of the American comedy sitcom Modern Family, imagine! What a waste of time! But it was fun, really. The episodes are short, funny, and in many ways, endearing. These are probably the reasons the series has been so popular.

I remember reading sometimes back, a critic commenting on how the series depicts, among other things, our overreliance on technology and gizmos, so much so that each episodes will feature some or other gizmos. The comment is spot-on. There’s an episode involving an iPad, an episode featuring a kindle, an episode about home theatre system with a high-tech remote.

All these things are cool, but what I could not stand was how overtly racist the family is, that too when one of the family members is married to a Colombian woman, and the gay couple has adopted a baby from Vietnam. Even when dealing with Gloria and little Lily, the white characters of Modern Family behave as if the ‘others’ cannot understand them. And, this is multicultural American. And here people are identified by their race, for example, the 'Asian doctor'. What is even more strange is that there are no black characters visible anywhere, especially in the first season.

Apart from these points, Modern Family is like our own saas-bahu serials, a big happy family dealing with each other's quirks. There is the patriarch Jay, his second wife Gloria and her son, Manny, Jay’s daughter Claire, her husband Phil and their three children, Jay’s son Mitchell, his partner Cameron and their adopted daughter Lily. Each episode talks about family values, parenting, and about adjusting with one another. It’s all fun, only you wish they were not that conservative. And, I am talking about a TV show where a gay couple plays a prominent role.

Among these three sets of people, I like the odd couple, grandfather Jay and his sexy Colombian wife Gloria, and their over-zealous son, Manny. That too, despite they being stereotypes.

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