TV Improvement: Modern Family

As most of my regular readers would attest, I am a big fan of writing article series. Now, some could argue that it is because I am too lazy to think of a new idea every week. To those people I say… not everyone needs to know that. I would appreciate you keeping that to yourself.

It’s in that same vein that I introduce my newest series for the good people at TV Equals: TV Improvement.

In the TV Improvement series, we will be taking a look at some of our favorite shows and searching for ways to improve them. Sometimes, that may include just a few needed tweaks. In some cases, major overhauls will need to be considered (I’m looking at you, The Walking Dead).

Today, we are going to look at one of my favorite shows, Modern Family. It remains one of my favorites, but there some issues that have come up (particularly this season) that need to be addressed. Let’s jump into it.

Figure out Cam

When reading some of the scripts for this season, I am surprised that Eric Stonestreet didn’t charge into the writers’ room and scream, “Are you (expletive) kidding me,” because that is what I think when I watch some of things they have done with Cam.

The writers are trying their best to have it both ways, and they are destroying their best character in the process. One week, we will be reminded of his standout performances on the football field back in Illinois, then the next week, we have to do a bit that highlights that Cam can’t run. It’s forgetting story and character-building for the sake of a joke that people will not remember (unless they are like me and remember it for angry reasons).

Either you have Cam as a whiny diva, or he’s the folksy football star from Illinois. Please pick one.

Let Claire have some fun

Claire no longer exists to add to the fun on Modern Family. It seems she exists to attempt to squash it at every turn.

In the past, the writers have done a nice job of playing off of Claire’s neuroses. Now, she comes off as mean-spirited and angry most of the time. I couldn’t imagine being married to a woman like Claire. Her attempts to emasculate me like she does to Phil would not go over nearly as well. We would be in court right now for our custody hearing. (For the record, I would make a compelling argument that she is mentally unstable and push for full custody. There’s enough video evidence to back me up. That will teach you to let a documentary film crew into your home.)

Find the old magic

Look, I don’t think that Modern Family is a bad show now. On the contrary, it is often good and sometimes really good. However, the first two seasons of this show made it one of the few shows capable of making laugh-out-loud while sitting alone on my couch. The show was hysterical and possessed a lovable sweetness to it that never seemed forced or overdone. I miss those days.

I know that Modern Family still generates huge numbers for ABC. I know people still enjoy watching the show. As a matter of fact, I am one of those people. However, their place as the comedy title belt holder is in jeopardy. The Big Bang Theory keeps getting huge amounts of viewers. 30 Rock keeps crushing it every week. Parks and Recreation continues to prove its chops on a weekly basis. All three of those shows are having better seasons creatively than Modern Family. We could have a new champion very soon.

What do you think about this season of Modern Family? Do you think it needs some tweaks? If so, how would you tweak it? Let me know in the comments below or tweet your responses to me @TVCzar.

(One other note: If you have any suggestions for shows you would like for me to tackle in this series, feel free to suggest them in the comments below or on Twitter.)

The TV Czar