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This is how “Modern Family” became a TV phenomenon

“Modern Family” has broken new ground

No canned laughs and the mockumentary style, in which characters speak directly to the camera: What initially took some getting used to for some family sitcom fans, became a recipe for success for “Modern Family”. “It took me a minute to get used to the style, but after that I just loved it,” said Ty Burrell, 53, aka Phil Dunphy, of the interview segments with the main characters that are interspersed throughout the episodes . The series creators Steven Levitan (59) and Christopher Lloyd (60) wanted to create something, according to the “Los Angeles Times”, that is “more sophisticated” than what has been seen before, the series should be “a little more fun and have a single camera perspective”.

The fans love these characters

The composition of the main characters is another guarantee of success. “Modern Family” focuses on three different families: On the one hand the Dunphys, a traditional family consisting of the young-at-heart Phil, who is not only a realtor, but also a hobby magician and inventor. At his side is his tough wife Claire (Julie Bowen, 51), who, somewhat buttoned up, usually thinks little of her husband’s fantasies, and the three children: Haley (Sarah Hyland, 30), Alex (Ariel Winter, 23) and Luke (Nolan Gould, 22).

Claire’s father Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill, 75), owner of a successful closet company, is a second marriage to the much younger Gloria (Sofia Vergara), who brought her son Manny (Rico Rodriguez, 22) into the marriage. Third in the league are Claire’s brother Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, 45), an uptight attorney, and his extroverted partner Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet, 49), who grew up on a farm in Missouri, loves clowns and everything drama loves. In the first episode, the two adopt a little daughter from Vietnam.

Stories to feel good

This family constellation results in a variety of stories and conflicts within the Pritchett-Dunphy clan in every single episode, which are always told with a lot of love and warmth. While there was previously the trend in comedy series to get mean and snappy, “Modern Family” relied on cordiality right from the start. Viewers shouldn’t just laugh at the end of each episode, they should also feel good. And this kind of cheer is not only in demand and popular in the Corona crisis: Feedback came from many viewers that the series helped them in a particularly difficult time, said Ty Burrell in an interview.

“Modern Family” has the ingredients that a classic series needs and will probably find fans for a long time to come.

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