I review a whole season rather than individual episodes, so there is a chance of spoilers. If you haven’t watched the whole season yet, stop reading now!
There is something comforting about the familiarity of Modern Family. Strongly in it’s fifth season and showing no sign of relenting, the show which looks to mimic the diverse range of family-units is as funny and creative as ever with a solid cast to back up their varying story-lines.
Those story-lines are as vast as ever, from Eric Stonestreet’s Cam becomes a football coach, Ed O’Neill’s Jay and Sofia Vergara’s Gloria hire a male nanny and the kids of the series all clearly and quite abruptly become adults themselves. The main story-arc is Cam and Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s Mitchell preparing their wedding, mining that story-line for all the usual and to the show’s credit, quite original ways in which it can cause hilarity.
There is still some originality to a show which is entering it’s fifth year. Modern Family has always been about the characters and works best when the combinations are more bizarre and unexpected. Jay and Ty Burrell’s Phil are always a golden combination, as is anything involving Aubrey Anderson Emmerson’s Lily, who is now a legitimate actor and part of the show in her own right.
As with any successful show, Modern Family manages to balance the humour and the drama well. It has become very astute at pulling the emotional rug from under the audience, with a last minute revelation or a well-written scene between the characters. This works so effectively because each of the characters now embody their role perfectly, sometimes to the point of parody.
The series is beginning to evolve. The kids are the key to the series staying fresh, with Ariel Winter’s Alex moving to college, Sarah Hyland’s Hayley trying to get a job and both Rico Rodriguez’s Manny and Nolan Gould’s Luke getting deeper into relationships and other teenage boy issues from two very different perspectives. As long as the stories can go somewhere new each series, the show has some legs yet.
Overall, Modern Family’s fifth season is as funny as ever with each character consistently delivering some magic to the episodes. The show is slowly evolving with new directions for the characters, particularly the younger ones. The actors all embody their characters well but it is becoming close to parody for some of the performances.
Best Episode – The Wedding Part One and Two: A great way to bring the characters together and see the best traits in a decent two-parter.
Best performance – Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy
Should there be another season? – Yes, but the writers have to be aware of the characters becoming stale…
Season Rating – 4.5
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)