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 “different” about Modern Family’s seventh season. It isn’t that baby Joe has become a toddler now so is a legitimate part of the show in his own right. Nor is it that Adam Devine has become a regular of the cast and gives Sarah Hyland’s Hayley a decent plot. It seems to be that the writers have found the individual character’s spark again.
My criticism of season 6 was that the characters had begun to feel too familiar and some had even become caricatures of themselves, becoming predictable. It also meant that story-lines were very predictable and the show seemed to have run out of steam.
The seventh season holds a few surprises though. Nothing too shocking, just scenarios and story-lines which don’t go the direction you’d think they would. To give a flavour, some of the better moments of the season include a group therapy session with the adults which opens them up “too much,” a very “adult” crush for Aubrey Anderson-Emmons’ Lily and the best moment of the whole season, when Ty Burrell’s Phil and Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s Mitchell get high.
In fact, the last example highlights the biggest strength of the series; the actors themselves. Last season felt like they were going through the motions but the cast seem to step it up this season and give some of their best performances; be it Julie Bowen’s Claire having the worse day at work or Eric Stonestreet’s Cam hiding a broken arm from his daughter.
It means that this season is one of the funnier of the more recent Modern Family output. The only issue it does have is it’s lack of heart. The earlier seasons balanced the comedy with some genuinely touching moments which could pull at the heartstrings but there is much less of that this time. That doesn’t mean it is completely lacking, a story-line involving Ariel Winter’s Alex and her Dad at college is a particular stand-out, just that this season is much more focused on the laughs than the emotion.
Overall, Modern Family’s seventh season is a step back in the right direction and a beginning of returning to form. The story-lines have a new breath of life to them, while the cast embody their characters better than ever. If they could add some emotion to the funny episodes, they could be back to Modern Family’s best.
Best Episode – The Party: Phil and Mitchell high is the best moment of the whole season.
Best performance – Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy
Should there be another season? – Yes, this season shows there is plenty of life left in the show yet.
Rating – 4
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)