Those of you that have not been watching ABC’s “Modern Family” over the past year-you are missing not only the best new sitcom of the year (fuck “Glee”), but the best sitcom currently on network television. It’s an ensemble in the truest sense of the word-every single main character on that show shines. To me, it’s particularly remarkable because Ed O’ Neill, as family patriarch Jay Pritchett, does something many TV actors are not capable of. He makes you forget that he was the legendary Al Bundy for 12 years. I always thought he was going to be one of those actors who would be identified with a particular role for the remainder of his acting career (side note: those “Married…with Children” folks haven’t done too badly for themselves since the show ended, have they?).
Anyway, what was I saying? Yeah, excellent ensemble cast, from the kids (especially Nolan Gould and Rico Rodriguez) to the incredibly foxy Sofia Vergara as Jay’s wife Gloria and Ty Burrell as doofy Phil Dunphy. Come Emmy nomination time, this show should clean up. Even the guest stars have been golden-Shelley Long, Benjamin Bratt, Elizabeth Banks and Edward Norton have all had classic one-shots this season.
Those of you who watch the show are also aware that Jesse Tyler Ferguson plays Jay’s son Mitchell. Mitchell is an uptight attorney married to Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) and raising baby Lily. Yes, there is a gay couple on “Modern Family”. As far as the actors who play them, Ferguson is openly gay, while Stonestreet (who plays the more flamboyant of the two) is openly straight. It’s a cool twist, because the rest of the family doesn’t treat Mitchell & Cam’s relationship as anything out of the ordinary. And even though Cam’s character is a bit queeny at times, he’s far from stereotypical, having grown up on a farm in the Midwest and playing high school football.
Anyway, there’s this Facebook campaign going on called “Let Cam & Mitchell Kiss”, and it seems to suggest that the show’s writers (and possibly ABC) are showing a bias against the show’s gay couple by not giving them a scene in which they kiss. I think people need to find better things to do with their time.
In an interview recently, Ed O’ Neill recently brought up the fact that he and his on-screen wife Vergara have never shared a kiss on the show. Both he and Ferguson have noted that the character of Mitchell is written as being kind of uptight. I guess my question is, what’s to be gained if Mitch and Cam do, in fact, kiss on screen? Unless it’s written in to advance an important plot point, what’s the use? Is it possible that there’s no lip-locking on the show just because one of the characters in the couple is a tight-ass (no pun intended) and not because the writing staff or the network is afraid of potential protest? In 2010, would there even be any kind of substantial viewer turnoff or advertiser backout if two men were to kiss on a TV show? Granted, I don’t watch a heck of a lot of television, but it doesn’t seem like it would be so unusual.
I guess what I’m most afraid of is something that is just a regular part of a relationship between two people being blown up to be an “event” just to satisfy some people. If they kiss, they kiss. Don’t make an issue out of it. If they don’t kiss, they don’t kiss. Actually, more good TV could be made out of Mitchell’s reticence to smooch Cam.
Regardless, I hope this idiotic controversy doesn’t keep anyone from watching the smartest and funniest new show on television. Did I already say fuck “Glee”?
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