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  • Writer's pictureLoren Javier

A Tribute To An American Family: Modern Family

Photo: ABC

Last night, ABC aired the final episode of Modern Family after an eleven year run.

The series focused on the Prichett family - patriarch Jay Prichett (Ed O'Neill), his daughter Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen) and his son Mitchell Prichett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson). Jay is married to Gloria Delgado Prichett (Sophia Vergara), a much younger Columbian woman who has a sensitive son Manny Delgado (Rico Rodriguez) from another marriage. She and Jay also have a son together named Joe (Jeremy Maguire).

Claire is married to real estate agent Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) with their children Haley (Sarah Hyland), Alex (Ariel Winter) and Luke (Nathan Gould). Phil tries his best to be the cool dad while Claire is always keeping everything going. Each of the children have their own distinct personalities, although Haley and Luke are probably more similar. Haley is married to the dopey, yet wise Dylan Marshall (Reid Ewing) with their children George and Poppy.

Mitchell is married to Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet) with their acerbic adopted daughter Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) and their new son Rexford. Mitch and Cam may often butt heads, but one thing is clear, they love each other and are a match made in heaven.

Photo: ABC

The show redefined what a modern American family was. They took 3 different types of families - one traditional nuclear (Claire's family), one blended and interracial (Jay's family) and one same-sex (Mitchell's family). Through this lens, we saw a fully formed family that almost anybody could relate to. Each episode found humor in the zany, yet realistic situations the show put the family through. The ensemble cast is bar none with each member providing strength to the whole.

As a gay man, I think Mitch and Cam are one of the most believable same-sex couples, even though Eric Stonestreet is heterosexual. They could have easily devolved into stereotypes, but, there was something genuine about them. Phil and Claire are your average American parents trying to navigate their children while making it through their careers. Who didn't have a dad as goofy as Phil or a mother as type-A as Claire? And Jay and Gloria show us what its like to live in a multi-generational, multi-ethnic family. Often the best moments were Jay and Manny trying to come to understand each other.

The show was so popular that Jane Lynch once referred to the Emmys as "The Modern Family Awards." And, the show attracted such talent as Elizabeth Banks, Martin Short, Matthew Broderick and Josh Gad to name a few.

It has been a pleasure to watch these families grow, especially the kids. When I think about it, in the first episode, we see Lily as a baby being introduced to the family and in the last episode we see her as a young lady welcoming a new baby brother. It's a bittersweet moment for sure. But, I, for one, will watch the show through streaming and reruns.

So, good-bye, Modern Family. It has been wonderful knowing you.

Maybe if we leave the porch light on, they'll come back.

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