We’re counting down the Top 10 Comedies of 2011. Each selection will be revealed on Hulu’s homepage every day of this week. Selections 10-5 can be viewed here.
4 – Modern Family
Campy yet sophisticated, garrulous yet meticulously concise, this mockumentary-style ensemble-driven family sitcom effortlessly delivers a week’s quota worth of beguiling charm, slapstick situational panache, insightful gender & role-exploring satire, celeb-a-licious cameo stunting, and the all-too-enticing and ironic exploration of the sweepingly hyper-stereotyped classic & modern family structures (both dysfunctional in their own right) amidst the backdrop of a fast-paced and technology over-stimulated world.
This uber-entertaining masterpiece of a sitcom embodies the extremely rare ensemble “chemistry” of Friends, the quick-witted and cutting topical relevance of Frasier, the clever multi-plot-line & thematic interweaving prowess of Arrested Development, and the blithesome, almost unnerving demonstration powerful family love reminiscent of such memorialized family classics as The Cosby Show or The Brady Bunch.
Universally loved by anyone who has ever had the privilege (or misfortune) of being a member of either a shamelessly dysfunctional or beautifully ordinary family, this instant classic has appealed to the hearts, minds, and terrified inner child in all of us. Unabashed in its assertion of heart amidst perpetually complex and highly-integrated displays of structured defectiveness that are ingeniously and rhythmically played out through relatable everyday situations, this multi-dimensional testament to the complexity, ridiculousness and awkward clumsiness of multi-tiered family relations strikes a sentimental chord on just the right frequency.
Modern Family is just as likely to make a mockery of such simple and one-dimensional character eccentricities as Phil’s impractical and wacky head-massaging helmet business venture and Cam’s tendency to over-exaggerate to the point of lying in order to impress (Punkin Chunkin anyone?), to the more serious and complex character ailments such as Claire’s incessant and nagging need to be right all the time, or Manny’s numerous insecurities (that stem undoubtedly from being smothered by an exceedingly invasive and over-coddling but bodacious mother) relating to his looks and his place in the world. No unforgiving character flaw, intolerably dysfunctional relationship, or ludicrous pandemonium due to horrendous miscommunication goes unexplored in this ode-to-family-disrepair. This buzz-inducing, highly addictive formula has worked to a T, bringing us three straight seasons of laugh-out-loud, unanimous hilarity and relatable gratification. And let’s face it: The American dream is represented in full tow here—doesn’t it say somewhere within our founding fathers’ declarations (on a dollar bill, or the bill of rights maybe?) that it’s every free man’s right to pursue life, liberty, and ever-binding matrimony to a busty, loud-mouthed, leopard-wearing, exotic trophy wife with a predilection for grumpy, sardonic wealthy older men?
I think so. I think so.