Modern family is a popular American sitcom based on an extended family that comprises of three different nuclear families. Jay is a middle aged divorcee who remarries a younger Hispanic woman, Gloria. He adopts her son Manny and settles well as a father and husband. In the same neighborhood lives a gay couple (Mitchell-Jay’s son and Cameron) who have a young Asian daughter, Lily. The third family is a typical monogamous family and comprises of Phil and Claire (Jay’s daughter) and their three children Luke, Alex and Haley. The extended family is close knit as is exhibited in their intimate interactions. The basic values underlying the conversation and actions of both female and male characters will be evaluated. In addition, the parental role models presented in the show will also be analyzed.
Claire is a soccer mom and Phil is a real estate salesman. The family is close knit and the couple cooks together. Claire does all the chores and closely monitors the children. Sibling rivalry is rife between the sisters, and Luke is highly susceptible to mischievous behavior. Clare perfectly handles her maternal role of mediator. In the episode the children disarrange the house and are on the verge of wrecking havoc. Haley has spilled marbles in the kitchen and Alex is about to drop plates. Claire is on her way out and asks Phil to watch the children. As usual Phil leaves right after Claire and the children are left unattended. This incidence reaffirms the role of mothers as responsible and principal caregivers. Just like Phil, fathers are overwhelmed by work and they tend to neglect their parental obligations (Sillars & Gronbeck, 2001). Phil successfully sells a house to a gay couple, Steve and Stefan. Claire returns to the house and to her surprise everything is in order. Like never before she so proud of her children. Later over dinner with Cameron and Mitchell, she lovingly describes her kids as resourceful and responsible.
Some of the adults i.e. Cameron, Mitchell, Claire and Phil are very sentimental. This is evident during their dinner double date. Wine further exacerbates their emotional outburst. Mitchell and Cameron express their disappointment in adopting another child. Cameron is envious of Steve and Stefan as they have a biological son. Claire offers to donate an egg to fertilize Cameron’s sperm. Everyone is ecstatic over this bizarre suggestion but they all regret the following morning. Both Claire and Mitchell are deeply uncomfortable with the idea. Mitchell frowns on Claire’s prospective role as an “Aunty mommy”. Jay is known for his sarcasm and he vehemently opposes the “inbreeding”. Gloria displays disgust in an exclamation of disgust. However, Gloria opposes Jay’s meddling. Gloria is temperamental and Jay is always rousing her anger. They love each other but their relationship is marked by conflict. Jay has good intentions but in most causes his actions do not augur well with Gloria.
Claire and Phil are good role models as they are actively involved in the lives of their children. They have created a loving family environment and despite sibling rivalry and conflict, the family remains united. They are a typical American family and present the challenges faced by families. Just like Phil and Claire, parents need to resolve all family problems to maintain family unity. They are a testimony that marriage works. Jay’s family is also close knit. Jay has embraced Manny as a son. This sets a good example to individuals who marry a spouse with children. They should love and treat these children no different from their biological children. Mitchell and Cameron successfully represent a loving gay family. Cameron amazingly exhibits “maternal instincts”. Cameron can be likened to a soccer mom. He looks after Lily as Mitchell focuses on his career as a lawyer. The couple depicts the struggles faced by gay couples such as adopting and raising children. Cameron is at times doubtful of his parental skills, and worries that Lily might need a mother. Nevertheless, the gay couple manages well. The show succeeds in depicting a functional gay union.