Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Modern Family Season 3 Premiere Review: Will I watch this show going forward?

Modern Family's Pilot two years ago was a near perfect half hour of television.  The show still had things to work out (like making Phil resemble something more of a human, which the show has a done a good job of), but the show managed to take an archaic sitcom concept, and make it fresh and exciting.   2 years later, the show is still entertaining but it seems to have fallen into 30 Rock territory: the show's quality has become entirely dependent on whether or not the gags and plot are funny.  2 years later the characters are still in their same emotional/developmental place (except Claire who has gotten more grating), so there is no way to take satisfaction from watching the characters grow.

When you are writing 20+ episode of year with characters who have no real  arc, the show falls completely flat if the gags fail.  This is the dramatic equivalent of treating your show like NCIS instead of The Wire.  If the case of the week is boring, the show won't be satisfying.  This is the risk of episodic television.

As for the Season 3 premiere, the first half made me laugh a lot (even if it was gimmicky and Dylan leaving made me a sad panda).  The second one was less funny and had a few punchlines that fell flat, but it at least gave satisfaction to know that the writers know how grating Claire has become.  I hope this means Claire will be less annoying going forward but I won't hold my breath.  A solid start to the year, but it was not enough to convince me that the show has got a good plan going forward.  I'll stick around for a few more episodes, before I just decide to watch each episode if it is convenient.

Episode Rating: 7.5/10

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