Mary Arline (queen_of_kithia) wrote,
Mary Arline

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"Thank you to the bullies..."

For the fourth year in a row, my beloved Modern Family won the prize for Best Comedy at the Emmys. Here's what Steve Levitan had to say about that:
"Thank you to the bullies, to the popular kids, to the gym teachers who taunted us, who rejected us, and who made fun of the way we ran. Without you, we never would have gone into comedy."
Even though I know they were trying to play him off with the music, somehow having the theme song playing in the background just made it all the more triumphant.

It's really gratifying to me to see them win when they're up against two shows from HBO. Some people (*cough*StephenKing*cough*) have a really snobbish attitude about network TV versus premium cable, arguing that the latter is inherently better because it has fewer restrictions and are free to use "adult language and situations," etc. Now, I'm not saying that there's absolutely no place for blue material in good comedy, although I do feel that, like garlic, it should be used sparingly. And I agree that some of the restrictions they have to deal with on network TV are just ridiculous, such as the fact that they have to pixelate [someone]Gloria breastfeeding. But on the other hand, I think that staying within FCC regulations actually ends up working in Modern Family's favor because it forces them to use much more clever wordplay than they would have to otherwise, e.g.: "This whole thing is a colossal 'fog cue'", "He came up out of nowhere and he scared the baby cheeses out of me!"; to say nothing of Phil's endlessly inventive alternative epithets, such as "Son of Jor-El!" and "Sweet and sour chicken!"

Moreover, they continue to do things right, seamlessly integrating the funny and the heartwarming, so that often I am reduced to laughter and tears at the same time, as it so often is in life. They've added elements along the way that often turn out to be poison for sit-coms (pets, new baby, kid going off to college), but they do so in a way that's organic to the overall narrative, and thus far it has ended up working really well. Nevertheless, sometimes I wonder how long they can sustain it, what with their teenagers growing up, etc. There was a point when I said to myself, "Well, I hope they can at least keep it going until Cam and Mitchell are allowed to get married, because their wedding would/will be awesome!" Fortunately, with the cooperation of the Supreme Court, that hurdle has now been removed, [Spoiler?]and sure enough, they got engaged in the series premiere. And, as always, it was done exactly right.
Tags: movie awards, television
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