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|Written by Taryn Cheal|
|Friday, 11 February 2011 00:00|
Modern Family is one of the funniest shows on TV right now. It has become very popular, and I think it is because of strong writing and the how relatable the stories are. I also feel that one of its strongest assets is the amazing cast. A true ensemble cast is hard to find, especially when the show features so many children as supporting cast members. Each character is a star in their own right and they all complement each other fantastically. The young actors on this show must be commended for their ability to outshine their adult co-stars at times. The show as a whole is wonderful and each character and actor brings something unique and important to it. Let's take a look at these amazing characters up close!
Who: Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill) is the father of Claire and Mitchell, husband of Gloria, stepfather of Manny and grandfather to the Dunphy kids and Lily.
Why I Love Him: He is a rich grandfather with a brand new hot young Columbian wife; he is completely aware of the caricature that is his life, and he just rolls with it. He is still a little lost when it comes to both his extended family and his new family, but he is taking everything in stride and appreciates the life he has. Jay is loveable and well-meaning even though he is a grumpy old man.
Favourite Episode: Jay is very good at hiding his true feelings but sometimes they sneak out and it is really when he shines. In "Truth Be Told" Jay accidentally kills Manny's pet turtle, Shel Turtlestein, by dropping a Successories poster on him and Jay makes up a cover story about a raccoon that broke into Manny's room and killed Shel. He even creates a fake crime scene in the hopes that their relationship won't take any steps back as they are still getting used to their new life as a family. Jay is endearing and hilarious in his attempts to keep the peace with his new son.
Who: Gloria Delgado-Pritchett (Sofía Vergara) is the mother of Manny, Jay's second wife, stepmother to Claire and Mitchell, stepgrandmother of Lily and the Dunphy kids.
Why I Love Her: She is the knockout Columbian wife of an old rich guy and she absolutely knows it. She may have all the colours of underwear but that doesn't mean she doesn't love her husband. Having grown up in Columbia she is worried that she will be grabbed while riding a bike, knows that if you are pulled out of school it is to identify a body, and she is frighteningly skilled with a gun.
Favourite Episode: Gloria really shines in the episode "Halloween" where she becomes self-conscious about her accent and tries to get rid of it by speaking in a truly ridiculous "American" accent. She may not understand English idioms, and I have no idea what costume a "gargle" could be but she makes a hot "evil village bruja".
Who: Manny Delgado (Rico Rodriguez) is the son of Gloria and Javier, stepson of Jay, stepbrother to Claire and Mitchell, and uncle to Hayley, Alex, and Luke.
Why I Love Him: He is an old man in a child's body. The character is hilariously written, but it is also executed very well by the young actor, Rodriguez. He is wise beyond his years and would not pretend to be anybody but himself for a even second.
Favourite Episode: Manny realizes his childhood has slipped out from under him on his birthday in the episode "Manny Get Your Gun". He is defined by his old soul and his impatience of all the kids that populate his school. When his birthday arrives he realizes he hasn't had a youth and tries to regain it in an afternoon in a typical Manny fashion. He tries mixing sodas together but is disgusted by the results and then he tries to enjoy a blow up island in the pool while somehow keeping his suit in perfect condition. His quest for his childhood in this episode just reinforces how adorable and sensitive Manny is.
Who: Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) is the father of Hayley, Alex and Luke, husband of Claire, and the son-in-law desperately seeking approval from Jay.
Why I Love Him: I cannot say enough about Phil. I love him. He is the Everydad. Phil is a true family man who loves his kids and really, he is just a kid himself. When he's not "peer-enting" or dancing to High School Musical, he is generally making everyone groan with a perfect but terrible pun or hiding his mistakes from his loving wife Claire. He is the fun parent of the family and has a crush on his mother-in-law Gloria, which is "legally okay, but still weird."
Favourite Episode: In the episode "Starry Night" the absurdity and hilarity of Phil comes through. He is supposed to be helping his son, Luke, with a school project and instead gets distracted by anything and everything. His physical comedy is brilliant and his ultimate parenting style success is a brief shining moment for a dad wh,o however misguided at times, just wants the best for his family.
Who: Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen) is the mother of Hayley, Alex and Luke, wife of Phil and daughter of Jay.
Why I Love Her: She is the dedicated mother of three kids with a husband whom she thinks is a bit of a dope but she loves him none the less. She is the suburban stay-at-home mom who looks after her family and tries desperately tries to keep them all together. Her biggest concern is her teenage daughter Hayley, who she fears will be a little too wild like she was when she was younger.
Favourite Episode: Claire and Phil's relationship would be described as loving but with a little bit of animosity and competition thrown in. In the episode "Fifteen Percent" Claire cannot work the entertainment system that Phil has set up and notes that Phil is always installing complicated electronic systems that she thinks are set up to make her feel dumb. The episode ends with Claire having Hayley teach her how to use the universal remote that has plagued her throughout the episode. When Hayley asks Claire why Phil can't just teach her, she responds by saying "because we're married."
Who: Hayley Dunphy (Sara Hylund) is the daughter of Phil and Claire, older sister of Luke and Alex, and the crush of most teenage boys.
Why I Love Her: Hayley is the hot high school girl who basically sends her parents into small fits every time she meets a new milestone of growing up (such as her first boyfriend or getting her driver's license). She is not the brightest Dunphy kid and leaves herself open to be a target for her sister's taunts.
Favourite Episode: Hayley and Claire have a misunderstanding in the episode "Chirp" that leads Hayley to think her mom wants to leave her dad. She tries relentlessly to convince Claire that Phil is the man for her despite the fact that he is a bit of a dork. In her mind, her attempts to save the marriage are successful and she is responsible for saving her parent's marriage. She is so proud of herself and for not the brightest girl she really feels she has done something meaningful and special for her parents.
Who: Alex Dunphy (Ariel Winter) is the middle child of the Dunphy family, (step)granddaughter of Gloria, and the smartest Dunphy.
Why I Love Her: She is extremely smart and she knows it. Alex's goal in life is to get away from her family by getting into a great university far, far away. She is also learning that she maybe doesn't want rely solely on her brains as she reaches her teenage years. With the occasional help of her popular older sister and her grandmother Gloria she is trying to strike a difficult balance between brains and popularity.
Favourite Episode: Alex is amazing in "Strangers on a Treadmill" when she is trying to befriend the most popular girl in her grade, and with the help of the already popular Hayley she begins to succeed. She abandons her nerdy persona in favour of some popular friends until she slips up and mentions her love of homework. She is heartbroken when she realizes she has dedicated her life so far to school and feels like she doesn't have any friends. Alex is so sad and sweet it is hard not to love her.
Who: Luke Dunphy (Nolan Gould) is the youngest Dunphy, the nephew of Manny, and grandson of Jay.
Why I Love Him: Luke is the slow-witted and loveable son who feels like he needs to support his parents and encourage them no matter what. He laughs at everyone's jokes whether or not they are funny. He does his best at what he tries and although he may not always have the best ideas (see "Hawaii" and his attempt at multitasking in the bathroom).
Favourite Episode: Luke comes into his own in the episode "Slow Down Your Neighbours" where he teaches Gloria how to ride a bike and later gets Hayley to study by threatening them with a super soaker. He had a play date cancel so his afternoon was open to take the job with Gloria; a job he gets by lying that he has taught a bunch of people to ride a bike. Luke surprises everyone with his motivational tactics and makes me love him even more.
Who: Cam Tucker (Eric Stonestreet) is the long term boyfriend of Mitchell, father of Lily, and the most fun uncle a kid could ask for.
Why I Love Him: In his own words, "I'm kind of like Costco. I'm big, I'm not fancy and I dare you not to like me" and truer words were never spoken. He is sweet, funny and caring to a fault. Cam is loveable and unapologetically himself at all times because it's who he is and he can't turn it off. Not enough can be said about the genius of Cam. He is often the reason that I laugh out loud while watching an episode.
Favourite Episode: Cam brings his A-game in "Fizbo" where he is a classically trained Auguste clown named Fizbo. It is classic Cam who is over the top, hilarious and completely committed to his passions as stupid and weird as they may be.
Who: Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) is the longterm boyfriend of Cam, brother of Claire, son of Jay, and father of Lily.
Why I Love Him: He is pretentious, a bit uptight and hilarious. He serves as the perfect foil to his over-the-top boyfriend, and Cam is the perfect partner for him because he helps bring down his pretentiousness. He loves his family and would do anything for them as long as it doesn't require him get too close to pigeons. Mitch wishes he were a bit more of a man's man, but we hope he puts down the power tools and sticks to figure skating.
Favourite Episode: In "Come Fly With Me" Cam takes Mitchell to Costco for the first time in his life and he reacts in a true Mitchell manner but after discovering the paper shredder he has been wanting he is seduced by the power of Costco. He quickly begins to go into Costco overload suggesting they buy a few years worth of diapers and a shed to keep them in. Mitch is brought down from his pretentious cloud and embraces the world of buying in bulk.
Pepper Saltzman: Played perfectly by Nathan Lane, he is Cam and Mitch's friend who has lavish theme parties such as the après ski fondue party in which everyone has to wear sweaters and winter wear as though they have just stepped off the slopes for some hot cheese. Pepper is in the background but really adds to the hilarity of the show.
Skip Wooznum: The Modern Family writers have a truly wonderful way with names. It's absurd. Skip Wooznum. He, like Phil, is a real estate agent. He, again, is mostly mentioned but whenever I hear his name a chuckle a bit.
Baby Lily: She is a baby and thus doesn't have a terrible amount of range. She sleeps, cries and sits but she does all of those things well. Although her acting chops aren't fully developed, but my goodness she is adorable and serves the whole show well. She also can pull of some pretty crazy costumes (like a ghetto-fabulous Diana Ross wig).
Hopefully this rundown will convince you to take some time to get to know the Prichetts, the Dunphys and the Pritchett-Tuckers! Modern Family airs Wednesdays on ABC.