Now, with the rise of these OTT platforms, the TV industry is as respected as film. And here in India, the Western world is closer than ever! With many sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons, Never Have I Ever and Stranger Things rising to fame- It’s no surprise, the next generations’ taste in entertainment has changed. One such family sitcom that won hearts worldwide is Modern Family.
What Is Modern Family About?
It follows the lives of three diverse family set-ups in suburban Los Angeles, linked by patriarch Jay Pritchett. This hit sitcom ran for 11 seasons! From September 2009 to April 2020!
The series offers an honest, messy and often-hilarious perspective of family life. Parents Phil and Claire yearn for an honest, open relationship with their three kids. (Don’t we all?) Claire’s dad Jay and his Latina second-wife Gloria are raising two sons together. Jay’s gay son Mitchell and his partner Cameron have adopted a little Asian girl, completing one big- straight, gay, multicultural, traditional- happy family. Phew!
Sounds “unharmful” but is the average Indian family ready for this? Is it okay for me to watch this hilarious show with my tweens?
So, Can Teens Watch This Sitcom?
The show is all about loving thy family which is a great lesson to take back for today’s fast-paced tweens. But are we ready for them to soak in a lot of the Western culture along with some adult dialogues? Not to add to it, the stereotyping, and the normalization of teenage drinking.
As an Indian parent, I wouldn’t favour watching this with tweens, but for kids older than say 13 or 14-year-olds, this can be a fun watch, that teaches them to “love thy family”.
Here’s A List Of The 5 Things My Teen Enjoyed About The Show:
One nuclear family with two working parents. One family consists of a gay couple who’ve adopted an Asian kid and one where the father has remarried a younger Latina woman and accepted her pre-teen Latina son. The cast screams DIVERSE! And we absolutely love that! We get a glance into the different problems that stem from all this craziness. We also get a glimpse of the different stereotypes and learn about different cultures.
Funny & Warm:
It’s funny, it’s bubbly, it’s quirky but at the end of it, it’s the story of one big, complicated and complex family. (I guess they got inspired by our Indian joint families!) This show addresses family problems, disputes, fights, and disappointments. At the same time, it beautifully portrays the strong (and hilarious) relationship every family member share with each other.
Believe me, when I say this, each character has their own unique quirks and flare. For a 12-member main cast, it’s a real deal that each character leaves a very memorable mark on your mind. And the fact that there are many kids of different age categories makes it so much more relatable to kids and tweens and teens too. Especially since each has a different “social tag”. E.g. Alex is the “middle child” or “nerd” while Haley is “wild and immature”, etc. We see these kids grow throughout the 11 seasons and address a variety of problems in the way, that teens or kids face in reality too.
We see the family tackle topics like sex, smoking, drinking, mental health, death of family members and so many otherwise heavy and less discussed topics in Indian society. It is done in a very real and “non-gyan” way. Things like “men don’t cry” is sacredly followed by the patriarch of the family Jay, who eventually learns to let go and share his deepest emotions. This can give you the chance to have interesting conversations with your tween/teen.
This whole series has adopted the “mockumentary style” of storytelling which makes it all the more interactive and adds to the laughing pills. We can also know the sort of their “inner voice” as they say things they couldn’t in front of the family. We also get interesting tit-bits (and a lot of memes) that allow us to make a more personal connection to each character.
Well, all-in-all it’s a series worth watching. If you manage to explain to your tweens some of the more mature content, I think it isn’t something they should be sheltered from. It’s a show that shows the struggles a normal family would have- the fights, the arguments, the love, and the care. The fact that you see the family grow through the 11 seasons, makes you feel like a part of it too. So, it’s something you should catch up on with your whole family. (except if you have toddlers, exclude them from some binge sessions.)