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Modern Family Trumps Diversity Poker

Posted on November 8 2010 9:00 am
David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan. David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006. For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews as a stringer for the Flint Journal, a midsize daily newspaper.

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When I first saw the trailer for the superb ABC comedy Modern Family, I thought I knew exactly what to expect.  Political correctness run amok.

After all, a family sitcom in which a gay couple has adopted a Vietnamese baby, and are part of a clan whose patriarch is headed by Ed (Al Bundy) O’Neil?  Get ready for lots of lessons about prejudice and overbearing fathers.  Look for the nuclear family to learn all kinds of life lessons from the wise and sensitive gay couple… right?

Well, get ready for lots of fun poked at prejudices, all right.  But not in the Hollywood cultural bias default mode you might expect.

It began with the first scene of the very first episode.  Mitchell and Cameron (hilariously played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet) are bringing baby Lily home from Vietnam.  Mitchell is sure everyone on the plane is judging them.  When a woman passes them and says, “Look at that cute baby with the creampuffs,” Mitchell leaps to his feet and begins the speech I was dreading.

Then Cameron tugs on Mitchell’s sleeve to point out that Lilly has smeared literal creampuffs that her newly adopted hefty guardian bought her, all over her face.

That’s how it works with Modern Family.  Any time most shows would engage in the after school special lecture with the typical liberal slant, the would-be preacher gets his windbaggery hilariously cut off.

And far from the 90s movie cliché of the homosexual character being the voice of reason, the mirror for our prejudices and the conscience of us all, Mitchell and Cameron are much closer to Laurel and Hardy:

But the show really ratcheted it up a notch with the recent episode, Unplugged (no clips available, but you can watch the whole episdoe here).  Mitchell and Cam find out they have been sandbagged by the mommies in their play group who promised they would all wait a year to put their kids in pre-school.

Sure that all the good places have all been taken and they will be seen as failures, Mitch projects, “Leave it to the gays to raise the only underachieving Asian child in America!”

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