Modern Family Analysis
The TV show Modern Family was introduced in 2009 with a controversial storyline. The show has brought a spectrum of critics and supporters to the forefront. The social issues displayed on TV such as gay marriage, “gender roles”, and a transgender actor were only few of several layers to the show’s plot. Many social struggles are apparent in Modern Family which address stereotypes and prejudices about these hot topics in American society.
Modern Family is a TV show that focuses on facing difficult discussions and displays real life scenarios for people to experience through a different lense. As personalities of the characters emerge, the “lense” is targeted on the social issues sprouting from the core of the plot. The main characters of the show include, a transgender child actor, a gay couple with an adopted daughter, young and older person marriage, as well as stereotypes layered within the realms of these characters. To begin the series of Modern Family, society meets a gay couple who can’t marry until a law has to be changed in the “outside world” of jurisdiction.
Represented by this couple in Modern Family, the controversial topic of gay marriage has been revolutionized from the popularity for supporting same gender couples. Trend lines of support for gay marriage have surged since 2009 when the show debuted. Not only does the social issue of marriage arise, the adoption controversy also appears. According to “Lifelong Adoptions”, there are two million same gender couples who are interested in adoption but only four percent of the children in adoption centers are raised by same gender couples. In the show, Mitch and Cam a same gender couple have an adopted daughter but were not married until California changed a constitutional law that prohibited it. Many people from all over no matter what political viewpoint or critical view on same gender couples saw this as revolutionary movement for gay couples all over the USA.
Modern Family has also introduced a transgender actor to the forefront. He plays Lily’s friend Tom and he is 8 years old from Atlanta. In the episode Tom debued entitled “A Stereotypical Day” parents Cameron and Mitchell permit their daughter Lily to have her transgender friend Tom over for a playdate where Lily insults her friend which Mitch and Cam see this as a teachable moment. This lesson given to Lily was not only direct to her but the American pop culture and treatment of people who are considered “different”.The goal for all gender equality has been displayed through shows such as “Transparents” who were the first to introduce a transgender actor. The actions TV shows and movies take in order to invoke change in thought and prejudice in pivotal social issues are only the beginning of the race towards major stepping stones of Amendment 14 (the equality amendment).
The women in Modern Family also play “stereotyped” roles for their position in each of the families’ structure. A Latin American named Gloria is accused of being a gold digger since she is much younger than her rich white husband.The show illustrates Gloria as wanting the “American Dream” for her and her son Manny which is up to the audience to find out the true motive within Gloria. The other main character is named Claire. She is seen as a “typical” stay at home mom who puts family first in front of her own ideals. As the series progresses, the family discovers that she quit a highly paid occupation. The position Modern Family establishes is a “typical” stance on the role of women and is not illustrating the major achievements women have encountered and strived to create change for society’s prejudices.
Modern Family accurately and inaccurately represents social issues on a world wide platform. Issues such as typical family roles of main characters and how the gay couple is presented are not examples of the roles and achievement each group of individuals have accomplished throughout history. American society is represented by people with different ideals and passions which help America become more diverse on multiple levels. The representation of this show has displayed many different facets to America’s diverse family structure but has fell short of the true advancements and roles families undergo and strive today.
Modern family layers the structure of the stereotypical characters by bringing social issues to the limelight. Featured characters bring new social issues with them as advancements are made to support these characters on a national scale.