In Chapter 2 of the reading, Judy Kutulas explains the evolution of the sitcom family by stating: “Our families today look and function differently from the way they did when the family sitcom began, as does the relationship between series and audience. We are more diverse as a nation and able to control when and how we watch any show which naturally influences the sitcom’s presentation. Family sitcoms no longer really model or teach how to be good or normal American families. Instead, they confirm our flaws, reveal our differences, and yet still support the unconditional love at the heart of families, whether the families are biological, blended, or otherwise constructed.”
Modern Family is the perfect example of how much the sitcom family has evolved over the years. In the three main families in the show-who are all members of the same extended family- there are many different demographics and types of people. In the one family, there are gay fathers whose daughter is adopted. In the next, there is a goofy father that differs from the white collar breadwinner in the typical sitcom decades ago. His wife holds a job and acts more so like the boss of the family then he does and therefore is not playing the traditional household role that many women played in sitcoms in the 1950s. Their children vary from the stereotypical attractive and popular kid to the smart, nerdy kid to the funny, goofball kid. The last family of the 3 features an elderly man with an attractive wife that is much younger than him. They have a child of their own and a child that the wife has from a past marriage, as well as a dog. Within these 3 families, there are so many types of relationships and familial situations that would never have been depicted in a 1950’s sitcom. In today’s world however, this sitcom is extremely popular because it appeals to society today as society has progressed and diversified a lot since the 1950’s.
Modern Family recently made the news as they hired Jackson Millarker, an 8 year old actor who is transgender, to play a role in an upcoming episode.
It has just been announced that when Modern Family returns to the air, they will feature an episode in which Lily, the adopted daughter of the gay couple Cam and Mitchell, has a transgender friend over. The show has casted a transgender actor to play the role and in doing so, have set a precedent in the television world. The show has always been popular and well liked for being so socially progressive, and this is just another action that proves how progressive it is. I expect and hope that the show will receive praise for doing this as the lack of transgender actors in television and film has been talked about a decent amount recently. Modern Family continues to lead the television industry in a movement toward reaching a more diverse and accepting Hollywood and TV industry.