When Modern Family made its debut in 2009, it was met with general murmurings about how there were already way too many gay characters in the media with shows like Glee in which also included a blended main cast. It was a time of post-modern media that implemented characters who were out of the “norm.” A look back to the what was thought as “controversial” with sitcoms like Modern Family reveals just how far media has come with representation.
The Modern Family Series Finale
The fact that Modern Family was going to be different from other sitcoms was already stated in its title. Moving away from the nuclear family going about their lives in some big city, the Pritchett-Dunphy family were blended and watching their lives unfold help to normalize different lifestyles.
That’s why near the end of its 11 seasons, the show seemed to be running on fumes. The writers finally decided it was time to pull in every storyline together for a neat, happy, blended ending. And the hour-long Modern Family series ending did just that with the cast coming into a big group hug that no one wanted to leave.
Every Family Goes Their Separate Ways
The patriarch, Jay (Ed O’Neill), found himself unsure of what to do while his wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara) was successfully working now as a way to cope with the fact that her sons no longer needed her in the same ways as they did before. So, Jay decided to learn Spanish as a surprise, which his son Mitchell could only kind of understand by the way he misspoke a phrase, but it brought laughs.
Jay warmed the audience’s hearts when he said, “both my sons are leaving,” after learning that Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) was preparing to relocate with his husband Cam (Eric Stonestreet) who had been offered the job of his dreams in Missouri. A touching sentiment that differed greatly from his first misgivings when the couple were married. And the couple’s relocation meant that they had to leave the house that they had just finished making.
Mitchell and Cam’s prospect of an empty house mirrored his sister Claire’s home that was overflowing with her now adult children. Claire (Julie Bowen) and Phil (Ty Burrell) decided to ask one of their children to move out, but ended up seeing all of them emptying the nest. But Phil reassured Claire that they’ll come back and to, “leave the porch light on.” A photo medley of each of the Dunphy’s children growing up cemented Phil’s reassurance that it was not a moment of loss, but change.
Saying Goodbye to the Pritchett-Dunphy Family
Raising children in a blended family is what kept the show going, but 11 seasons later, it was time to see everyone go off to write their own kooky, excited story endings. And although the Modern Family series finale received mixed reviews including actress Sarah Hyland voicing her disappointment, the family had said their goodbyes and left a legacy that proves that not every family looks the same.