I have been having a tough time for the past few weeks. Most mornings, getting up seems to be a challenge. I guess these low lows get many of us and it seems impossible to get out, just start feeling happy again. And what do you do if there aren’t enough people around you to support you, if you are going against it1 alone?
For me, there are some tried and tested things that help. Going outside in the cold to watch the stars and your breath transform to white fog in the air, cooking a good dinner, drinking a lot of water, drawing, talking to someone good… and watching Modern Family.
It’s funny how a to-the-point sitcom can impact you. I have always had that: first with Two and a Half Men, then with HIMYM. Funny what an emotional attachment you can develop to a show that is made to amuse. There was an article I read about why we watch TV shows over and over again and the point that I related to most was that we know. Having seen all what has aired of Modern Family so far, I always know what to expect when going back. No matter if it is one of the better or not as good of an episode, there is familiar comfort in each of them, in 20-minute chunks easy to fit into your schedule.
What draws me in most, I think, is how warm it is. Modern Family is the one show I know that has stayed the way it started out as, the one that never disappoints. It has hope. The things that happen in that show, the faults people have and the mistakes they make are infinitely real and instead of just having shit happen to people time and time again, all of this is balanced out. One of my favourite story arcs is Haley’s short stint in college. There was no storybook bullshit, but we didn’t see her burn out in life, either, we saw a very realistic story arc without any caricatures. I still admire this decision from the writers.
Everyone in Modern Family is equally important and three-dimensional, especially in the later seasons, as kids are growing up and the adults are becoming adultier2. I see these characters in my friends and the people around me, I recognise myself in the patterns of behaviour they have. Sometimes I watch the new episode and think, “wow, this show has gotten stale”, but more often than not, I watch this show and suddenly feel like there is hope for me. Modern Family proves that however down I am, I can still laugh and if not feel happy about myself or my own life, I can still experience their joy. Sometimes it takes two or three episodes to wipe the frown off, but Modern Family fills the hollow feeling with hope. I want a family like that one day. That’s a pretty good reason to get up in the morning.
1 the “it” is depression, but damn, it sounds harsh and I’m not really comfortable using it.
2 I find this a very adequate expression. I feel like we, as a community, should use this word more often.
NOTE: This post title has been in my drafts for ages, but I never found the right content to go with it. I hope it wasn’t too sappy or silly, since this is again one of these posts that only talks about one side of a TV show, but eh, this is exactly how I feel.