Thank God for Modern Family

Modern-Family-EditI 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.

10 responses to “Thank God for Modern Family

  1. So sorry you feel depressed! I’m glad you found ways to feel better, that’s the most important thing.

    I have shows like these too – Veep, The Thick of it, Ally McBeal – shows that make me laugh. I do like Modern Family, I’m actually about to see last week’s episode – but seeing hope in movies and TV is actually what is making me depressed – what if I never find someone to really love? What if I won’t ever have moments and warmth like these people do? So I just stick to laugh out loud stuff to watch, I saw Begin Again – hopefully, lovely tale – on Friday and it had so many things that I’d love to have and don’t and I’m still kinda…scattered.

    • I know what you mean! I feel that, too, but I actively ignore this jealousy and panic. But hey, you are young, I am young… shit doesn’t have to happen at a certain time. There is no designated time for things to happen in life.

      (At least that’s what those texts on hipster inspirational misty forest pictures have told me.)

      I really want to see Begin Again, too, your tweets about it convinced me. It hasn’t come to where I live yet, but I will go see it as soon as it comes.

      And thank you, Sati, it means a lot!

  2. What an amazing post, its like you can read my mind (I also have a habit of using the word ‘it’ instead of the D-word!! Mine is Friends, it’s just laugh out loud humour that takes me out of myself and gives me a chance to re-boot. A few episodes of that and I’m heading back to my old self.

    Thank you for posting this, its a very personal issue but finding other people that share is always nice 🙂

    – Jenna

    • Thank you so much! This comment really made me warm and fuzzy inside. I figure everyone has a sitcom that has run or ran for a long while that never disappoints — I love Friends too, but I’ve never gotten into it as much as others I know. I do love it though. 🙂

  3. I’m sorry you’re feeling so depressed. That’s always hard, but I’m glad you’re finding ways to be happy again.
    Modern Family is a show I’ve never watched religiously, but I’ve been watching it quite a bit lately. It’s always funny, and the actors have really good chemistry.

  4. Very sorry to hear that you’re feeling depression. I think what makes television and film so powerful is how it can really help us in our time of need.

  5. Sorry to hear about your illness but I’m not surprised that you’re finding some comfort in the terrific Modern Family. It’s a series that I’ve loved since it started. This past couple of series have been really strong. I know It’s A Wonderful Life has been prescribed by some doctors as helping deal with depression (along with other things of course). Just try to keep thinking as positively as possible (harder to do that say, I know) but when you’re feeling those good vibes watching Modern Family, try to remember why and bring that to mind when you’re down.

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