Modern Family - Season 4 to Present (ABC)

AndyMcKinney

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IIRC, three different actresses played Lily over the show's run.
a pair of twins (Ella and Jaden Hiller) played Lily in the first two seasons. The reason they were replaced was, (according to producers) that the twins didn't really like acting much and didn't want to continue. So, they replaced her with Aubrey Anderson-Emmons beginning with the third season, and decided to make the role a speaking part.
 
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Jake Lipson

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That's really sad -- and bizarre timing given that she was probably more of a focal point in this week's episode than she had ever been before -- but it also serves as a very fitting sendoff for the character.

I bet they put a title card on the next new episode as a dedication.
 

Jake Lipson

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That is a cool graphic...but the show itself hasn't made me feel that much this season.

With the exception of the Christmas episode in which it was suggested that the family might split up geographically (which hasn't been touched upon since), the whole season has felt like "business as usual" to me. It's not that it's bad, but it doesn't have any sort of extra emotional heft because if they are planning a final arc, it doesn't seem like it's really kicked in yet. And the show ends in April, so there aren't all that many episodes left.
 

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Looks like the Paris episode is next week. If it's half as funny as Australia, I'll be happy. That one is one of their classics.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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So what did everybody think of the finale?

It won't go on my list of all time great finales, but it wasn't terrible. It certainly gives ABC numerous spinoff options if they decide to go that route: Mitch, Cam, Lily, and the new baby in Missouri; Alex in Switzerland; Manny traveling with Javier around the world; Luke at the University of Oregon; Jay, Gloria, and Joe in Colombia; Haley and Dylan as young parents in Mitch and Cam's old house.

I did appreciate that they played the sentiment earnestly, rather than undercutting it with a cynical take. The montage of all the photos during the credits was a reminder of just how long this journey has been.
 

Jake Lipson

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I liked it, but I think that it would have felt more earned if it had been built up to over the course of the season, which I didn't feel like it was.

I don't think the point of it was to get to spinoffs, but to get us to an organic point where the family splitting up means that the show wouldn't exist as it normally does going forward, so we can just imagine their different adventures. I'm sure ABC would like to have a spinoff, but it didn't feel to me like that was the point of the finale, per se.

The thing is that throughout this season, most of the characters have behaved the same way they always do and there hasn't been a lot of growth. Haley and Dylan decided last season to stay with Phil and Claire because they weren't ready to take care of the babies on their own and needed help. I haven't seen anything to convince me that they are actually in a position where they can do it on their own now. Alex moved home from Antartica in like one or two episodes. So why is Switzerland different? Luke was doing okay at community college, then decided to drop out to start that business idea earlier this season that went nowhere.

I liked the idea that the finale was using, but I think it would have been more effective if we had seen character growth moments over the course of the season that made it clear that these characters are ready to make these transitions.

Two years ago, The Middle also ended their series by geographically splitting up the family when Axl moved to Denver to take a job there. That worked much better because they had a very rich season building up to the moment where the family said goodbye. Here, it felt like this has just been strung together over the last few episodes and that the majority of this season didn't really do anything of tremendous significance;

Another example: The idea of Arvin as a love interest for Alex was something they touched on briefly in one episode a couple seasons ago before he started dating Haley, with her revealing a crush on him that was unrequited. I like the idea that they could potentially end up together, but instead of springing that on in the final episode, why not have given Alex that storyline over the course of the season so we can see it? None of her romantic interests in the past have carried that much weight, so it would have been interesting to actually see her develop a relationship with Arvin, instead of just leaving it as "maybe they'll get together in Switzerland."

I do think the finale was easily the best episode of the season. I just think it could have landed a lot better if the season before it had been designed to build to this, which I don't think happened. But tonight, I liked.

One other nagging nitpick-y thing though: Cameron and Mitchell just bought the new house. How are they going to get out of that to move to Missouri? Are Phil and Gloria just going to sell it to some other couple?
 

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I think "Everybody Loves Raymond" did the series finale family comedy much better. They were sentimental, very funny, and didn't separate the family just because the series was ending. The characters' lives moved on together. On "Modern Family" everyone leaving at the same time seemed forced. The endless group hugs seemed a tribute/parody to the end of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show". The ending was OK. The last 5 or so seasons have been OK. The funny years are long behind them and the truth to me was they had long run out of new or original ideas for these characters. You knew how everyone was going to react to any given situation. The last really good episode of "Modern Family", that I can remember, was the one that took place entirely using video conferencing. That was original and funny.
 

Mike Frezon

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I liked it--for the most part. The stuff with Cam & Mitch's flight getting delayed was lame.

An excellent run for an excellent show. The later years wandered but, as a whole, they really did some great work.

I very much enjoyed the hour-long prologue to the finale with all the behind-the-scenes activity/interviews.
 
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Jason_V

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I shockingly had more of an emotional reaction to the hour long retrospective special than I had to the actual episode.

Will I miss these characters every week? Yeah, of course. But it was getting more and more difficult to find things for this group to do in the context of a sitcom. Had this been the Jay and Gloria or Phil and Claire show, it's easier. But you have a dozen main characters to get into plots and stories every week while being funny and quasi-true to life. That's a tightwire act.

But it's an achievement to produce 20+ episodes of any scripted show each year. That's a rare (though not unheard of) episode order at this point in our television life.
 
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Tommy R

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Luke at the University of Oregon
Interesting, I haven’t seen the show in several seasons, but as Ty Burrell is openly a Oregon native and a huge Ducks fan, this cannot be a coincidence that they wrote his fictional son to go there.
 

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I watched the last 6 episodes tonight.

Not bad. It wasn't one of the alltime emotional endings, but it was solid. And the show and cast stayed together, so this wasn't a trainwreck season or anything.

Honestly, I'll probably enjoy a rewatch of the series in a couple months when the final season DVDs come out and the ending will probably have more feeling when it's at the end of the whole series back to back instead of as a weekly show.
 

Jake Lipson

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Season 11 has been set for a quick DVD release on June 9 but, per usual with Disney-owned titles, it's not up for preorder on Amazon. Here's Target:

https://www.target.com/p/modern-family-the-complete-eleventh-season-dvd/-/A-79701792/

Also, there will be a retrospective behind-the-scenes book published on May 19. This would be a lot more interesting to me if it weren't coming on a day with tons of other releases I want, but as it is, it will have to either drop in price a lot or wait until later:

https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Family-History-Televisions-Groundbreaking/dp/1250260035/ref=sr_1_2
 
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