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Modern Family deals with insecurity in a mostly touching way Modern Family deals with insecurity in a mostly touching way

If there’s one thing that will never change about the group of people that make up Modern Family, it’s that they’re all deeply insecure. That’s not a bad thing though. Part of being human is harboring unkind thoughts towards ourselves, and if my 31 years in this world is any indication, that never really changes. You…

Freeland burns, but Black Lightning loses some of its fire Freeland burns, but Black Lightning loses some of its fire

This has been a curious season of Black Lightning. Whether it’s the extended episode order or simply a sophomore slump, the show often struggled to reach the heights of its first season, where solid character motivations and stories that deftly tackled social issues rounded out an otherwise familiar story of superhero…

Modern Family splits the family based on gender, to predictably mixed results Modern Family splits the family based on gender, to predictably mixed results

It’s not all that often that Modern Family decides it’d be good to split the families into groups and explore their dynamics in a way that feels meaningful. Sure, every week gives us a pairing or a group that drives each subplot, but those moments hardly feel consequential. At the very least, they don’t feel like…

Modern Family rolls out the clichés in an episode about pregnancy and periods Modern Family rolls out the clichés in an episode about pregnancy and periods

Man, the closet business really doesn’t seem all that fun. Apparently Jay’s been at it for 30 years, and Claire for some unknown amount of time, but all I know is that every time there’s an episode that involves spending time in that workplace, I want to immediately change the channel. My fingers get twitchy and I…

After struggling to grow up, Modern Family finally moves forward After struggling to grow up, Modern Family finally moves forward

To say I was hesitant about an episode of Modern Family that begins with Claire entering a baby shower with vodka so that she can mix White Russians in baby bottles would be an understatement. “SuperShowerBabyBowl” starts out in a truly ominous way, with Jay stressing about how his Super Bowl party coincides with…

Lily, along with Modern Family, struggles to grow up Lily, along with Modern Family, struggles to grow up

Sitcoms are largely resistant to change. While some certainly challenge conventions, most want to keep the formula exactly the same. That’s what viewers expect and want. They tune in weekly so that they can spend some time with the characters they know, without any big surprises. Sure, there are moments and plots that…

The work lives of this Modern Family are seriously dull The work lives of this Modern Family are seriously dull

I can’t be the only one that has absolutely no interest in the working lives of the characters on Modern Family, right? Every now and then the show feels the need to remind us that these people don’t just struggle with personal conflict in their very big homes that I couldn’t ever dream of affording, but they also…

A lovingly lighthearted Modern Family offers up a nice change of pace A lovingly lighthearted Modern Family offers up a nice change of pace

This season of Modern Family hasn’t featured too many “in between” episodes. You know, the ones that aren’t outlandish comedies or loaded with emotional stakes. Rather, the “in between” episodes are perfect to break up the season. This season has swung wildly to either outrageous, often annoying bits of comedy, or…

It takes a lot of work to make something as bloodless and dull as The Passage It takes a lot of work to make something as bloodless and dull as The Passage

Never trust a show that comes out of the gate with a voice-over. It’s a tried-and-true rule—there are only a handful of exceptions in the entire history of TV—that especially applies to dramas. Sure, a comedy can get away with voice-over because there’s a ridiculousness inherent in the sitcom, but a drama that uses…

Modern Family takes a step backwards while furthering Haley's story Modern Family takes a step backwards while furthering Haley's story

The biggest surprise of this season of Modern Family has been how well the show’s handled Haley’s pregnancy. It’s a storyline that could easily become fodder for bad jokes and cliché narrative beats, but for the most part the show’s done a good job of treating the material with a certain amount of maturity. Even…

In its final season, Gotham attempts to burn it all down and start over again  In its final season, Gotham attempts to burn it all down and start over again 

From the very beginning, Gotham didn’t have any sense of what it was. That first season was a complete mess, with the show just throwing villains and storylines at the wall and hoping that along the way, something would stick. There was no narrative in sight, no sense that storytelling was important. Rather, the show…

Haley's story moves forward during a Modern Family Christmas Haley's story moves forward during a Modern Family Christmas

I’ve said many times this season that pregnancy storylines are tough to pull off. That’s true for many reasons, but namely because it’s difficult to do something fresh and interesting, and it’s even harder to offer up something that doesn’t feel specifically generated to create conflict. On TV, pregnancies almost…

Everyone's thinking about the past and the future on the latest Modern Family Everyone's thinking about the past and the future on the latest Modern Family

It’s somewhat comforting to see that Modern Family isn’t done with Dede just yet. When she died earlier this year—off camera and out of nowhere—it felt like a very random choice that resulted in a good episode, but that wouldn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Dede was never a major character, but it’d feel…

By focusing on Haley, Modern Family continues to grow up By focusing on Haley, Modern Family continues to grow up

Throwing Dylan back into the picture was a curious choice for Modern Family. For some time it looked like the show was allowing Haley to move on and become a different, more grown up person, and that necessitated cutting ties with the symbol of her youth. Dylan always felt like a character that wasn’t really built to…

Identity is a funny thing on the latest Modern Family Identity is a funny thing on the latest Modern Family

What’s the ideal scenario for a “good” episode of Modern Family in its tenth season? The show is never going to reach the heights of its strongest seasons, the ones that made it a massive hit during its earliest days, but there’s usually still a few surprises with each new seasom. A few weeks ago the show said goodbye…

It's one misunderstanding after another on this week's Modern Family It's one misunderstanding after another on this week's Modern Family

“On The Same Paige” begins with a misunderstanding. Claire wakes up and comes to the kitchen, grabbing Phil’s ass and making a horrendous joke about “peaches” that only a coupled married for so long could make. The cute/cringeworthy moment gets worse when “Phil” is revealed to be one of his students. He’s started…

Two villains represent the best and worst of Black Lightning  Two villains represent the best and worst of Black Lightning 

Let America be America Again Let it be the dream it used to be. Let it be the pioneer on the plain Seeking a home where he himself is free.

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