Modern Family Analysis
Manny Manny is Gloria’s 13 year old son from her first marriage. He is very outgoing and not the least bit self-conscious. He is also very mature and intuitive for his age and is often shown doing adult like things such as having conversations about marriage and kids and drinking coffee. Jay Jay is the father of Claire and Mitchell, husband of Gloria, grandfather of Lily, Like, Alex, and Haley, and the stepfather of Manny. He is an owner of a construction firm and is wealthy. Cameron Tucker Cameron, also referred to as Cam, is Mitchell’s partner of five years, and one of Lily’s fathers, who has a very big and dramatic personality.
His outgoing personality contrasts to Mitchell’s uptight manner, which causes them to have opposing character traits. Mitchell Pritchett Mitchell is Jay’s son, Claire’s younger brother, Luke, Alex and Haley’s uncle, one of Lily’s fathers and partner of five years to Cameron.
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He is a low key and mild manner person. Claire Dunphy Claire is the daughter of Jay, Mitchell’s older sister, and the overprotective mother of the Dunphy family and their three very different children. Phil Dunphy Phil is Claire’s husband of 18 years who views himself as the “cool dad. ” He constantly tries to find ways to bond with his three kids and is seen as eing juvenile attitude and is often referred to by Claire as “the kid” she is married to. Haley Dunphy Haley is the daughter of Claire and Phil who is portrayed as a stereotypical teenager. Haley is depicted as being a bit of a bimbo, who focuses more on social status than her studies. Alex Dunphy Alex is the daughter of Claire and Phil who is also the most clever and intellectual of their three children. She is the middle of the three children and enjoys messing with both her older sister and younger brother equally who are not quite as intelligent as she is and are easy to fool. Luke Dunphy Luke is the youngest son of Phil and Claire.
He is rambunctious and is often doing his own thing. He can be a trouble maker but he is very innocent and does not always understand the repercussions of his actions. Episodes: Episode 60 – Send out the Clowns In this episode Cameron’s clown mentor dies and he must attend his funeral where he meets up with his former clown partner Lewis. The two were huge hits with kid’s parties until Cameron disbanded the team. Lewis is still unhappy with Cameron for disbanding the team. When Phil scores the biggest listing of his life things get heated between him and Mitzi Roth who tries to steal clients from good natured realtors.
In an effort to expose Mitzi for what she truly is, Phil borrows Luke’s spy pen and records a conversation of Mitzi confessing to all of her dirty underhanded ways after which she gives him a friendly hug where she tries to swipe the pen from him. Later, Luke runs into Mitzi at the supermarket where he tells her how worried his dad is about money. All part of a purely genius plan to play on her deeply buried sensitive side to get her to give Phil the dream listing back. Griffin who is one of the cool kids in school comes over to hang with Manny. Griffin is only interested in Gloria and has a little crush on her.
He invites everyone over to his place for a pool party. Manny discovers this when he overhears Jay and Gloria chatting, but it’s okay because Manny is only using Griffin to get close to the kid’s cute sister, so now he doesn’t feel as bad about it. Episode 65 – Leap Day In this episode the Dunphy family plans on spending leap day flying high on a trapeze. But a full day of family fun is threatened when the guys realize that Claire, Haley and Alex are all having that time of the month. The guys conspire to ditch the girls so they can trapeze in peace, when the plan backfires Manny decides to head home but Phil has other plans.
He wants Luke to pour fake blood on his finger so they can make a fake trip to the doctor’s office. At a sports bar Gloria gets into a shouting match where Jay must step in to calm the two down. Later, Jay gets the feeling that Gloria wanted him to fight the other guy for her but Gloria then realizes how lucky she is to be married to a calm man. Cameron is 10 years old this year, having been born on leap day. Mitchell decides to put together a Wizard of Oz party his husband in celebration of his birthday. He plans to have all of the characters at the party until he remembers that a twister recently devastated Cameron’s family.
Cameron discovers that Mitchell threw this party together last minute when the captain of the boat informs them that there is not enough room to accommodate the entire party. To prove that he is still a tough guy Jay wants to fight the boat captain, Cameron is trying to overcome major leap day disappointment and Phil would rather take the place of a dead whale instead of dealing with highly emotional girls. Episode 66 – Egg Drop In this episode of Modern Family Luke and Manny must design something that can protect an egg from a drop from one story.
Later, Claire and Jay learn what Luke and Manny did, tricking them into doing their projects for them where it leads to a heart to heart where Jay reveals that he is proud of Claire for never giving up. Mitchell and Cameron are on the lookout for their next birthmother. When Mitchell leaves to prepare some sparkling cider, Cameron decides to perform another song to prove that he is not pitchy. The song he picks is “If you Leave me Now”, which makes Lindsay emotional and decides to keep her baby. Cameron things that it is his voice that cost them the child, but Mitchell is positive that it was the Baby, please don’t go lyric that convinced her o keep the baby. Phil starts at his new real estate agency and wants to start out by giving a stellar seminar for first-time homebuyers where he will talk about the five keys to investing wisely. Gloria will be in the audience prepared to ask a question that will lead him to his sixth key and then have Haley fire a confetti cannon. Gloria and Haley decide to use some down time to go to the beauty salon where their car gets towed and results in Phil doing the entire presentation solo. Gloria wants Phil to yell at her because she believes that you know you are loved when your family feels free to scream at you.
Analysis: In “Modern Family” the main relationship type that occurs is family, which is a “relationship characterized by defined roles, recognition of mutual responsibilities, a shared history and future, and shared living space” (DeVito, 2011, p. 91). The majority of the main characters in the sitcom are either related to one another or very close friends. The next main relationship type that occurs in the sitcom is friendship which “is an interpersonal relationship between two people that is mutually productive and characterized by mutual positive regard” (DeVito, 2011, p. 4). The majority of the friendships are reciprocal in nature which is defined as “the ideal type, characterized by loyalty, self-sacrifice, mutual affection and generosity” (DeVito, 2011, p. 85). Friendship is an obvious part of the sitcom because of the way that Phil tries to interact with his kids trying to be the cool dad and in some situations such as Manny and Luke’s friendship where they tend to be using each other for a benefit which can be defined as a receptive which is “an imbalance in giving and receiving” (DeVito, 2011, p. 5). With every friendship and family type relationships there is also interpersonal conflict. Interpersonal conflict can be defined as “an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent people who perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources, or interference in the achievement of their goals” (Beebe, Bebee, Redmond, 2011, p. 130). When Phil and Mitzi go through their struggle over the “listing of a lifetime” is one example of how this type of interpersonal conflict is included in the sitcom.
Throughout the sitcom there is also a strong presence of the relationships rules theory which is “the general assumption of rules theory is that relationships – friendship and love, in particular – are held together by adherence to certain rules” (DeVito, 2011, p. 102). The different relationships that occur throughout the episodes show that if the unspoken rules of the different relationships are broken that “the relationship may deteriorate and even dissolve” (DeVito, 2011, p. 02). One example would be the unspoken rules between the relationship of Cam and Mitchell. Their relationship can be defined as a domestic partnership because they are not a traditional family which is defined as “a family of a husband, a wife, and one or more children (DeVito, 2011, p. 92). They have been together for five years and have followed the rules throughout the five years in order to live together peacefully in a fulfilling relationship with each other.