This year’s 66th Emmy Awards had us applauding ABC’s Modern Family again. Created by screenwriters Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, the TV show Modern Family makes us feel relief and curiosity about living in today’s Western, contemporary culture. Namely, its characters make confessionals to you at home.
And, it’s this mockumentary format that makes us laugh, because it lets us in on the contrast between what the characters are really feeling and what they are willing to admit to those around them in their lives. Inside voices versus outside voices.
It’s like you are sitting in on their therapy sessions. This is because, unlike most popular t.v. hits, the show zooms directly into the characters’ thoughts, feelings and motivations. The plots are less about what the characters do and more about why they do what they do. We are made privy to how they experience life internally. They illustrate self-awareness, particularly an awareness of the anxieties and conflicting scenarios that come with being human.
And, there is still more. The show delivers to us a compassionate view of today’s real families where there is divorce, re-marriages, immigrants, adoption, gay dads, precocious adolescents, a manny not nanny, disappointing kids, and adults who never quite grow up. Yes, rich material for a lot of inner anxiety, conflict and so-called dysfunction.
And, again, there is yet even more. Characters also spend most of their time with their technology: selfies, texting, spy-cams, smartphone mishaps, YouTube, Facebook, this app, that app, etc, etc. And, how such tiny little apparatuses in the palms of our hands are almost like surgically embedded cyberbrains for us all.
Most of us may not know the importance of glutamate and GABA in our real brains, but we do know what it means to accidentally drop our smartphones. Gasp!
So, move over monoamines which enhance and dampen our minds’ moods. Modern Family is giving us a comedic glance at how our smartphones are starring as extensions of our selves. Let’s see if this wins us an Emmy in our relationships.