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Gay Baby Boom Hits ABC This Week in Modern Family

By jeannesager |

modern-familyGay characters are finally starting to mount up on primetime, but few have gotten all the way to “and baby makes three.” Gay parenting is about to get the big shot at the national stage courtesy of the Modern Family premiere on ABC this Wednesday. (WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead)

And even with Ed O’Neill in an Al Bundy-esque role as grandpa to the newly adopted daughter of Cameron and Mitchell, the best news about this show is room has been left to celebrate the triumph of two guys raising a child on TV. And it can still be funny.

Made in the mockumentary style of The Office, the modern family is actually three in one – Mitchell and Cameron and their adopted daughter; Mitchell’s father (O’Neill) and his young wife and stepson; and Mitchell’s sister, her husband and three kids.

The latter comes out of the pilot the most tired. Dad Phil (Ty Burrell) is trying too hard to be cool, and it’s too far gone to be much more than tolerated as another ho hum attempt at making unhip funny. Kids are self-centered millennium prats (Kid to mom: “why are you yelling at me when I’m upstairs, just text me”). The teenage daughter has male visitor (no spoiler alert needed, we won’t be going any further) storyline leaves no  question America isn’t going to latch on to another show about a mom, dad and three kids anytime soon.

Which is where the rest of this Modern Family comes in.

O’Neill and his hot young new wife (Sofia Vergara) survive the MILF/sugar daddy set-up that could easily grate thanks to decent writing and a child (stepson for O’Neill) who gives the relationship some context. Vergara’s accent and references to her hometown in Colombia would point to recent immigration- although her child speaks perfect English. With the son, credit goes to the writers – by not making him a whiz on the soccer field, they prove they’re willing to bypass easy joke fodder vis a vis stereotypes. Considering the import of the show’s gay parenting angle, we’re counting on them following through with that light touch for the show to survive.

As for the gay parents themselves: this is a comedy, so expect to laugh. But in the pilot alone there’s a nod to the attention paid to a man with a baby . . . and the quick change when another daddy walks on the scene, and the reality show-esque interviews with the characters between scenes leaves space for Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) to hash out concerns that mirror those of every day gay parents.

The show premieres this Wednesday at 9 p.m. on ABC.

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About jeannesager



Jeanne Sager is a freelance writer and photographer living in upstate New York with her husband and daughter, Jillian. She maintains a blog of her award-winning columns at

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0 thoughts on “Gay Baby Boom Hits ABC This Week in Modern Family

  1. [...] there are gay families in Douglas County, he says. Heck, there are gay families everywhere, folks who pay taxes toward libraries and want to likewise see books on the shelves that their kids [...]

  2. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    I’ll watch the first episode, but I don’t have high hopes for the writing bypassing sterotypes. From the promo: black baby with unkempt hair being compared to Diana Ross? Haha, because Diana Ross’ hair sure looked funny, right? And Al Bundy commenting that his Columbian stepson will ride a burro to school rather than ride in a car? Haha what a knee slapper.

  3. jeannesager says:

    Ugh – thanks Mistress. Neither of those were in the pilot, which is what I saw and based this review on.

  4. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    I dunno, I saw the promo last night while watching Dancing With the Stars. From what I read online, the gay couple adopts a Vietnamese baby, so I don’t get where the “Diana Ross” hair scene comes in. I was on a unholy rant because the promo aired directly after the guy from Iron Chef performed to… wait for it… “Kung Fu Fighting.” /facepalm

  5. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Yeah, just watched it. The line about “Lily… won’t that be hard to say?” in reference to the Vietnamese baby? /headdesk

  6. lynne says:

    perhaps we need to lighten on on stereotypes – i know tons of people who are like the homo-stereotypes. saying we don’t like them, sometimes – when they aren’t cruel – feels like we’re ashamed of some of the more colorful characters in the gay community. see: me not wanting to date someone who looked too much “like a boy” years ago. . . anyway, i thought the show was hysterical! the bit on LILLY was a reference to not being able to say her own name, since she is asian – it was funny in the way it addressed that people actual think that way (yikes) – showing this is not endorsing (see: House)… just a thought – not meaning to deconstruct humor!

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