Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pilot Screener Review - Modern Family

Status: Premiering Wednesday, September 23rd @ 9pm on ABC

Oh, dear. A week has passed. And I got into a new script. And then I didn't post screener reviews as promised! Bad, TY.

I figured to get me back in "the mood" I would start off with a review of The Best Pilot Airing This Fall.

Well, that's the review, folks!

Seriously, though, I've watched this pilot (with various people) about 5 times and it still makes me laugh. I had thought after my first viewing that it was just the surprise of "an ABC comedy is funny" that was enhancing the comedy experience. No. This is just a genuinely funny half-hour (and it's single-cam, the combination of which, while airing on ABC, is just a shocker).

The colorful cast of characters in this pilot are in three separate stories (family of five deals with a teenage girl bringing a guy home for the first time and with disciplining a prepubescent son; May/December interracial couple deals with son's first crush; gay couple has adopted a Vietnames baby) until the final act, which, on my first viewing, left me scratching my head asking "why are we following these three separate stories in this pilot?" Then, unexpectedly, the answer came. It was so subtly done that without being told, you might not notice it. And I won't spoil the surprise (though I think it has been spoiled by the ABC marketing department... whatever, not my call) or what follows in the EXTREMELY uproarious final act.

There is also a mockumentary / confessional gimmick that is used to fun, character-informing effect.

I cannot say enough great things about this pilot. There is something for pretty much everyone. I only worry that future episodes won't capture the brilliance of the pilot (as it's taken, what, 5 years of failures upon failures for ABC to even crack the "funny single-cam pilot" code). I also worry that being a part of an all-new lineup will hurt the show. And I thank god for multi-tuner DVRs, so I can record this and Glee at the same time (seriously, programming gods... uncool).

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