There are oh, so many reasons to watch ABC’s latest hit “Modern Family”, but the following are my top four: Manny, Jay, Gloria and Phil! Can you say that ten times real fast? OK, how about: Rico, Ed, Sophia and Ty?
But seriously folks, it’s these four specific characters that, for me anyway, bring something to the table that’s unexpected, hysterical, over the top and yet genuine. And most importantly, they allow us viewers to laugh heartily, releasing us from the stress of the day, if only for a half an hour.
How could you not love Manny? This quick witted Colombian tween played by Rico Rodriquez, sports burgundy dinner jackets and drinks coffee while reciting poetry to girls way out of his league. No worries though, Manny is a hopeless romantic who will someday grow into his old soul. In the meantime, his wardrobe, facial expressions and astonishing comedic delivery will draw laughs all the way back to Colombia.
Jay is fluidly portrayed by Ed O’Neill and ironically is the polar opposite of Al Bundy. One might have thought that O’Neill would forever be typecast as Married With Children’s likable loser. Not so, people! Jay has everything Al did not: a cool as a cucumber demeanor, plush velvety jogging suits, a desert dry sense of humor, a beautiful house, boatloads of cash and a hot, young wife who, for some reason, completely adores him.
And speaking of hot, young wives, Gloria is played by the spicy Sophia Vergara. (Is it just a coincidence that her name sounds like Viagra?) Gloria’s character is sweet, yet saucy even when she’s butchering the English language or crashing cars. My favorite thing about Gloria is that she is endlessly trying to introduce Jay to Colombian traditions. Some of the customs are real, while others: not so much! In the end though, Gloria always teaches her hubby a valuable lesson, whether he wants one or not.
The wonderful Ty Burrell portrays the character of Phil as a dim-witted real estate agent who is an eternal optimist and everyone’s best bud. But Phil is also a buffoon, a nincompoop and the king of awkward moments. Case in point: on an episode last season, Phil compliments Gloria’s dress. She retorts in her heavy Colombian accent: “thanks Pheeeel.” Phil misunderstands her response and proceeds to “feel” her pretty dress right in front of his wife. Good stuff!