First things first: “Modern Family” is growing on me.
Yes, I know I trashed the premiere, but I’ve kept watching, and somehow I’m enjoying the show more and more every week (still, I get the most laughs from Ed O’Neill’s character, but the other characters aren’t annoying me as much as they did early on).
Last night’s episode was hilarious, and I think I know why: football.
I love football. I watch college football and the NFL constantly. I’ve made a 12-hour round trip drive three times this season to watch my alma mater play in person. Football is amazing.
So when you integrate football into the plot of your sitcom -- and do it in a way that actually stays true to the characters -- I’m pretty much guaranteed to enjoy it. Plus, making the gay son-in-law a former football player was an inspired bit of creativity. I never would have seen that coming for his character, but it ended up fitting nicely. I don’t know Eric Stonestreet’s height, but he at least seems passable as a former Big Ten center. Ed O’Neill is 6’1”, so Stonestreet is probably 6’2” -- Illinois does have a 6’2” lineman on this year’s roster, and linemen that size would have been more common when Stonestreet’s character was in college.
In the end, the football game was such a minor part of the episode (and the video of the game was probably at least 8 years old, based on the old on-screen graphics), but it drew me in and gave me something to care about. When that happened, I found myself enjoying the rest of the episode too, even if I think Ty Burrell’s Phil is way too annoying.
I saw earlier this week that “Modern Family” got a full season pickup, which I’m actually happy about now. I look forward to watching the rest of this season, even if ratings are moving in the wrong direction.