Why Modern Family's Sarah Hyland Was Kinda Disappointed With Final Season

modern family haley looking disgusted
(Image credit: abc press)

Modern Family will soon be coming to an end on ABC, bringing its highly successful run to an end after eleven seasons. For the sitcom's younger generation, Modern Family's ending means there's an opportunity for everyone to go off and truly take advantage of their now-heightened fame. (Not that Sofia Vergara waited very long to take a new job.) Such as Sarah Hyland, whose time on the show took a less enjoyable turn in the final season.

As many viewers probably noticed, Sarah Hyland's Haley hasn't been featured nearly as much in Season 11 as she was in Modern Family's first decade on the air. That, along with the creators' decision to give Haley a one-note parenting storyline, led Hyland to be somewhat disappointed with her character's final turnout, according to her interview with Cosmopolitan. Here's what Hyland would have wanted to see from her character in the final season:

[For Haley to] own her badassery in the fashion world—becoming a badass stylist or brand mogul or anything like that.

Indeed, considering Modern Family started off as a show that reversed a lot of sitcom stereotypes with its multi-generational storytelling, and nontraditional relationships, the series inevitably ended up falling into a lot of the same traps that it seemingly avoided early on. One of those tropes would be to have one of the female stars go through a pregnancy and motherhood storyline without any further efforts to evolve the character beyond that matriarchal role.

And it's not like Haley even served as a proper matriarch during her time as a mom on Modern Family, considering Claire and Gloria have been intent on raining their own motherly instincts down upon twins George and Poppy. In any case, Sarah Hyland still wanted to see more from Haley.

Not that she has anything against the idea of being a mother in general. Her argument is more about how the role of being a mother isn't the only way that women can show how powerful and successful they are. Here's how Hyland put it:

There are so many amazing mothers who are also hard workers and excel at their jobs and kill it every day in both aspects. That would have been a really cool thing to see, especially from someone like Haley.

Indeed. Haley has often been played up as the goofball who definitely shares more DNA with her doofus father Phil (along with Luke), while Ariel Winter's Alex takes after Claire a lot more. Narratively, it would have made sense to take Haley to more successful places business-wise by the end of Modern Family's run, rather than simply having her be a loving mom with her fellow goofball Dylan. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Sarah Hyland doesn't even get the scripts for episodes that Haley doesn't appear in. Which is why she didn't even learn that her fictional grandfather, played by the great Fred Willard, had been killed off on the show until she actually watched the episode when it aired. That couldn't have been the best way to inspire confidence in anyone.

Modern Family's series finale will air on ABC on Wednesday, April 8, at 9 p.m. ET. For those hoping to see reruns on Disney+ at some point, it might be happening soon, based on surveys sent to certain users.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.