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When Modern Family first took over ABC in 2009, its accolades and awards were completely justified and its giant ensemble cast felt completely refreshing in a TV universe still tethered to the standard quartets and sextets. But the series, much like the white bread that it could be compared to, got stale relatively quickly, and these past few seasons’ episodes felt like well-oiled retreads of everything that came before it. It looks like the Golden Globes have finally picked up on that fact by completely knocking the hit sitcom out of this year’s nominations entirely. Huzzah!
For what it’s worth, the Golden Globes have been far more progressive than the Emmys when it comes to shaking up its nominees, and had long since snipped away all of Modern Family’s acting nominees. Still, the series remained in the Best TV Series, Musical or Comedy category up until this year, which is almost counter-intuitive, as that was saying the show’s sum whole was better than its parts, and I’d argue that Ty Burrell is just as funny and successful a performer as he ever was; he’s just doing it with offensively predictable jokes now.
But this year, the second-tier awards ceremony has made a first-tier choice by replacing the extended family comedy with less expected series. Last year saw four network comedies in this category, while this year sees only one, Jane the Virgin. New series like Transparent and Silicon Valley have deservedly stepped in to fill the many different shoes that Modern Family has vacated.
Let’s not forget that Modern Family is actually still winning the Outstanding Comedy Emmys, though it hasn’t won the top honors at the Globes in the past two years. So while there isn’t exactly a direct competition between the two awards shows, my TV vote almost always goes to the Globes, although they left Veep and Brooklyn Nine-Nine out of Best Comedy as well, which comes close to counteracting the Modern Family snub.
None of this is to say that Modern Family is a terrible show. It’s not like Dads or Trophy Wife is here and taking nominations away from anyone. The big family trip episodes are always fun and the writing is still some of the wittiest on TV. But it feels entirely like mass-produced wit at this point, created only for consumption instead of introspection. Nothing about Cam and Mitchell’s relationship or Manny’s trek through puberty is meant to make people think beyond the one-liners, so it’s time that awards ceremonies stop thinking about the series altogether.
Oh, and while we’re at it, HOORAY that Big Bang Theory and its staid Jim Parsons-centered comedic patterns have also been shunned this year! Are you guys happy to see better-quality series getting recognition this year?