The Success Of Sitcoms Through National Identity

1344 words - 5 pages

National identity through sitcoms greatly influences how a nation or culture represents its shared unity within humor and determining how successful a TV series will be. Identity plays a major role in the media world especially in television. Nevertheless, the successful sitcom “Modern Family” is the best example on how American culture interprets humor based upon the shows context of how a typical family operates on a daily basis. “Modern Family” is the first family show to be filmed as a “mockumentary”, which is a television show viewed through a documentary style that creates a parody (New York Times). In each episode it shows different perspectives that can easily relate to the American viewers and how most of our families function with internal conflicts. Modern Family is successful because of how well it connects with its audience through internal monologue and the diversity shown throughout the show, which in turns represents our national identity.
This notion of “national identity” relates to how a person connects with a shared unity of a state or nation and has a sense of belonging. The television show offers a documentary outlook, taking shorts breaks in the show for interviews with each character. It gives an inside look of the actual thoughts and opinions from each character on the “conflicts” of that episode. The goal for the viewers is to feel the attachment he/she has to these people, and how easily they can identify themselves with their culture. It is a community within it self that cannot be seen but only felt through the situations and humor being conveyed.
Modern Family is about the star of the show Jay Pritcheett, his second wife, stepson, and their infant son, adding on his two adult children and their dis-functional families. The central situation of a sitcom revolves around a group of characters trying to raise their own families with their own complication including; a nonstop cycle of disrupted balance, conflict, statues quo, and a sense of resolution (Academic Universe). Just like any other sit coms, towards the end of each episode the music rises around the nineteenth minute mark and any conflict gets resolved. While Jerry Seinfeld famously insisted on “No hugs and no learning,” “Modern Family” is built around the opposite idea: No problem is too big it can’t be swept under a hug” (New York Times). The filming of the show is set around moving cameras from person-to-person, with interviews intertwined. A main element in which characters in the middle of a scene will often glance at the camera, a disconcerting aside that has the effect of making the viewer feel both like a part of the family and an observer (New York Times). This new observational style of sitcoms is suited to the taste of a contemporary audience.
Technology is what runs this country and its entertainment; Modern Family creators were smart enough to realize this and incorporate it throughout the show. Bruce Feiler states, “the characters in “Modern...

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