Why The ‘Modern Family’ Pregnancy Twist Really Bothers Me
11:30 am, October 2nd | by Laura Donovan
Episode one has some funny moments but reverts to stale jokes and tricks: Haley is hungover from the prom and doesn’t understand the word “sarcastic” even though she is a senior in high school, perpetual curmudgeon Jay isn’t crazy about turning 65, Lily tries to take advantage of her parents for not giving her a little brother, and Gloria is now with child.
Gloria, whose “I’m so loud” shtick lost its edge two seasons ago, is thrilled about the baby but understandably nervous to deliver the news to husband Jay, as he has two grown kids of his own, multiple grandchildren, and a teenage stepson. Of course, he’s happy to learn about the new life, as his birthday has made him feel insanely old and now he gets to, well, feel young again. What a great reason to continue producing offspring.
While it’s sweet to watch Gloria and Jay enjoy the gift of procreation, I can’t help but feel like this was a poor direction for the program to take. I grew up in southern and northern California, so I’m all too familiar with the Los Angeles culture of “Modern Family.”
In the golden state, there are plenty of blended families that include half-siblings with major age gaps. I’m a product of such a household, and believe me when I say it’s a lonely life more often than not. Having siblings 10+ years older than you isn’t the same as having one in the same age range. By the time I was eight, both my older brothers were in college. One of them tied the knot when I was 14. Clearly, we’ve never been on the same wavelength, and while we’ve grown closer over the years, it breaks my heart that I couldn’t have known them during their youth. At present, I have three nephews, a niece, and another niece along the way. I adore them all but regret that they’ll always be much older than my future children. Everyone misses out in such a dynamic.
More than that, it’s not right for someone to become a parent at 65. Precocious character Manny seems aware of this and is the only voice of reason on the situation, per usual. It’s unfair, especially since Jay’s character would likely croak before the kid’s twentieth birthday. I’ve been there and it really sucks. Having significantly older siblings (which the baby in “Modern Family” would definitely have) is not fun or comical, and it’s pretty upsetting that one of my favorite sitcoms is trying to pull off such a story line.