ABCs ‘Modern Family’ is a TV series created by Lloyd Christopher and Stephen Levitan for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). The setting of this film is from the perspective of an unseen filmmaker who tells the story of a modern family. As such, the TV series offers an honest and almost hilarious perspective of a modern family life. The main casts in the series are Phil and his wife Clair, who are parents to three children.
As parents, Phil and Claire yearn to have an honest as well as an open relationship with their children (Lloyd and Levitan). However, this is a tall order for the parents because their children’s lifestyles. One of their daughters is growing up too fast. Another daughter is very smart for her own good. And the last child, a boy, is rambunctious.
Other characters in the series are Jay, the father of Claire, and Gloria, his Latina wife. This couple has two sons to raise together. Sometimes people believe that Jay is Gloria’s father and not her husband because of their huge age difference. Jay has a gay son called Mitchell, who lives with his partner called Cameron. The gay couple adopted a little Asian girl, thereby completing one large gay, straight, traditional, multicultural happy family.
Each character in the ABCs Modern Family series presents a specific personality that is particular to his or her role in the film. As such, the dispositional theory or the trait theory provides the best approach of studying human personality, as well as how this affects characterization in the film.
A trait refers to the habitual patterns of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that individuals exhibit. These traits have a sense of stability over time, differ from one person to the other, and influence the behavior of individuals. Each character in the film has a particular trait that helps him or her to play his or her role effectively.
Phil Dunphy is the father figure in the film. He has been married to Claire for 20 years and has three kids with her. He considers himself a ‘cool dad’ because of the way he tries constantly to bond with his children. Some of the key character traits of Phil that emerge in the film include being competitive, being understanding, having juvenile tendencies, and confidence.
Phil’s competitive spirit is displayed when he beats his son at basketball every time they play the game. He is understanding as expressed in his parental approach whereby he strives to bond with his children through ‘peerenting’ whereby he talks like a peer, which puts him at the same level as his children, but acts as a parent(Lloyd and Levitan).
Claire exposes her husband’s juvenile attitudes by referring to him as the kid she married, rather than the man she married. His confidence is displayed at his place of work where he works as a real estate agent. He believes he is very good at his work, and as such, very confident in himself. In fact, he says at one time that he could easily sell an Eskimo a fur coat.
Lloyd, Christopher and Steven Levitan. ‘Modern Family TV Series’. American Broadcasting Company (ABC), 28 September 2009. Web. 5 October 2015.