Modern Family: From Art to Propaganda
“I feel like there are a lot of people who still aren’t comfortable with gay characters on television... [Modern Family is] kind of like a Trojan horse. We sneak into a lot of people’s living rooms when they aren’t expecting it and maybe change some minds through the back door.”
The above quote is from actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson in an interview with homosexual issues activists Advocate back in May. At the time he said it, I wouldn't disagree with Mr. Ferguson, who plays Mitchell in the show. Modern Family was funny, clever, and only subtly pro-homosexual agenda.
This season, however, Mr. Ferguson couldn't be more wrong. Modern Family has gone into full-blown propaganda mode. The overdone and utterly contrived scenes of the fake funeral by Cam and the compulsive office cleaning by Mitchell force down our throats the idea that Cam and Mitchell belong together. There simply isn't enough humor in the world to sugar coat that much propaganda.
In a way, it was necessary for the show to do so, since it is set in California and Prop 8 was recently overturned. But just because I understand the change doesn't mean I like it. Preachy art is bad art. (Just look at this trailer from a movie about my alma mater.)
But perhaps Modern Family's change in propaganda style is actually for the best. Propaganda is at its most powerful when it is subtle and not recognized as such. Modern Family has stepped out of the closet and fully exposed itself as the propaganda machine that Mr. Ferguson talked about in May. I think this will only lessen the impact he hopes to have.
After all, sneaking in generally works best if you actually, I don't know...