I got into some mild Facebook trouble around the Emmy's last year when I noted that I thought Modern Family was being mistaken for a much better sitcom. This isn't to say that I thought it was a terrible show. I didn't. I thought it was fine, good for a few chuckles. Ty Burrell is delightful.
And that's not a bad thing for a sitcom to be. Not everything has to be Community or Parks and Recreation. Sometimes a show can be fine, a pleasant way to pass the time.
Until it becomes unpleasant.
Cam and Mitchell have always been the most problematic characters on the show. They are the kind of bitchy, sexless gay partners that you'd expect from a sitcom 20 years ago. Worse, they clearly hate each other and are raising a horrible, bratty kid.
Which brings me to tonight. Cam and Mitchell are giving a painting they love to another couple and have this exchange:
Cam: This was probably how Lily's birth mother felt
Mitchell: Yeah, but we didn't have nine different paintings by five different painters
God, no wonder Lily is such a little monster.
Cam and Mitchell adopted Lily from Vietnam, from an orphanage. A woman, who was likely poor and without much power, gave up her baby to be raised (badly) by these mean, petty people and this is how they speak about her.
The Modern Family writers forgot about the whole international adoption and landed on a joke about the shiftless whore who gave Cam and Mitchell their daughter. This is a mean joke. This is punching down. This is exactly the kind of ethos that is ruining America: people have less than you because they are bad people.
Lily's birth mother does not deserve to be spoken of like that.
I am profoundly grateful to Laney's birth mother. She made mistakes. Laney had a rough start in life. But without her, I wouldn't have Laney. Just like Cam and Mitchell, I have no way of knowing what led my daughter's birth mother to the decision to give up her daughter. But I am grateful to her. And the very least I can do is to extend her the courtesy of assuming she loved the baby she gave up. The very least I can do is to give my daughter the comfort of believing that there's a woman in Russia who loves her and who would be glad to know she is happy.
Cam and Mitchell and the rest of that over-privileged, shitty family can fuck right off.
God, I wish Ty Burrell were on another show.