TV Club: When it’s Halloween, Modern Family usually thrives

There’s a conundrum that comes with just about any show, but particularly a sitcom, that runs for multiple season. Over time the characters become very familiar, and with a sitcom, so does the structure. Every sitcom, even Modern Family, which at least fel somewhat unique when it first premiered seven years ago, ends up falling into a pattern of complacency. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, hence the conundrum; after all, the appeal of the format is largely its predictable structure. I think that familiarity is even more welcome when it comes to holiday episodes. For me at least, there’s a certain amount of cheerful anticipation—I’m not ready to go as far as “excitement”—when a holiday episode rolls around because, for the most part, you know what you’re getting.

Each holiday often comes with its own typical plot points. Christmas is a …

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