Married… with Children

Fox ran the pilot of Married… with Children in honor of its 25th anniversary, and the broadcast may have led some people to wonder what anyone ever saw in this show — which ran for eleven seasons. That’s ten seasons longer than Firefly.

The pilot takes place over the course of a single day. (Is this a sit-com pilot trope? I’ll have to think about that.) It starts as many family sit-com pilots do, with the morning routine. Before heading off to school, the pint-size son harasses his teenaged sister, while their mother delivers a flaccid reprimand. As they head out, the husband, Al enters from upstairs dressed for work with a bandage on his hand. He’s injured and, in what will become an incessant theme, his problem is his wife Peg’s fault. She’s not accepting any blame, however, ferociously defending her right to do whatever the hell she wants. Continue reading

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Modern Family

I’ve been feeling like I missed the boat on Modern Family, having pretty much ignored it last season. But since it made such a great showing at the Emmy’s and sounds like it’s here to stay, I figure I check out this pilot. If you haven’t watched it yet, maybe this will help fill you in, too.

The show opens in sit-com 101 mode, with a family starting their day with breakfast in the kitchen. It hits you with a good guffaw right at the top. The dad is yelling for the kids, and the daughter enters with, “Why are you guys yelling at us when we’re way upstairs? Why don’t you just text us?” After that there’s a bit about the daughter’s skirt being too short and the parents having baby oil on the bedside table. These may not be the most original jokes we’ve ever heard about offspring and ‘rents, but they’re delivered pretty fast and furious. This show isn’t going to waste our time. Continue reading