When Modern Family debuted in 2009, it drew notice for bringing two non-traditional families to network primetime alongside the familiar heterosexual, nuclear family. There were two gay men with an adopted daughter, and an interracial couple whose members were both on their second marriages. Both kinds of arrangement are increasingly common in America, so it seemed like a big deal that they had found their way to the same family sitcom, a format that has long wavered between reflecting and policing our nation’s self-image.
There was also a third, less talked-about element to the unorthodox nature of Modern Family's characters. Jay and Gloria are not just interracial but intergenerational. Gloria, a Colombian, is much younger (and several times more attractive) than her affluent, white husband, Jay.
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