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How caricature, cliche and Chris Martin ushered in the end of Modern Family

Initially the writing was sparky, but the mockumentary soon started to meander – to the extent of drafting in the Coldplay warbler

As with any family, modern or otherwise, it is amazing how quickly the novelty of spending time with them wears thin. When the Us sitcom Modern Family arrived in 2009 – scooping a handful of Emmys and millions of viewers – it felt, if not completely fresh, then at least a novel twist on a tested idea. In the wake of the success of The Office (both the UK and Us versions), Modern Family was built around the idea of the mockumentary, with the constantly bickering but ultimately loving family – headed up by patriarch Jay Pritchett and his adult children, Mitchell and Claire, alongside their various partners, kids, stepkids, adopted kids and Jay’s dog Stella – originally supposedly documented by a Dutch film-maker exchange student.

The technique means we get to see

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