Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Modern Family" resumes, post Prop-8

ABC’s “Modern Family” resumed tonight with two half-hour episodes.

In the opening, there was a celebration of the anti-Proposition-8 victory last spring in California, with a suggestion that Cam and Mitch could get married, but there wasn’t all that much progress.  There was a great line from one of the kids, “don’t talk about gay marriage, just speak of it as marriage”.
  
In the second half-hour, Cam’s position as a middle school drama and music teacher has been eliminated, so Cam becomes a long term substitute teacher or “sub”.  Cam is assigned an AP history class (no, it wouldn’t be funny to give him special education).  He goes to class dressed as George Washington, and says that the Revolutionary War started over a libertarian-driven battle over property rights.  (I didn’t know that Cam belongs to GLIL – Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty and would be more likely to support a Libertarian Party candidate in California than a Democratic candidate). 
Subsequently Cam accidentally steps into the position of being a football coach – in the most macho of contact sports, under an ethical cloud over the concussion issue (as with Malcolm Gladwell’s idea that football is morally problematic).  Maybe he could do something like ice hockey or baseball (coach the next ace MLB pitcher like Stephen Strasburg growing up in southern California).

There's a moment in the AP History Class where Cam lightly touches a female student on the shoulder -- when I was a sub, I wouldn't even have done that.  
  

I didn’t see the character Dylan (Reid Ewing), and given the popularity, at least on YouTube, or Reid’s songs “In the Moonlight (Do Me)" and “Imagine Me Naked”,  (The script made a sly allusion to his "Traffic Jam" with a mention of a blot clot on the infamous 405, where I stayed myself my last time in LA).  I am bemused about what his role was supposed to me.  Wikipedia describes the character as pure irony, denying the virtues of normal competitiveness, someone who lends himself to mockumentary, which is normally very difficult to pull off effectively, but Reid (in his own “Reid Rainbow” libertarian-freedom videos on Igigi) has become a master of writing and acting it.  Will “Dylan” be back?  In fact, Reid describes the concept of character as one of “charisma” in his own interview, and the concept of songwriting as something that just comes naturally and spontaneously (more on a guitar or banjo than piano).  I think that music composition is like that – even when hypermodern – an idea plays in one’s head, in one’s dreams, and takes on a life of its own, even if it gets worked into a twelve-tone row. 


Picture: The 405 from the Angelino Hotel bar in May 2012;  The notorious intersection with Highway 101 is about four miles to the north.  West Hollywood and Bel-Air are nearby.  

Update: Nov. 24, 2015

Reid Ewing says he was never "in", according to this story.  But Erich Stonestreet (Cam) says he is straight in real life.  Actors have to be versatile.  

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