The title of this piece is a cocktail of arrogance, elitism and a bit of dick for flavor. But that doesn't make the statement any less true.
Arrested Development hit the television airways via FOX back in 2003. The Mitchell Hurwitz comedy was showered with critical acclaim, but the viewing public crapped, for lack of a better term (or visual), on the show. Arrested Development went on for only three seasons – which is phenomenal in Britain, but a mere blip in the United States. Because if it doesn't last 15 unGodly years, it's a television turd.
While fans of AD ("Arrested Development" in hipster) had to beg and plead with FOX to air more seasons, Modern Family on ABC has achieved both critical AND commercial success. Fans of Modern Family (such as myself) didn't have to get on their knees like some desperate suburbanite trying to score coke, before a second season was green lit.
"Why?" you rhetorically ask in my head?
Simple. Modern Family, while well written, funny, and relatable (seriously, I love this show) isn't filled with the smart writing or allusions that made AD what it was.
Both shows feature whacky characters that revolve around the simple premise of keeping a dysfunctional family together, but Modern Family's formula of "here's today's lesson to be learned!" is a heck of a lot easier to follow than AD's "guy who is trying to keep a family together after the father gets investigated for ties to Saddam Hussein's regime." Methinks the latter isn't very relatable to the average American viewer. Family's have sibling rivalries and close-minded fathers, but they don't generally come across former "analrapists" with dreams of making it into The Blue Man Group.
Less thinking is also required with Modern Family. Their formula of teaching audiences lessons and summing it up at the end works better for people who work from 9-5 and want to relax for 30 minutes. Some may argue that they don't have to think or try hard with AD, but keep in mind that people, for the most part, are dumber than you.
AD fans can take heart in knowing that a movie adaption is (supposedly) on the way. In the meantime, re-watch the three seasons for the millionth time, and take a break on Wednesday nights to learn a new lesson from Modern Family.
Joe Baur is a creator of Mildly Relevant Thoughts, a satirical show that desperately needs more subscribers to get YouTube's attention. Joe also writes, directs and acts in sketches created by Throw!Kick!Punch! Between bouts of creativity, he writes the occasional thoughtful article on whatever should come across his mind as "important" before lunch at Mildly Relevant Thoughts.