The 5th season of "Modern Family" kicked off with a bang -- and a proposal. The Emmy-winning ABC sitcom wasted no time in getting into the character's reactions to the Defense of Marriage Act court ruling, showing Mitchell and Cameron's (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet) excitement over the news that gay marriage is now legal in California in one of the first scenes of the premiere episode.
The gay-marriage storyline wasn't exactly unexpected. In June, the show's co-creator Christopher Lloyd told Entertainment Weekly that producers were brainstorming on how to address the DOMA ruling on the show: "It's certainly something we are contemplating on the show in ways we wouldn't have in prior seasons, Lloyd said. "We've had a number of conversations. As you can imagine in Cam and Mitchell's life, they would be feeling that a door has opened that was closed to them. Wouldn't it be pretty tempting to think about walking through it? We imagine a lot of gay couples today are deciding whether to get married now that it's open to them. From our standpoint, that's something to explore."
While the Season 5 premiere episode, "Suddenly, Last Summer," had several storylines (Manny was getting set for a trip to Colombia, and Phil and Claire were trying to orchestrate a kid-free summer week), Mitchell and Cam were the stars of the show as they tried to out-do each other in the marriage-proposal department.
Cameron's idea to return to the scene of the couple's first date (a restaurant with an ocean view and the proper sunset lighting) was foiled as Mitchell faked sick and plotted to bring in rocking chairs and champagne for his turn at romantic redemption. (Turns out Cam's always just wanted someone to sit in rocking chair and grow old with). Cam also had a backup plan -- a re-creation of the romantic picnic they had under the stars the night they moved into their first apartment -- so reinforcements were brought in as the whole family tried to help set up the perfect proposal scene.
But it turned out that none of the props were needed, anyway. A flat tire meant the guys were going nowhere fast. In the end, both men got down on one knee on a moonlit night, and no one said a word. Well, except the "yes" part.
Watch the entire Season 5 premiere episode:
So, did "Modern Family" prove that less is more when it comes to proposal scenes? And did Mitch and Cam's proposal beat these past TV proposals?
Derek Proposes to Meredith: "Grey's Anatomy"
On the ABC medical drama "Grey's Anatomy," Meredith's relationship with McDreamy was on its way up when he proposed to her in the Seattle Grace elevator. With a backdrop of medical memorabilia from their years together (yes, this guy spent a lot of time decorating!), McDreamy told the future Mrs. Shepherd, "I'm not gonna get down on one knee, I'm not gonna ask a question. I love you Meredith Grey, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
Watch Derek propose to Meredith:
Jim Proposes to Pam: "The Office"
He faked her out with a faux proposal (or two), but in 2008, "Office" mates Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly made it official when he pulled off a rainy proposal outside of a gas station halfway between New York City and Scranton. Who knew romance can be found at a rest stop?
Watch Jim and Pam's best moments here.
Harry proposes to Charlotte: "Sex and the City"
On HBO's "Sex and the City," singles' night at the synagogue culminated in one of the most unexpected small-screen proposals ever, when Harry forgave Charlotte for saying, "Do you know how lucky you are? Do you know what people think when they see us? Do you know what they think?" (His response, before breaking up with her, "Yes, I know what they think, but I didn't know that you were one of them.") Turns out all he needed was some time to cool off (and an apology from her) before putting a ring on it.
Watch Harry propose to Charlotte:
Chandler Proposes to Monica: "Friends"
The TV proposal by which all others are measured, Monica's teary candlelit proposal to Chandler on the NBC sitcom "Friends" turned into his shining moment: "You make me happier than I'd ever thought I would be. And if you let me, I will spend the rest of my life trying to make you feel the same way," he said to his bride-to-be. Cue up the Clapton.
Watch Monica and Chandler's proposal here:
"Modern Family" airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.
More from this contributor:
- Arts & Entertainment
- Modern Family
- Meredith Grey