During its maiden season, when it was trying to establish itself on the television sitcom landscape, ABC's "Modern Family" became well-known for its liberal employment of guest stars to spice up various story lines. As the series came into its own during Seasons 2 and 3, winning a slew of major awards in the process, "Family" turned more toward the development of its core characters and gave audiences liberal doses of the dialogue that makes the show so successful at the expense of glitzy guest appearances.
In Season 4, though, the brood is set to expand with the impending birth of Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and Jay's (Ed O'Neill) baby, which presents a grand opportunity to explore Gloria's Latin roots. According to Entertainment Weekly, ABC plans to capitalize on the story line by bringing Gloria's mother and sister to the small screen later this fall.
With veiled and vague references to her upbringing in Columbia, Gloria has been one of the more mysterious characters on "Modern Family." Viewers know that she had son Manny (Rico Rodriguez) with her first husband, Javier Delgado (Benjamin Bratt), who has made a couple of token appearances but has been absent of late. The writers also dole out occasional tidbits about Gloria's past, intimating that there may have been some seedy doings somewhere in the bowels of her original family, but it has really all just been innuendo and speculation. Aside from a few of her interesting customs and amusing turns with the English language, Gloria has kept most of her background, well, in the background. With immediate family coming on board, it's highly likely that ABC plans to do a deep-dive into the personality of the mother-to-be.
Gloria's mother, Pilar, will be portrayed by Elizabeth Pena, who has crafted an extensive career on the American movie and television scenes. Her star appeal fits well with the tact that "Modern Family" took in its early years and should give the viewers insight into Gloria's younger days. The real bombshell might come from Stephanie Beatriz, though, who will play Gloria's sister Sonia. Beatriz is a relatively fresh face, and Sonia will undoubtedly reveal pieces of Gloria that mom either doesn't know about or is loathe to acknowledge. Younger siblings have a way of stirring up trouble sometimes, and you can bet that the creative minds at "Modern Family" will take full advantage of all the possibilities.
All in all, Season 4 is beginning to take on a very heavy bent toward Gloria and her family, and Jay is likely to get caught in the middle of some uncomfortably hilarious situations along the way. And, when Baby Pritchett finally arrives, the number of potential story lines is almost endless. It should be a fun ride.