For Season 4, "Modern Family" may be about to commit one of television's biggest faux pas: bringing a baby on board!
While Cam and Mitchell's adoption storyline was ongoing last season and a new baby is to be expected in future episodes, the unexpected news in the season 3 finale that Gloria (Sofia Vergara) is pregnant is a whole new ball game!
It's an age old plotline-- and one that sometimes backfires. When kids on a show start getting older, television writers often conjure up some new blood, in the form of a cuddly newborn. Trouble is, the newborn often signals the downward spiral of the show.
"Full House" did it when the Olsen twins grew out of the "cute" stage, bringing in twins Blake and Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit to up the show's cuteness factor, as did "Family Ties" when new sibling Andrew took the place of formerly adorable little sis, Jennifer.
"Mad About You" went mad when baby Mabel was born, and "Growing Pains" (and viewers!) had to endure some major pains when little Chrissy joined the family and then grew four years over the summer hiatus.
And who can forget "Murphy Brown," when the birth of baby Avery turned career gal Murph into a hapless mommy, or the worst offender of all, "Roseanne," who gave birth to young Jerry Garcia and caused the show to jump the shark all at once?
Some shows skip the newborn stage altogether and bring on a precocious older kid to infuse cuteness into the cast. "All in the Family" and "Happy Days" did it, and so did "The Partridge Family," with an attempt to make a star out of young Ricky Segall just as Chris and Tracy were getting a little long in the tooth.
When Bobby and Cindy were no longer cute and charming, even "The Brady Bunch" committed this faux pas by adding cousin Oliver to the cast. The series lasted just six episodes after Ollie moved in.
For "Modern Family," the addition of Cam and Mitchell's new baby could have been enough. Adding Gloria's pregnancy to the mix may soon turn this show into "Romper Room!"
Besides, do we really want to see the curmudgeonly Jay (Ed O'Neil) as a new father? We kind of like him in his gruff grandpa role, and his stepdad status to Manny has been a joy to watch. Somehow it's hard to picture him changing diapers or cooing to a newborn.
Of course, there's also the chance that writers will turn this into an all in the family storyline and have Mitchell and Cam adopt the baby, although that seems a tad farfetched. More than likely, we'll have to endure a bevy of play dates and Mommy and Me time with Cam and Gloria, as two new babies join the cast.
One thing is for sure, Gloria's maternity frocks will be sure to rock. No doubt there will be plenty of animal prints in this hot mama's wardrobe! Unless the show decides to bypass Gloria's pregnancy altogether and fast forward to the new Pritchett baby's fourth birthday, that is…
"Modern Family" airs on Wednesday night on ABC.
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