Modern Family’s New Episode on a Laptop Hints at TV’s Future


Excerpt from this article:

If you watch [this] week’s episode of Modern Family online, things will get a little weird. You see, the entire episode takes place on Claire’s MacBook Pro, so watching its constantly popping FaceTimes and iMessages on your laptop might make it all feel a little too real. (And if mom tries to Skype in while you’re watching, it might feel like the singularity is near.)

…It’s easy to giggle while thinking how these shows will look in 20 years—imagine watching Abbi and Ilana FaceTime on Broad City in 2035 and thinking it looks as antiquated as Zack Morris’ brick of a cell phone on Saved by the Bell looks today. But these changes in storytelling have to happen, even if it’s all going to look terribly dated before long, because otherwise our favorite shows will seem ridiculous and anachronistic.

…These shifts present some challenges, though. For one, it means showrunners and filmmakers must keep up with ever-changing tech.

…And getting other shows to experiment with format is highly necessary. TV and films have been following many of the same traditions for decades. A reboot is long overdue. Nearly all modern families spend most of their time looking at other screens while watching TV. It’s about time the Modern Family does too.

See also these examples of similar approaches of the action unfolding on the computer screen: