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Alexandra Lange

NYT Opinionator: If These Walls Could Talk


For the second time in as many weeks, this blog has made the big time (i.e. publication). A post I wrote last winter about the ABC TV show Modern Family developed into my third and likely final entry in the New York Times Opinionator series Living Rooms: If These Walls Could Talk.

The show, produced by Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, is about three intertwined families living in the Los Angeles suburbs. We meet them in the pilot, each in a moment of stress, with no mention of how they are connected. The Dunphys, a husband and wife with three children, are at home, arguing over the length of their teenage daughter’s skirt and how to get their son’s head out of the banister (baby oil). The Pritchetts are at a soccer game, where Jay, played by Ed O’Neill, is mistaken for the father of his wife, Gloria, played by Sofia Vergara. The Pritchett-Tuckers, a homosexual couple, are on an airplane, headed back from Vietnam with their new baby, Lily. Their differences are underlined by crisis, but I could have understood their respective characters with mute on, just by looking at their living rooms.

All three were incredibly fun to write, and I wish it could just go on. But they’d have to pay me more money for that.



Posted in: TV + Radio

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Alexandra Lange Alexandra Lange is an architecture and design critic, and author of Writing about Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities. (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012). Her work has appeared in The Architect’s Newspaper, Architectural Record, Dwell, Metropolis, Print, New York Magazine and The New York Times.

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