Timshel: I think this show is quite far from tailoring to any specific roles, whether it be gender, or sex, or what have you.
Some points that came to mind:
* Phil works, yes. Claire stayed home to raise the children, yes. Now that the kids are older, Claire went back to work, yes. She also was active in the kid’s school life, in local politics, and totally and completely wears the pants in that relationship. So, traditional in the Stay-At-Home Mom stance, yes?! Traditional in being submissive?! NO!
* Mitch and Cam: Mitch is the bread winner, clearly. Cam is the stay at home dad, for the most part. Mitch tried being the stay and home parent, and hated it, while Cam hated being in the workforce, because of their personalities, etc. And, they struggle – in a pretty realistic fashion – of being two gay parents, in such a way of how the public views them, their family, and sometimes the parenting roles they fight to have “Mother” vs “Father”, and still wanting to be ‘the man’ in the relationship!
* Although Gloria does not work, and they have a MAN-ny, that to me is just highlighting a lifestyle Jay has offered to her, especially since she came from ‘nothing’. I love their age difference, and what it presents on the show, and their culture difference, and how it is perceived on the show as well. Bottom line is where Jay has provided all of these things to her, and is older, I would expect a traditional dominant role in his character. But again, she totally wears the pants in the family, and calls all the shots. There are many episodes that really define that for her!!
All in all, I believe Modern Family paved the way for a ‘newer’ generation of modern day comedies. Sure, there are jokes made on each character’s behalf, because it is a comedy, but I feel it completely defies stereotypical roles of Mother/Father, Sister/Brother, Aunt/Uncle, and parents. HECK, the maternal grandmother (Mitch and Claire’s Mom) is non-existant on the show, leaving Jay (pretty traditional in his views) as the paternal front runner of this family. Watching him ebb and flow, and getting used to these ‘new’ ideas has been awesome!! (I clearly LOVE IT!)