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What happened to Modern Family?

The reigning Emmy winner for Outstanding Comedy Series is now into its fifth season, and a big part of me is wondering why I still care.

I think it's safe to say that, at this point, I'm effectively hate-watching Modern Family. I feel compelled to tune in, but once I do, I don't like what I see.

Four years ago, when it debuted on ABC, Modern Family was that rare breed of TV show: critically beloved, yet one of the highest-rated. It still regularly draws more than 10 million viewers each week, but Modern Family is no longer a critical darling.

It's easy to see why. Take this joke, from the season premiere a few weeks ago:

"Sometimes I forget to factor in the Asian," Mitchell says about his and partner Cam's adopted (and, yes, Asian) daughter Lily after she experiences enthusiasm for going to school.

That's a great example of how the show has devolved: lazy, racist jokes; stereotypical characterizations (Sofia Vergara is a talented comedian, but we're not sure we can stand any more cracks about her character's big, loud Colombian family); mean-spirited humor (none of the characters seem to like each other anymore). And what's so modern about these families anyway? They all live in giant houses and go on extravagant vacations despite all living in one-income households.

Mostly, we're upset that the show is squandering such an awesomely talented cast with such lazy writing. Step it up and earn those Emmys, Modern Family! - Michelle Stark, Times staff writer

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CBS picks up Affleck, Damon show

Another standup comedian is getting another sitcom based on their act. Surprising, we know. But what's this? The comedian is Tom Papa, and the show is being produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

CBS bought a pilot for More Time With Family, a sitcom about a dad who quits his travel-heavy job to spend more time with his family, Deadline Hollywood reports.

Papa worked with Damon and Affleck on Behind the Candleabra playing Ray Arnett, the guy who introduced Liberace to Scott Thorson. Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith, writers for NBC's The Gates and CBS' long-running The King of Queens, will be responsible for the story.

Affleck's Pearl Street Films is trying to get on TV a lot these days. Ben is already directing the pilot for a new Fox crime drama called The Middle Man. - Josh Gillin, Times staff writer

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Is Culpepper a goner?

Wednesday's episode of Survivor is highly anticipated for what promises to be an epic duel between Tampa Bay's own Brad Culpepper and two people who hate him with the heat of a thousand suns, married couple Candice and John. All three are on Redemption Island, the last stepping stone to being booted from the game, and the other two blame Brad for being there. Meanwhile, the ex-Buccaneers' wife, Monica, has so far avoided being tarnished by the Culpepper hostility. The show airs at 8 pm. Wednesday on CBS.

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