A Dom Com IN THE WHITE HOUSE! Or perhaps more specifically
, Modern Family
IN THE WHITE HOUSE!
President Dale Gilchrist (Bill Pullman) has a host of family issues to deal with while running the country. His new wife Emily (Jenna Elfman) is trying to become accepted as a member of the family. His oldest son Skip (Josh Gad
) is a Lazy Bum
who has moved back home after wasting seven years of college partying. Oldest daughter Becca (Martha MacIsaac) is supposed to be the respectable one, but has just become pregnant as the series opens due to the Law of Inverse Fertility
. The First Family is rounded out with lesbian teen Marigold (Amara Miller) and preteen genius Xander (Benjamin Stockham). Press secretary Marshall Malloy (Andre Holland) is Becca's former boyfriend while lovable idiot D.B. (Robbie Amell) is her baby daddy, except actually Marshall is the father after all
After only 13 episodes, NBC canceled the series on May 9, 2013.
1600 Penn provides examples of the following tropes:
- Accidental Public Confession: When Becca tells Emily that she's pregnant, they were in the middle of taping a TV segment and the mics were still on. The next day it was the big story on all the broadcasts.
- Actor Allusion: Yes, Bill Pullman is once again the leader of the free world. Funny they'd reelect him considering how many landmarks were destroyed during his last administration.
- Aesop Amnesia: Skip knows he's a screw-up and has been explicitly and repeatedly told by the people he most loves and respects exactly what he's screwing up and how to correct it, but he seems to forget each of these lessons by the end of the scene.
- Affectionate Nickname: "Momily," coined by Skip. (Portmanteau, of course, of "mom" and "Emily".)
- Artistic License – Geography: There's no such thing as a "Princess of Andorra". Although the leaders of the country are called "co-princes", it's not a hereditary monarchy. The co-princes are a bishop appointed by The Pope and the other is the President of France (formerly the King of France). The only way there would be an Andorran princess would be if the French president was female (the other co-prince can't be female, being a Catholic bishop and all).
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Parodied in "Game Theory". Becca and D.B. get into a fight while painting a mural. In the middle of the fight, he kisses her and she pushes him away, yelling "This is just a fight! It's not a fight with romantic undertones!" She kisses him later in the scene anyway.
- Betty and Veronica: In "Bursting the Bubble", Princess Abigail is the Veronica to Skip's regular love interest Stacy Kim. Due to the temporary nature of Abigail's presence, the dynamic exists for only one episode.
- Book Ends: The pilot begins with Skip giving an inspiring speech to his buddies as they are about to shoot fireworks at the frat house. By the end of the episode, Skip gives the same speech, almost word-for-word, to the Latin American leaders who've been under heavy pressure by the Brazilian President, de Soto, to strike down the trade deal. He even says "Miguel still loves her!" where he had previously said "Mike still loves her!"
- Broken Treasure: Done with some priceless Habsburg china in "Meet the Parent." Guess those artisans died in vain after all...
- Buffy Speak: D.B. wants to get back to the Old Navy where he works, so he asks the Secret Service agent, "Can I go back to the mall? Not the Lincoln Memorial-y one, the real one?"
- Chocolate Baby: Much to everyone's surprise(Especially Marshall), Becca's baby turns out to be one.
- Descended Creator: Josh Gad is one of the show's creators and also plays Skip
- Europeans Are Kinky: How the French president and his wife are portrayed in "Dinner, Bath, Puzzle". The episode also makes an obligatory reference to the other French stereotype, when Dale mentions that the French are much better at lovemaking than at not getting invaded.
- Princess Abigail of Andorra ("Bursting the Bubble") likes sneaking off to raves to get wasted and have wild sex when she takes trips abroad.
- Follow the Leader: NBC outright admits it with promos which proudly proclaim, "NBC's answer to Modern Family."
- Go-Getter Girl: Becca
- Gratuitous German: In "Meet the Parent." Believe it or not, Skip is responsible, not the Austrian ambassador or his wife.
- Hopeless Suitor: D.B. in regards to Becca. The show drops some very large hints over the course of the season that Becca is simply settling for D.B. because he knocked her up and isn't actually in love with him. The finale reveals that, unbeknownst to everyone, it was Marshall's baby.
- Hypocritical Humor: After Winslow nearly knocks over a lamp, Skip (having just broken a priceless plate), lambasts him thusly:
Skip: Guys, this house is full of antiques! You really gotta be more careful, okay? I can't emphasize that enough!
- Invented Individual: The title character in the episode "The Short Happy Life of Reba Cadbury"
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Normally reserved Becca managed to get pregnant off the one time she had a one-night stand. However, it is mentioned that she did not use protection, making the trope slightly more plausible than normal. Later becomes moot when it's revealed that her pregnancy didn't come from that one-night stand anyway.
- Le Film Artistique: A fictional French film in "Dinner, Bath, Puzzle"
- Man Child: Skip, big time.
- Man Hug:
- May-December Romance: Dale and Emily
- Mr. Fanservice: Becca's baby daddy D.B. As Becca herself puts it, "Is that a swimmer's build?"
- Nice Guy: D.B. Essentially, he's what Skip would be like if he traded in his fat for muscle - and subtracted some of his Man Child-y bumbling.
- No Party Given: We hear almost nothing about actual politics anyway.
- Not Important to This Episode Camp: Marigold and Xander have spent a couple episodes here.
- Orphaned Punchline: "Bursting the Bubble" opens with Marshall saying to a press conference, "Long story short, that is why you don't try to steal the Declaration of Independence."
- Our Presidents Are Different: Dale Gilchrist seems to be a President Personable, not that that's particularly relevant. The show's focus is on the family drama and the actual running of the country is only given token mentions.
- Overprotective Dad: Dale has some shades of this in "Meet the Parent". By the end of the episode, he's realized that being this trope and the President at the same time can be a dangerous combination.
Dale: If you so much as utter a single disrespectful thing to my daughter, you are a dead man. I have robots that roam the skies.
- Parent with New Paramour: Becca is somewhat resentful of Emily for this reason.
- The Place: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is, of course, the address of the White House and often shortened to "1600 Penn".
- Racist Grandpa: Senator Thoroughgood in "So You Don't Want to Dance". He's apparently a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Strom Thurmond, complete with the wheelchair.
- Scandalgate: When Dale makes a joke about weddings being pointless, the press dubs the incident "Wedding-gate" and spends the next month harping on his supposed opposition to family values.
: Sir, you've offended women. And men trying to impress women, which is all men
, except gay men, whom you've also offended.
- Secret Keeper: Emily for Marigold's sexuality until the latter comes out to Skip later on. Emily was going to be this for Becca's pregnancy at first, too, until the Accidental Public Confession.
- Serious Business: The game of Risk for Xander and Dale.
- Shout-Out: to [The Guild] - Skips has a signed poster of Codex on his wall.
- Springtime for Hitler: In the pilot, the President is supposed to deliberately lose a tennis match against the overly prideful Brazilian president, so that he'll agree to a trade deal. Not realizing this, Skip whips up the crowd into a patriotic fervor, chanting "USA! USA! USA!" Dale's pride gets the better of him and he wins the match against the interests of the country.
Dale: All that patriotic chanting...it's infectious.
- Stock Scream: The Wilhelm scream is heard in the first scene of the pilot.
- Suddenly Sexuality: At the end of the pilot, it turns out Xander isn't the only one with a crush on "Jessica." Marigold has one, too.
- Trophy Wife: Emily is accused of being one, despite being a successful campaign manager before marrying Dale.
- Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names: Skip's real name is Standrich Gilchrist.
- Walk and Talk: Played straight in the series, but a promo has Skip unable to walk while talking successfully.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Skip's relationship with Dale
- Write What You Know: One of the show's creators was a speechwriter for President Barack Obama.
- Yes-Man: In "Bursting the Bubble", Dale and Emily discover that their friends are this trope.