Deaths on television are usually reserved for the big dramas in which murder is interwoven into the story. An episode of The Walking Dead that doesn't include the deaths of at least two characters is considered a snooze. But comedy rarely feels the icy touch of the reaper, because it's all about feel-good stories and, you know, making you laugh. Death isn't very funny.
ABC's Modern Family would seem to be a pretty safe and healthy space for its characters, but in the upcoming season — DUN DUN — someone is DYING. That fact came from none other than series co-creator Christopher Lloyd, who told Entertainment Weekly that a "significant character" will meet their maker in Season 10.
"We're handling some bigger life events in this season," Lloyd said. "We do deal with a death, which is certainly a topic that families have to deal with, and on television, it's not easy to do because that's a heavy subject. But at the same time, it would seem unusual for a family not to go through it."
The word "significant" could mean different things to Lloyd and us. Whereas we're looking at one the main cast members as a potential corpse, Lloyd could have a soft spot for Nathan Lane's Pepper or another guest star who's recurred on the show, or even someone with less of a role. Given the relentlessness of old age, there's also the possibility that one of the main characters' senior parents can bite the dust, like Phil's father Frank (played by Fred Willard). Granted, no TV scene featuring Fred Willard dying will come close to this.
Further adding to the mystery is the fact that Modern Family is closing in on its end, and there's a slight possibility that this is the final season. That would open up the possibilities of the dead, but would the show really kill off a main character? That would be one hell of a way to go out. I say do it, Modern Family!
Modern Family returns Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 9/8c on ABC.