Modern Family’s Big Death Lands with a Whimper

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By Eric McCandless/ABC/Getty Visuals.

This put up is made up of spoilers for Modern-day Family members Season ten, Episode five, “Good Grief.”

Rest in peace, DeDe Pritchett. On Wednesday evening, Modern-day Family lastly uncovered the character dying it is been teasing since last month. The unlucky winner? Shelley Long’s DeDe, who is Jay’s ex-wife and Claire and Mitchell’s mother. As the Dunphy household discovered out this 7 days, DeDe died in her slumber through a excursion with her women’s group to Greenland.

Past thirty day period, Modern Relatives co-creator Christopher Lloyd teased that the very long-operating ABC comedy would kill off a “considerable character,” leaving enthusiasts to guess who that may possibly be. Numerous theorists pointed to Stella, the family’s French bulldog. In its place, evidently, it is DeDe, who has only appeared on the lengthy-functioning sequence 8 times total—far a lot less frequently than Stella. Then again, overstating the significance of a character demise is not just a new gambit in television The Simpsons fans might recall when the exhibit put in months hyping up the loss of life of a so-known as important determine on the demonstrate, only to find out that the particular person in concern was . . . Krusty the Clown’s father.

When asked why the writers decided to introduce a dying this time, Fashionable Household co-creator Steve Levitan informed The Hollywood Reporter in a postmortem interview, “It transpired to us that dying is a giant part of the spouse and children practical experience, and when Phil (Ty Burrell) had misplaced his mother in a past episode, we’ve under no circumstances observed the complete household have to offer with these kinds of a loss. It seemed like an attention-grabbing issue to have transpire.” Why did the clearly show decide on DeDe? “She’s specifically associated with 3 of our characters and she touched everybody’s everyday living in some intriguing way. It seemed like the right character to set most people by way of some thing.”

“I don’t imagine we started with, ‘Let’s do a loss of life episode—who can we eliminate?’” Levitan added. “It came from [a conversation of], ‘What would occur if DeDe died?’ Which is how it started off. I don’t know that this was part of it at the time, but I lost my mother quickly two yrs ago and that encounter of having that simply call and assemble as a spouse and children was quite clean to me.” In the foreseeable future, Levitan explained, there will be an episode in which DeDe’s widower delivers many spouse and children associates some objects she left for every single of them.

Potentially the most interesting detail about this demise is that it arrives as Present day Relatives itself prepares to shuttle off this mortal coil. Proper now, the series is in its tenth and very last contracted season the writers have concocted a season finale that can, if need to have be, double as a sequence finale. But according to Levitan, the two the studio and network are on board for far more Present day Loved ones—which usually means the Dunphys could live to see Time 11 and further than. “There are a couple hurdles that have to be climbed. We’ll see if it all will come together. . . . Hopefully, there will be a several developments this 12 months that give us new areas to go ought to we choose to keep on on.”

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