It’s not unusual for other countries to make their own versions of American TV shows. (Come to think of it, we do it plenty as well. We do like our remakes of British television.) China has been remaking American shows since the 80s. There’s a Spanish-language version of Married With Children that was so popular it still runs daily in syndication and spawned a movie. But Chile’s new version of Modern Family seems like an odd choice.
The family here is dubbed “modern” for all the elements that would have been deemed irregular a few decades ago. Not the least of which, of course, is the inclusion of Cameron and Mitchell, who got married in last season’s finale. So how is this translated to a country like Chile, which is staunchly conservative with institutionalized homophobia? Gay marriage is illegal there, and gay couples are also banned from adopting children. So how do they get around the whole normal and loving gay couple issue? Easy, they just make them… kinda gay.
In the Chilean version (which is being shot in “accent-free” Spanish to be broadcast throughout Latin America), one of the men has a fling with a woman and ends up getting her pregnant. Then the couple has to take care of the child when her mother goes on vacation. While the inclusion of a gay couple in a television show made for a largely anti-gay market is absolutely a great thing, downgrading the two from parents to extended babysitters feels like a kick to the crotch of worldwide LGBT rights.
The other major change in this version is in Gloria. While Sofia Vergara’s character has gotten a lot of criticism for being a flamboyant, loud, emotional, sexualized stereotype, apparently that stereotype is prevalent enough in Latin America to necessitate a change. The show’s producer said instead they set their Gloria apart by her economic status. “We chose a woman who hailed from a lower social class, as social strata are very defined in Chile.”
So far two seasons (45 episodes) of the remake have been shot, but none have aired.