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Modern Family Made Alex's Character Painfully One-Dimensional

Just 11 years old when Season 1 of the faux mockumentary "Modern Family" launched in 2009, the aggressively precocious Alex Dunphy (Ariel Winter) wastes no time in displaying the personality type that will define her throughout the long run of this Emmy-Award-winning ABC sitcom. She constantly gaslights her older sister Haley (Sarah Hyland). She has fun freaking out little brother Luke (Nolan Gould) by convincing him he's adopted. And she turns academic overachieving into an art form and looks down on anyone not as brilliant as she is, which is pretty much everyone in both the Dunphy and Pritchett households.

The truth is, across all 11 seasons of the series, Alex remains more or less consistent. She sees herself, rightly, for the most part, as the smartest person in any room she happens to be in, and she isn't at all shy about letting everyone know it. As it turns out, fans of the show were more than happy to point out their dislike for this aspect of this Dunphy daughter's persona. Commenting on the series' subreddit, "Modern Family" buff u/arrianym made their sentiments clear in their discussion of the issue tilted: "[not a criticism of the show] Rewatching years later and Alex...is sort of a nightmare," then adding that, "Her character is just TOXIC." Other fans apparently agreed: Alex is a one-note character, and that note is off-key.

Many Modern Family viewers found Alex a predictably nasty know-it-all

While "Modern Family" seems to be reliably hilarious viewing overall, some fans feel that Alex Dunphy is a letdown as a character who is unfailingly irritating and stays that way start to finish. Adding their voice to complain about her on the subreddit noted above, series' fan u/MysteryisMyAllure contrasts sibling Haley Dunphy's in-series development to Alex's lack of progression, saying, "Unlike Haley, Alex have [sic] no growth."

Others also reacted negatively to Alex's role as a static character who is super-smart but also uber-annoying. From her condescension toward her entire family to the way she views her own academic superiority as the end-all and be-all of life, Alex's unchanging behavior just rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way. 

For Redditor u/Funnysox69, the series missed an opportunity to correct this situation and flesh-out Alex's character with a more meaningful backstory, writing, "The biggest botch up in modern family is not delving deeper into Alex's life and why she is the way she is." So, while other more relatable, multi-dimensional characters on the show may have kept fans tuning in, Alex Dunphy's singularly shallow depiction as a bothersome brainiac appears to rank as a creative low point for quite a few "Modern Family" viewers.