The show has heart. From it's theme song to even Jerry, everything leaves you with a pleasant feeling after an episode. It's not the carefully-selected diversity of Modern Family, where strangely, there are no regular black characters.
April and Andy. Specifically, the best couple on either show (if not TV). Their chemistry was wonderful from the early stages of their platonic relationship, and they've made each other better people. Modern Family seems to have a couple bickering every episode to form the basis of a plot.
Pawnee and supporting cast are in the same league as Community (wow NBC!). First in friendship, fourth in obesity, crazy citizens, scandalous politicians, Perd Hapley, and small horses (RIP Lil Sebastian) all make this small town in Indiana the best place in the world (on TV).
There's actual character growth and development, for every character (except you, Mark Brendana-quits). It doesn't maintain the status quo Modern Family has for the past three seasons, aside from the clunky turn of events at the end of last season. You could pretty much jumble up the viewing order of all MF episodes and not miss a beat.
Ron Ulysses Swanson. I admit, the very first episode of the show I watched was the season four premiere, where Mr Swanson without majestic moustache or his eyebrows (consumed by a fireball in the previous episode), smashed a hole in a wall with 'some kind of tool' (sorry, Ron), retrieved an emergency backpack from a vent, talks about his "sizeable supply of ground chuck" and runs away to a forest cabin before his other ex-wife Tammy (2) finds him. Oh, this was all in one minute. But going back, Ron Swanson is a Man. A freedom-loving, meat-eating, government-hating, god-damned American with a softer side.