I kind of have a love-hate relationship with this show. For as many laughs as it does give me, I think I’m growing kind of tired of Modern Family, you guys. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because they use the same themes a lot (e.g., Mitchell’s daddy issues that aren’t daddy issues because he and Jay mostly just hover around each other until someone has a tiny emotional breakthrough), or maybe because it’s one of the more exhausting shows I’ve recapped because it has 11 main characters. Or maybe it’s because week after week, they’ve proven my theory about bad, good, bad, good episode order. The storylines aren’t predictable, but this show isn’t consistently funny anymore. And that really, really, really pains me because when it first came out, it was hands-down the funniest show I’d ever seen.
All that said, last night’s episode actually had a LOT of laugh-out-loud moments for me. It was really funny. It was definitely one of the peaks in the up and down formula. Phil was awesome, Luke, again, is a genius, and Cam was kind of delightful. AND STELLA WAS BACK. That automatically makes it a peak episode for me because that dog is goddamn amazing. I really enjoyed the episode, but as a whole, I’m not sold on this show anymore. But let’s focus on the good from last night. And maybe in the comments y’all can convince me that I’ve just forgotten the magic of this show.
So we’ll start with the Delgado-Pritchetts. This will be quick. Jay and Gloria are concerned that the most popular boy in school, Griffin Cooper (isn’t that just the most pretentious WASP-y name ever? Perfection.) is hanging out with Manny. Jay thinks it’s because the Griffster thinks that he’s cool because he’s picked Manny up on his motorcycle once (which Gloria bought him. Nice continuity, show!). But when Griffin comes over and practically drools ALL over Gloria’s amazing breasts, we know they’re the real reason(s) he’s hanging out with Manny. When Jay and Gloria realize this, they try to break it to Manny gently, only to find out that the only reason Manny is hanging out with Griffin is because he’s got the hots for the Griff’s sister! Player! Awesome.
I really liked Manny in this episode, which is a nice change of pace for me. The montage of Manny opening the door for his friends with weird languages, or random facts was actually really funny. And Manny dressed as the school mascot holding sparklers and dancing? Why don’t the writers use him like this EVERY episode? It kills me. And it’s so much funnier than Manny drinking his espresso wearing his smoking jacket.
Oh, and did I mention that Stella was in this episode? I am going to break into Modern Family land somehow and STEAL THAT DOG BECAUSE I NEED IT. That dog is so well trained… and… somehow manages to have comedic timing. Awesome awesome awesome. I need that dog. Need it now.
Okay, so let’s go with Cam and Mitchell next. Cam’s clown university (Clown University?) professor has died, so he and a bunch of classmates are attending his funeral. And there are so many clown antics even Mitchell can barely keep a straight face. I mean, there was a fucking CLOWN CAR, you guys. SHIT. Anyway, it’s at the funeral, that Cam, a.k.a., Fizbo the Clown, meets up with his old birthday party entertainer partner Louis (played by That Guy). Apparently Cam broke up the band troupe because it’s hard to have a relationship AND be a clown (that’s why a lot of clowns are single, apparently). But Cam and Louis decide to team up for one last birthday show. At least, Cam thinks it’s just one. Louis thinks they’re officially back together, so they get into a fight – at the birthday party – which the kids think is hilarious, as kids do. Oh well, Cam realizes his family is more important than reliving his glory (?) days as a bday clown.
Last is the Dunphy family, which actually had two story lines. The first and least entertaining of which was that Claire finally joined Facebook and wanted desperately to be friends with Haley and Alex. They keep refusing, but finally accept at the end… and end up seeing embarrassing pics that Claire was tagged in. Ha, payback. Dude, being friends with family members on Facebook is dangerous in general. One person sees a post and suddenly everyone knows. That’s how it works in my family anyway. I once called my cousin a rather creative insult in made-up Italian, his mom saw it and told my mom, and then she was all, “So, I heard you called Nick a cuntface today,” which is the second best/most awkward phrase you can ever hear your mom say (the first is “pearl necklace”). Facebook is also how I found out one of another of my cousins is a rapper. Kind of. Maybe? Either way. Facebook is an amazing, albeit dangerous place. Anyway, that was it for that story line, so let’s move on to Phil.
So, Phil is trying to get this really big real estate listing, but this giant faccia di cunte Mitzi (played by Ellen Barkin!) swoops in, all conniving and shit and steals the listing out from under him. He is understandably bummed. But because Luke is amazing, he comes up with the plan for Phil to use his spy pen to record her admitting she lied about Phil pushing her into the bush, so he can blackmail her for the listing. Somehow she sees this coming a mile away and it backfires. So they devise another plan, and it was even more genius. Luke pretended to need help in the grocery store and she helped him. He acted all pitiful, talked about how great of a father Phil is and how badly he needs the listing because they have bills and one of the kids is going to college next year. Mitzi totally falls for it, and later comes over to the Dunphy house to tell Phil he can have the listing (though, so help him if he tells anyone she did a decent-human-being thing!). All’s well that ends well, I suppose. Phil also decides this calls for some celebratory sex.
It was honestly a really cute episode, and I enjoyed the shit out of Phil’s storyline. But then again, I love Phil. And Luke. And devious plans that Luke and Phil develop. Luke is such a miniature Phil, and I love it. Love it to death. The rest of the episode provided a lot of laughs, too. My biggest laugh (I had to pause the DVR so I could fall over on my bed laughing) came when we see the grocery store ploy from Phil’s POV and he accidentally sets off the bulk jelly bean machine – which explains where he got the “free” jelly beans he uses as a means of coming down the aisle looking for Luke. Fucking genius. And it was so quick, if you looked away from the TV, you’d have missed it. I fucking LOVE when this show does that kind of stuff – the minute details that you really have to be paying attention to catch. Fucking awesome.
- “Social networking or social NOT-working?” Luke is amazing.
- “Aren’t we already gathered?” They did this joke three times, and it was funny each time. I think maybe I just have a weak spot for Phil. Correction: I know I have a weak spot for Phil.
- Luke’s giant Oreo was cool. Reason #3465 why I think he’s a secret genius.
- “We call her the Nightmare on Elm Street. Because she’s sold a lot of houses on Elm Street.”
- Mitzi called Phil “Jazz Hands.” LOLZ.
- “It’s all seltzer under the bridge.”
- Did you spot the continuity error? Cam took the hotdog out of the paper bag twice! #nerdalert
- In the grocery store, Mitzi tells Phil he has a nice kid, Phil puts his arm around Luke and walks away quickly, all, “He’s mine!” LOL!
- “There’s a surprise in every box. Spoiler alert: it’s diabetes.” That made me LOL, but I feel like I’ve heard this before…
- Seriously, the jelly bean thing from Phil’s grocery store POV was the greatest thing ever.
- Also in the grocery store, Luke tells Phil that he can fake cry on command. Back at home, Claire doesn’t want to have sex with Phil, so he asks Luke how he cries at will. 1) The fact that he thinks it’ll work on Claire makes me LOL. 2)The tip is to think of all Three Stooges dead. Um… they already are dead…?
Alright, I think I’ve reminded myself of the magic of this show, but I’m still wary about it as a whole. Tell me what you thought. What story line was your favorite? Your least favorite? How do you think the show is going this season? How does it match up to previous seasons? Am I completely nuts and it’s consistently excellent? Tell me in the comments. Remember, comments are like blogger food. Come refill my dish!