Modern Family: New Episode Tonight

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Zaz, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Oh, joy, I forgot to watch this one, again. :p

    "Modern Family' recap: Good dads go bad
    by Michael Slezak
    Categories: TV Recap

    The good news about Modern Family?s hilarious second episode is that it proved the show isn?t going to just be a one-hit wonder. The not-so-good news? I kept having to rewind my DVR to catch lines that got drowned out by the sound of my husband and me howling from our couch. MVP for this episode, which might as well have been been titled ?The Sins of the Father,? was definitely Ty Burrell?s Phil, who got himself into all kinds of bizarre trouble by going against his wife?s wishes and buying a bike for his irresponsible son. It was funny (and ridiculous) enough for Phil to ?steal? the unattended bike as a ?lesson? to Luke, but the subsequent mishaps ? Phil loses bike while helping neighborhood lust object Desiree with a household task, Phil surreptitiously buys replacement bike, Phil discovers ?stolen? bike was not his son?s ? took the storyline in brilliant, unexpected directions. By that climactic scene, with Phil gripping Julie Bowen?s Claire in a romantic-turning-to-painful embrace, then preposterously attempting to shield her eyes from the site of hot divorcee Desiree coming up the driveway with Bike No. 3, I was literally convulsing with laughter. I also loved the opening Phil-Claire-Desiree encounter (embedded below), from Phil?s shifty body language and nervous outbursts (?fun! and ?I?m a real-estate mogul?what?!?) to Claire?s ice-cold ?Phil, that?s creepy? after he told the forbidden divorcee ?bet you?re lovin? that steam shower.?

    Moving on to the other Modern households, Mitchell?s desire to blend in with the straight couples ? or rather, his desire to have Cameron blend in ? at Lily?s play date yielded pretty ingenious results, including a quotable quip before they?d even left the house: ?Wow. Paisley and pink. Was there something wrong with the fishnet tank top?? And as much as I loved Cameron?s struggle to tamp down his natural gifts and dance like a straight guy, his best line of the night (and perhaps the best line of the episode) was one so subtle I had to play it twice to confirm what I?d actually heard.

    Playgroup Employee: ?We?re all over here taking turns blowing bubbles.?
    Cameron: ?Well, how nice for?the babies!?

    Way to sneak one past the network censors, Modern Family! And interestingly enough, the show?s gruffest character, Ed O?Neill?s Jay, once again proved to be its squishy emotional center. Sure, his attempt to install a ceiling fan/ bond with his stepson yielded half a dozen awkward zingers, but it was that detoured limo ride to Disney (after Manny?s dad failed to show up) that came thisclose to bringing a tear to my eye. ?Ninety percent of being a dad is just showing up,? Jay surmised. Here?s hoping viewers keep showing up to Modern Family, ?cause this one?s a keeper, folks!"
  2. Bill-Thompson Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2008
    star 3
    It was another great episode, people really need to get behind this show., Why crap like Cougar Town and Community are getting boatloads of viewers and not this amazes me.
  3. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Come Fly with Me

    "Phil pushes Jay to go out with him and fly his new model plane. While Manny takes time out to play with Luke, Gloria accompanies Alex in shopping for a dress. Later on, Manny ends up having a heart-to-heart talk with his sister Claire."

    Airs: 7/10/2009

    Tonight at nine. The clip on the 'net looks good. Nice to see Ed O'Neill doing subtle comedy. He's capable of it.
  4. DAR Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2004
    star 4
    After three episodes I have to say that I'm smiling more than laughing. I still like the show and will keep watching but I thought I'd have more laugh out loud moments. The other reason why I'll keep watching is because I've had a crush on Julie Bowen.
  5. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I'd agree that I don't laugh out loud all that much, but I'm not sure every show needs to be a laugh out loud style of comedy. This show's pretty subtle and I enjoy that. The actor playing Phil is absolutely hysterical. Nice to see him and Ed O'Neill have a plot together this week.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  6. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    The third episode was my first...and Phil is indeed brilliantly played.
  7. Bill-Thompson Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2008
    star 3
    It's a very subtle comedy, but I laugh out loud at it all the time, it's that darn funny.
  8. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Watched my second episode, and ROTFLMAO.

    Here's a recap (warning: spoilers!)


    'Modern Family' recap: Warning -- Shelley Long is a choking hazard!
    by Michael Slezak

    "Just when you think Modern Family can?t get any funnier, it does. And I say that both about the series generally and last night?s episode specifically. The casting of Shelley Long as Jay?s passive-aggressive (except when violently aggressive) yet sexually reactivated ex-wife was a stroke of genius, especially because Long?s presence brought out heretofore unseen yet completely believable aspects of her children?s personalities. Certainly, DeDe?s arrival shed light on the origins of Claire?s scathing sarcasm (?Oh, Uncle Toby! I?ll be sure to include that in my Amber alert.?) and Mitchell?s need to prove his maturity and independence, which resulted in one of the night?s best lines: ?We?re all gonna move past this. And because of me, who?s not a mama?s boy, but is a caring person with wisdom and emotional insight. So make a note, bitches!? And while DeDe?s linguistically hidden jabs at Julie Bowen?s Claire owed something to Arrested Development, that didn?t make the exchanges any less funny:

    DeDe: ?Why so long??
    Claire: ?I know, I know. It?s weird when we haven?t talked for a while.?
    DeDe: ?I mean your hair.?

    Of course, a lot of Modern Family?s laughs originate not just from the punch lines (which are generally as sharp as the discarded lid on an aluminum can), but also from the cast?s priceless reaction shots. Take the way Claire and Mitchell stood up and turned away in horror after their mother declared that while guilt was stopping her from being fully intimate with her new beau, ?We do things to each other. We use our hands.? That was just as good as Mitchell?s horrified utteranaces (?Cant. Don?t want.?) when DeDe had previously brought up activity ?down there.?

    My award for Episode MVP, though, has to go to Eric Stonestreet?s Cameron, who scored many of the night?s best moments despite being peripheral to the action. I loved how that bitchy barb about his mother-in-law shifted instantly into a sunny salutation when he looked up and saw Mitchell?s mother had, in fact, arrived unexpectedly from out of town: ?The last time she was here the refrigerator magnets rearranged themselves into a pentag?grandma!? And that home-video shot of him using the exercise equipment (though not the lettuce dryer) at Christmas was brilliant in its percolating hostility, a perfect pairing with his confessional voiceover. ?To recap: I gave her a gorgeous pair of diamond earrings, and she gave me a hint.? (Also: ?That?s not a good color on you.?)

    Perhaps most impressive of all, though, was the way the episode pulled a fast one, setting up another gut-bustingly funny interlude immediately after I thought we?d gotten to the ?teaching/touching moment? (i.e. the place where the laughs come to a screeching halt on most sitcoms). Here we had Haley?s boyfriend, putting the family blowout ? with DeDe?s hands wrapped around glorious Gloria?s throat ? in perspective with this monologue about Haley and her relatives: ?She?s got this killer confidence. You know, the kind of confidence you get from having a family like this, that?s passionate and accepting of hot foreigners and gay dudes and nutty people. You know, a family that actually loves each other.? I guess that gooey sentiment left me unprepared for Dylan?s subsequent performance of ?In the Moonlight.? The less said about the song the better."
  9. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Season 1, Episode 5 ? Aired: 10/21/2009
    Coal Digger

    "The whole family is invited for some barbeque and football at Gloria and Jay's house. However, earlier at school there was an incident between Manny and Luke, making things very awkward for Claire and Gloria. Things heat up when an offensive label is uttered."
  10. DAR Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2004
    star 4
  11. DAR Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2004
    star 4
    Episode just ended, fantastic tonight.
  12. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
  13. Bill-Thompson Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2008
    star 3
    Another fantastic episode, go Illini.
  14. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    9-9:30PM ABC, TV-PG

    Modern Family

    "Phil, you are the funniest person on TV. Still, I pity Claire tonight as you misread yet another situation."

  15. The_Face Ex-Manager

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 5
    I think last week's episode was probably the best yet. Phil is definitely a highlight, though Ed O'Neill is also excellent in perhaps a subtler way and I still have a soft spot for Julie Bowen.
  16. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    There really isn't a deadhead in the cast.
  17. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    "I'm from Denver. There's not a lot of Foa (?) in Denver."
  18. Drew_Atreides Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 30, 2002
    star 5
    My wife and i laugh outloud at least 5 times an episode (and for me to laugh out loud at something.. Yeah, this is a good show)..

    Last night's may have been the best since the premiere.


    The final 5 minutes were just side-splitting, from Phil getting hit by the car to the bit during the credits when Haley is driving the family and the cops try to pull her over..

    "I've got priors! Keep going!"
  19. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    "Yeah, I'll pay for *that* one."

    "I'm breaking the window!"

    "Luke's fine."
    "We have to get Lily to the doctor right away."
  20. Drew_Atreides Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 30, 2002
    star 5
  21. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Most random cameo ever.

    Also... "I sang it at our wedding".

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  22. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I didn't see this episode, "The Tudors" being on CBC at the same time and my PVR on the fritz.

    Here's the EW recap:

    "To a TV executive, I?d imagine the phrase ?special guest stars Elizabeth Banks and Edward Norton? would conjure up images of creative brilliance and ratings gold. But in actual practice, the stunt casting of the former as a boozy child hater and especially the latter as dreary Spandau Ballet bassist Izzy LaFontaine, threatened to derail last night?s episode of ABC?s normally consistent freshman hit.

    To be honest, Norton can?t take all the blame for not scoring a single decent laugh during the Spandau bit. Sure, his British accent was too strained, his ?I love the ?80s? hair too obvious, but the idea behind the shtick ? that Julie Bowen?s Claire couldn?t come up with a better anniversary present for hubby Phil than free-hug coupons ? didn?t seem remotely credible. Phil?s initial confessional response (?I can?t not think of things I want!?) was as amusing as his list of useless dream gifts (yogurt maker, bug vacuum, night-vision goggles), but everything else about the story arc played out in ways that were at once unfunny and unbelievable. And perhaps because of that, the final slow-dance denouement failed to move me in the way the show?s sappy-happy endings usually do.

    Banks fared a little bit better as the party-gal pal of Mitchell and Cameron with violently jealous feelings toward their newly adopted daughter. I?ll admit I howled at her ?I will throw her in the ocean!? outburst, as well as Cam?s response when Mitchell asked if he could touch Sal?s new breast implants (?You?re drinking a passion-fruit daiquiri. I?ll be fine.?). But again, one of the reasons Modern Family works so well is that its characters ? neurotic, wacky, and heightened as they may be ? always behave in ways that make sense, that draw parallels to the real characters in our own lives. Which is why I don?t buy that neither of these enthusiastic gay dads popped a gasket at Sal?s suggestion that the child they?re so devoted to deserved to be killed for potentially thwarting a trip to Cabo.

    Fortunately, Western night with the grandkids at Jay and Gloria?s salvaged the half-hour, particularly Jay?s ninja-like efforts to thwart Haley?s trip to a nearby party, and Gloria?s rancid lullabies for Lily. (?Lily likes that? That singing?? ?So Lily?s deaf.?) Again, though, Manny?s sudden crush on his niece-by-marriage Haley didn?t feel right, perhaps because it still had the pricetags from the Arrested Development store on it, perhaps because unlike the Maeby/George-Michael pas de deux, Manny-Haley doesn?t (and shouldn?t) have the overarching danger of actually sparking some fireworks. My advice to the show?s writers: Drop this subplot like ABC dropped Eastwick. Go easy on the stunt casting. And no need to check for a pulse, like Luke hilariously did to Jay?I?m pretty certain that despite last night?s disappointment, Modern Family?s got plenty of life in it."
  23. DAR Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2004
    star 4
    Wasn't even close to being a disappointment. The Edward Norton bit was funny because the present was so bad.
  24. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I didn't find Edward Norton funny at all actually, and I like him. I agree this was my least favorite episode.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  25. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    9-9:30PM
    ABC, TV-PG-DL

    Modern Family

    "Cameron dresses up as Fizbo the clown for Luke's birthday party. Please, Cameron, have a shred of gay pride and ditch the red nose."