Because these two are essentially the same episode, I decided to review them both together. It was a little surprising that Modern Family’s first two-parter, which took the family across the Pacific, wasn’t used as the season finale. While they may not have been the season’s funniest episodes (I thought “Hawaii” was right up there with the best), they were definitely among the most solid, and would have served as a great cap to the year.
The first half of the hour, “Airport 2010,” showed what it took just to get the family on its way, and it was sort of fitting that to take up its own episode. And while most of the family can roll with the punches and take everything as it comes, for Jay, the entire ordeal serves as a sign of things to come. While he expected to spend a nice, relaxing birthday with Gloria in Hawaii, she surprised him by inviting the entire family along. Between them and all the funtivities she’s got planned, it doesn’t look like he’s going to get the R&R he was looking forward to. For a while, at least, that ends up working in his favor.
While at the beach, Jay’s brother calls to wish him a happy 63rd birthday and reminds him that their dad was the same age when he died. Now Jay’s an overnight health guru, trying to whip himself back into shape, with Gloria wanting to relax and sit by the pool.
After a rocky start to the trip, Phil aims to use his time with Claire in Hawaii as a second Honeymoon. Claire isn’t really having it, saying that because she’s a fulltime mom, this isn’t really a vacation, it’s a business trip. I couldn’t help but feel this was partly a response to Phil leaving her at the airport when he drove Mitchell back home to get his wallet. But eventually, Phil is able to drag her away from her motherly duties, leaving the kids more or less to their own devices. Of course their alone time is short-lived. After Haley goes off with some kids she’s met and gets drunk, Claire’s again pulled away.
I understand that Phil and Claire are very easy-going parents. They kind of have to be, but I didn’t really buy the two of them going so easy on Haley after her little episode. Still, when Haley – who looked more coked-out than anything – asked her mom if this is what happened every time you got drunk, Claire telling her that yes, yes it was, more than made up for it.
During all of this, Cameron’s trying to tell that he may have overstated his love for adventure by implying that he had a love for adventure. I thought there was a lot of good stuff here, especially the two of them looking for Lilly, who got lost in the underbrush wearing her jungle-print outfit.
Of course, Manny considers himself a man of the world, so a trip to Hawaii is a perfect opportunity to get out there and spread his wings a little. He finds that he’s going to have a hard time picking up ladies with Luke as his wingman. I guess you could probably write a Perfect Strangers-type sitcom with the two of them as roommates. Luke is funny, but I feel Manny would still carry it, like he does so much of Modern Family.
Things I liked:
- Dylan “breaking out” of the Dunphy’s.
- “We can drink lavender tea and eat lavender scones.”
- “I’m just a boy trying to bring style back to travel.”