There was a lot going on in last night’s ‘Modern Family,’ and the show really handled it admirably. The Mitchell/Cam and Claire/Phil storylines were both competing for first place, and looking back it’s a little hard deciding which one came out on top of the other.
If you were looking for laughs, as I imagine most of you were, then Claire and Phil were definitely the night’s winners. Phil’s been asked to host the Southern California Annual Realtors Banquet, and sees the entire thing as an opportunity to impress the crowd with his special brand of standup. Claire, who realizes what a disaster this could turn into, steals Phil’s note cards he’s written his material on, and leaves him to improv his way through the evening. It’s always nice to see Phil win one, but I wonder how realistic this turned out to be. It’s a little unbelievable that when he’s not trying, he turns out to be quick on his feet and actually pretty funny. Or maybe it’s too believable (?). Another question: How did he know that it was Claire who took his cards? Well, it all worked out in the end, which is more than I can say for my disastrous standup routine I debuted at a local 9/11 memorial rally last month. How long did it take for AIDS to be funny again, because I obviously jumped the gun on this one.
If you bypass the laughs and go straight to the sweet stuff, Cameron and Mitchell came out on top. And in a lot of ways, their character beats were sweeter last night than they were in “The Kiss” a few weeks back. I was glad to see they balanced the emotion with some laughs, though. Cameron running into the bedroom and crying (because that’s what gay men do), and tipping over the bowl of fruit when Mitchell gives him a look for eating an apple. I especially like the way the whole episode got started, with Mitchell and Claire complaining about their significant others whilst jogging troga-ing. I really like the chemistry between Julie Bowen and Jesse Tyler Ferguson and the show’s done a great job of portraying their relationship.
I thought Jay and Gloria at the quinceanera was entertaining enough, if not terribly interesting. I thought the night’s funniest joke was Jay asking Manny, “Where do you keep popping out of?” I think the show could stand to be a little edgier with how it approaches race. Gloria’s had a ton of great lines about life in Colombia, but it’s beginning to feel a little repetitive. And a lot of stuff at the party really felt like the show was just trying to play it safe. I think they could go a little further without being distasteful.
There are certain things the show does really well, and my biggest fear is that it’ll get complacent in light of its Emmy wins and all the good press it gets. I would hope to see the show grow a bit throughout the season.