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Modern Family: Driving a Wedge into a Relationship

Huh. For the first time since I started watching Modern Family, I got the feeling that things may not be as good as I thought for Phil and Claire. It’s not that I disliked last night’s episode – Modern Family on a bad week is still better than 99% of television comedies. But it really seemed to highlight the worst aspects of both Phil and Claire, something that I’ve always thought this show needs to be careful about.

Claire can overreact, Phil can be a total doofus. Misunderstandings ensue. But sometimes things build up, and that can result in massive fights like the one on last night’s episode. It was funny to see Phil try to patch things up with Claire after he and Gloria pinpointed all the ways he’d made her mad except for the one straw that had actually broken the camel’s back. But unfortunately, the whole thing just kind left me feeling cold. The fact that Phil has taken her critiques but not her recommendations to heart didn’t do much to improve the storyline. He’ll cut his hair but won’t read a book?

Meanwhile, there wasn’t enough to Jay and Gloria’s storyline to sell me on it. Maybe if we’d actually seen Jay screw up previous gifting occasions it would have been funnier. But a storyline about how Gloria can’t sing? Much like her actually singing, it fell flat.

Mitch and Cam saved the episode for me. I loved watching Mitch try to make up for his giant error while Cam went into party planning mode. Luke working as his assistant, headset and all? Hilarious. I also loved watching Alex try to out Haley for pretending to have a job as a waitress. Those two have always played well off each other, and this week was no different.

That’s all I’ll say, since this episode wasn’t my favorite. Did you feel any differently? Now, check out these highlights:

  • “I never thought I would enjoy having a nemesis, Mitch, but I do. I do.” – Cam
  • I really liked all of Cam’s “Do you, Mitchell? Do you?” lines.
  • “It is amazing what you notice and what you don’t notice.” – Cam, pointing out Luke’s unzipped fly
  • “It was a romantic comedy my now ex-friend Ruben recommended.” – Manny
  • Best line of the night: “Happy Valenbirthiversary!” from a panicked, confused Phil.
  • Gloria telling Phil “I kill you” when he lists all the ways he could have pissed off Claire
  • “I don’t even know why she talks to you.” – Gloria
  • “You know, when you get a massage you sound like a Tijuana prostitute.” – Jay, the straight-shooter
  • “Shouldn’t you get back to Donald? That is the name of your cat, right?” – Cam, to his arch-nemesis
  • “Want to hear the guest list for tonight? So far it’s anger, betrayal, terror and sadness. Congratulations Mitchell, you packed the house!” – Cam
  • Haley telling the real waitress at the restaurant that she’s pregnant as a cover.
  • “We passed two cars, the dogs stuck their heads back inside the window.” – Jay, on Gloria singing in the car
  • Jay singing “Danny Boy” – he was good! 
  • Manny responding to Jay’s singing with “You keep this up, and this won’t be the only plug I pull.”


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