Thursday, March 3, 2011

Modern Family-"Two Monkeys and a Panda"

My review of last night's episode of Modern Family is after the jump.

That was great. While it was far from the best that the show has done, it was an episode that worked and at times was screamingly funny. It was a definite improvement from the last two weeks that played up the sitcomness of the show as well as just not being funny. It worked on many levels to make a refreshing episode of the show. It was the best episode to air in 2011 and a reminder of how funny the show can be.

To give Phil something to do, apparently he had unused spa coupons and he needed to use them that day. Since Claire didn't want to join him, Phil went to the spa alone. This created one of the better Phil plotlines in awhile, giving some great material for Ty Burrell to play. The opening? scene with Phil trying to convince Claire to go the spa was very funny. Even if Bowen seemed indifferent (as she should be) Burrell did a fantastic job playing off of that. The scene with Phil in the spa was very funny, and it made me wish that I were in the spa. It was a small plotline, but it served as a great showcase for Burrell.

Claire just wants Alex and Hayley get along, but it wouldn't be nearly as funny if they did. This week's episode one of the better uses of Claire this season. The writers kept her from going to the shrill place this episode and it made me like the plotline and the episode even more. Claire trying to replace Haley's sweater so that she doesn't get mad was a great use of Claire and Julie Bowen was very funny. She was great in the scene at the end where she lets Alex take the blame for the ink stain oh the sweater. She kept it simple and wasn't shrill, that's all I can ask for from Bowen. 

The Phil and Gloria plotline seemed stupid on paper but it surprisingly worked. It provided for some genuine moments that worked very well. Gloria wanting to be buried in the ground seemed terrible in theory, but it was executed by Sofia Vergara very well. She was very, very funny. This was an even better showcase for Ed O'Neill. He was especially great in the scene with the coffee can. "That way the bum will be reminded Jay Pritchett in his coffee can." He was fantastic in this episode. The subject matter was stupid but these are very talented actors so it worked very well. It played off the age difference really well and it created very good humor. 

The Mitchell and Cameron storyline served teh purpose of giving these two something to do. It was the most real plotline with the two of them I've seen in awhile. It was the most serious we've seen the characters be and I thought that worked to its advantage. Cameron can be played very over the top at times but I thought this time they contained it very well. He was understandably upset for Mitchell not having his last name be a part of Lilly's last name. It was played for "seriousness" and it worked really well. It was suprisingly dramatic, but that worked very well.

Some other thoughts:

  • The episode was also a good showcase for Ariel Winter. She did a fantastic job freaking out. Sarah Hyland wasn't given much to do but she was great with what she had.
  • Rico Rodriguez was underused with his girlfriend of the week but he was still funny. He's very talented and it worked very well. His scene at the end where he revealed part of his Mom and Jay's history was absolutely hysterical
  • Luke was notably absent from this episode
  • "If you don't use them, then all of our money just goes to charity!"
  • "Remember how I used to wear it and walk around and act like I had a giant head?" "That was good acting!"
  • "... Like I used to do with Mitchell."
  • "She's the panda because she's Asian." "And we're monkeys because ..." "I can draw monkeys."
  • "What a random and not helpful fact, Phil."
  • "I had to undress a mannequin while a creepy guy filmed it, so we have that to look forward to on the Internet."
  • "Technically, it's my house, but I will fix that too."

Overall, I thought it was a very strong episode of Modern Family. The "new show haze" is gone and season two is weaker then season one but I thought this episode was on par with season one. 

What did everyone else think?

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