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Modern Family: The Best Gags of the Evening

by Rachel Stein February 9, 2012 10:10 am
<I>Modern Family</i>: The Best Gags of the Evening

Congrats, everyone! We made it through our first season of Modern Family without a Clive Bixby Valentine's Day special, or any February 14-type of episode at all. I can't say I had trouble sleeping without it, but it does feel strange that this show is choosing to completely gloss over the holiday (as next week's episode gives no indication that it'll be Valentine's-themed at all). Is this the writers' version of mixing this show up?

In all seriousness, my biggest problem with Modern Family right now is the pacing. Phil's storyline is the only one on the series that actually seems to be crawling along, but are Cameron and Mitchell ever going to get that baby? Does anyone else even have a story arc this season? I guess Haley will get into college at some point, but that is literally it -- and it's the very reason why we're given so many character-driven, "hey, we don't see these two people interact very much! What would that look like?" episodes. I don't know about you, but I am having considerably less fun with these mix-'em-ups than I used to.

If you can get past that stuff and prefer to watch this show more leisurely -- and I kind of hope that I'm the only person getting all worked up over it, because at the end of the day, Modern Family is a harmless family sitcom (unless you're on staff at any other TV comedy and really care about winning awards) -- "Me? Jealous?" had some well-written, nicely crafted gags that hit their punches well. Let's focus on those.

Kissing Claire
Guest star Greg Kinnear was perfectly fine as Tad, Phil's new business partner. I'm glad that instead of taking the more obvious route of someone trying to sleep with Claire and take advantage of Phil's kindness, the writers just made him kind of a weird person who is comfortable with mouth-on-mouth kissing. Better yet, Claire was wrong without being chastised, and jealous Phil was adorable. I could've done without the handful of hyper-aware "I wanna go back," jokes, though.

The Story of Danielle
I wasn't thrilled at Manny's conflict resolution idea when it first came to surface, but by the end of the episode, I was laughing out loud. I love that Cam and Gloria (whose outfits are getting more microscopic by the day) were vaguely paying attention to this awful imaginary girl in the background while they project their problems onto her scenario -- it kind of saved their played-out storyline to me. Even better was how Mitchell got a quick line about the little trainwreck, too. I had more fun watching the Jay-Mitchell conflict (and resolution) than the Cam-Gloria one, so I'm sure that has something to do with it as well.

Lady Luke
As much as I love Haley -- excuse me, Mrs. Haley Jonas Brothers -- and Alex, I didn't think they were strong enough last night to hold up the Big Sister C-plot on their own. Luckily, that's when Luke came in, told them to "be normal-er" and allowed for the whole Betty Luke gag to happen. The button at the end with Luke in drag was highly appreciated, too.

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