We've been excited to see more of Cam's football coaching since the topic was introduced at the beginning of the season, but we've been given just tiny glimpses of it since then. So we were excited for "The Big Game" and while the Cam stuff was pretty good, the rest of the episode could have used some motivational speaking.
There was actually some fairly entertaining stuff in "ClosetCon '13," aside from the titular ClosetCon itself. It still seemed like there was just one too many plots crammed into this show, but that seems an inevitable fact now that the kids are getting older, so we're just going to try our best to get over it. If they keep parodying famous movies/events (i.e. last week's cop drama, this week's space trip), we're more likely to forgive them.
We thought that after a few weeks off, we'd be thrilled to see a new installment of Modern Family, but "A Fair to Remember" is an outing that we'd largely like to forget… though we'd be down with watching the Dad Beats (featuring special guest Harold the pharmacist) any time. The episode suffered from a lot of promising ideas (yes, really) that largely fell flat and would have been better off if the show didn't feel the need to give almost every character a subplot in every episode. It's an ensemble, but that doesn't mean that everyone needs equal screentime every single week.
Even though "The Help" was chock full of guest stars (Fred Willard, Adam DeVine, Nathan Lane and Peri Gilpin), all those familiar faces didn't really help to make it a fantastic episode. Sure there were some laugh-out-loud moments, but those all came from the regular crew. While there were great bits of dialogue, the plotlines in general left us a little cold. All we know for sure is that whoever is responsible for the Lily stuff lately really deserves a raise.
Is this a sign of how the whole season is going to go? One decent episode followed by one that we'd like to entirely forget? Because if that's the plan, we'd like to just opt out of watching every other week. "The Late Show" was so terrible, that we'd like to not only skip, but also erase from our brains all of the storylines that involved adults in any way shape or form. We've seen infinitely funnier attempts at trying to get swanky food -- from Seinfeld's waiting game at the Chinese restaurant to the recent New Girl where Winston staked out seats while everyone else was having screaming fights.
"Farm Strong" was the most solidly amusing episode of the season for me, and a major contributing factor in that was Lily. Yes, Lily. You didn't come to the wrong site. It's like they've figured out how to use her lifeless delivery to comic effect. I'm actually shocked to be saying that. Also, I'm secretly crushing on Pam, because anyone who calls Cam out on his nonsense is okay in my book. This episode didn't have any storylines I truly hated (a major improvement from most weeks) but there were a few that I'd probably skip if I were watching again.
We're really starting to think that Modern Family might be better if they didn't feel the need to give every single character a storyline each week. "Larry's Wife" is another example of an episode where some stuff worked really well and some didn't at all. Here's what we wish we had skipped:
The double episode premiere last night ("Suddenly, Last Summer" and "First Days") wasn't as dreadful as we'd feared, but the funny stuff easily could have been cut down to make one solid episode instead of two uneven ones. Here's what we liked and what we could have done without:
Even if I hated the rest of Season 4 (mostly just seven eighths of it, really), "Goodnight Gracie" was one of the best episodes of Modern Family ever. The plotlines were fun and unpredictable, the ensemble was well-used and the conceit was incredibly sweet. Were there hints of the same problems this show always has, with lazy stereotypes and unadventurous jokes? Sure, but the acting was pretty stellar, and at the end of the day, the episode was fun -- so much so that I already look forward to watching it again. Truthfully, I watched this without realizing it was the finale, and while it could have closed out Season 4 with more material, I'm fine with accepting "Goodnight Gracie" for what it was. Let's take a look at the best lines of the night:
My least favorite Modern Family episodes are the ones that reveal just how awful the Dunphy-Pritchett-Delgado adults are deep down -- and that was the running gag in "Games People Play." Not to mention that the pattern this season has been that for every tiny step Lily has taken to improve, Manny just gets that much worse. Making him a whiny sneak with an unsubtle Oedipal problem did not do him any favors. While we've seen Jay and Gloria realize how obnoxious they are, with Phil and Cam accidentally (and unbeknownst to them) publicly shaming themselves and Claire functioning as a wet blanket, this episode wasn't a complete waste. There were still some pretty funny moments, so let's focus on those:
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