After sweeping the Emmys yet again, Modern Family is back for a fourth season. Are you excited? I'm on the fence -- I generally like to root for underdogs, and with the relentless praise the show gets, it's much easier for me to see all of the flaws in this show. On the other hand, last night's premiere made me laugh a handful of times, and by the end totally had me crying... which isn't saying much, given that I'm a huge crybaby, but still.
It's been a fairly anticlimactic season of Modern Family. Some episodes were fun to watch, some were slightly grueling (especially in the first half of the season) and now after "Baby On Board," we're left with a little bit of heartache. The writers are so skilled at crafting gay characters and portraying the struggle of adoption... but next season, it looks like a good portion of our time will be dedicated to Gloria's pregnancy. Suddenly I long for Mitchell and Cameron to get into a really big fight just so that we don't have to see what that poorly acted nightmare is going to look like.
I honestly didn't laugh very much during "Aunt Mommy," but I still thorough enjoyed it. It displayed how well-oiled of a machine Modern Family can be, especially thanks to a few of the biggest elements of the episodes:
There was buzz throughout the blogosphere yesterday that Lily would drop an F-bomb in "Little Bo Bleep," and the rumors were true... for all intents and purposes, anyways. While her foul little mouth seemed to make the Dunphy-Pritchetts crack up, I thought it was actually the weakest plotline in a very strong episode of Modern Family -- even if you include all of the times Cam had to immediately leave the room to giggle. I've been working off the theory that a great episode of this show will have lots of Claire moments and a Cam-Mitchell storyline that doesn't involve them bickering, and this venture definitely supports it. Here are the best components in what just may be the best episode of the season so far:
While I'd argue that Modern Family could easily get better from last season -- stop reusing the same plotlines, don't feel so obligated to stick to a three story-arc per episode format, give Claire a redeeming personality -- such improvements were absent from the first two episodes of Season 3. Last night, in "Dude Ranch" we saw those elements we complained about a few months back to the nth degree. Thankfully, in "When Good Kids Go Bad," things were cleaned up a bit and we were back on track as far as tone and laughs were concerned. And whether or not you agree with all of the show's recent Emmy wins, I think it's safe to say that discerning viewers have reason to believe that this show may not hold up in quality if some serious changes don't start getting made... and if Cam and Mitchell's new baby isn't seriously effing cute.
Maybe we're still on a sugar high from all of the holiday cookies, but "And One to Grow On" felt like it hit just the right notes (well, mostly). It didn't exactly knock it out of the park in the comedy department, but it did really nail the family dynamic. Maybe we were just happy to see Adam DeVine again? In any case, here are the best and worst parts of the episode.
Since we're in the spirit of the holiday season, we're going to start with the positive facts about "The Old Man and the Tree". If you don't want to deal with the negativity this time of year, you can just stop reading when you get to the Jay/Tree nonsense. Our anger and annoyance at that stupidity will be still be around waiting to be read in the new year.
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.
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:
MOST RECENT POSTS