It hasn't exactly been a banner season so far for Modern Family (though I'm sure the show will still sweep the 2012 Emmys). Other than "Go Bullfrogs!", the show has, for the most part, been forgettable and bland. My dissatisfaction probably stems from the fact that all of the things I like about the series -- the relationships, the vulnerability of its characters, the heart and even the comedy -- are done much better on Parks and Recreation and Community. Wednesday nights have become a layover for me as far as comedy is concerned, where I'll watch Modern Family -- and not just because I cover it -- but don't actually look forward to it.
In the spirit of the New Year, I've helped the extended Dunphy-Pritchett clan aim for a better second half of the season by writing resolutions for each character, based on the entirety of Season 3 with a focus on last night's "Express Christmas".
Resolution: Do more slapstick.
Ty Burrell clearly has a knack for physical comedy, as we witnessed by his post-taser performance as he ruined the vintage Joe DiMaggio he got for Jay. The only thing I really get excited for on this show is to see what wacky stuff Phil's going to do and say, but even that can only work for so long. I hope we get to see a lot of his new job in 2012, because any new story arcs will be welcome with open arms.
Resolution: Keep letting loose.
"Express Christmas" had a lot of potential for Control Freak Claire to lose her cool, but thanks to the show's ever-convenient and infallible sponsor Target (ugh), the Dunphy matriarch was able to be her weird self without getting horribly stressed. She might want to work on closing that whole running for councilwoman (is that what she's going for? I can't even remember any more) plot hole sometime soon.
Haley, Alex and Luke
Resolution: Spend more time with your extended family members, and each other.
The best part of the episode was probably seeing all of the unlikely duos spending time together. Sure, it was contrived, but at least pairing Alex with Mitchell and Luke with Gloria guaranteed some new jokes and stories. Those moments were almost as good as when the three Dunphy kids just hang out with each other and gang up on their parents... almost.
Resolution: Bring home that new baby already.
Sorry, Lily -- you're just not cutting it anymore. I need new hijinks that involve having two kids, not the same fights and conflicts rehashed and re-spun over and over again. And didn't we just do the "Oops, I guess you're not homophobic" storyline a few episodes ago?
Resolution: Stay strong... and weak.
I love me some Open Wound Cam, and his interactions with Jay last night delivered just that. The problem with Cam's character, though, is that the writers get stuck in ruts, and either lean on him to channel his country-boy past or play up his sensitivity. I want something new and different from this character, maybe more than any other.
Resolution: Speak up.
Did I detect the remnants of a joke from little Lily in this episode? Maybe in coming episodes, the writers can actually have grown-up Lily add to the comedy of the series instead of simply being silently carried around the whole time.
Resolution: Leave your house.
Really, most Jay storylines are contained to the confines of his home and those just entail him bickering with Gloria. The best Modern Family episodes usually feature Jay outside of his comfort zone, and that just can't happen when he's ensconced on his couch. Wherever he goes, he'd better bring Stella the dog and her adorable dog antlers.
Resolution: Take up a hobby.
We get it: Gloria's a bad driver who speaks slightly broken English. Does she have any interests? Causes she believes in? Anything that doesn't solely revolve around how attractive she is?
Resolution: Call your agent.
Did Rico Rodriguez piss one of the writers off or something? He used to be one of the main attractions of Modern Family, but now Manny is nothing more than a depressed pre-teen who, at best, gets to deliver the set-ups to jokes. Maybe he can actually get a real, living breathing girlfriend sometime in the latter half of the season to spice things up and breathe some life back into him. Something. Anything.
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