BLOGS

The Telefile
<i>Modern Family</I>: You Can Take the Boy Off the Farm

"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.

Love: Lily's Perfect Timing
Pam: "Your dads are getting married? That can't be right."
Lily: "That's what my friend Keisha says."
First of all, I am already in love with Keisha for that and her question about why Lily's dads are both white as well. Secondly, Lily maybe only had six lines in the entire episode and they were all just spot-on -- quick asides, but insanely dry and funny.

Skip: Gloria's Eye Problems
Her unwillingness to wear glasses is ridiculous considering that Jay has money and contacts or Lasik are most likely at least alternatives for those not willing to don traditional frames. The rat poison thing and inexcusably stepping on our beloved Stella were stupid sight gags, and I could have done without the lame hearing test for Jay in front of the whole family.

Love: A Soccer Quickie
You know what's usually more boring than watching children's soccer games in real life? Watching sitcom parents' fake-enthusiasm for their children at such games. Here, the Dunphys were straight up about how much they love Luke but hate sitting at his marathon games, so they decided to skip it for a change. But super-efficient Claire made a brief pit stop at the game (without telling Phil so he wouldn't feel guilty). It was cute, clever and great to see Luke as a soccer star for about half a second. Just the right amount of children doing sports for an episode. Oh, and also, I bet Claire would have been more amenable to actually going to the games if she had known about the Sangria-filled coffee cups.

Skip: The Murder (of Baby Birds)
I was egg-cited to see Phil and his fabulous gutter cleaner in action, but after about 50 bird puns, the shtick had worn thin. Still, pretty great Phil facial expressions, so it wasn't a totally lost plot.

Love: Words With Friends
I'd quibble about how Words with Friends seems like a reference from two years ago, but Alex seems like she'd play that with her grandfather. I expected that "twist" to be that Manny was feeding Jay all those winning vocab words, but it was almost even better that Jay was actually outsmarting his granddaughter all on his own.

Love: Cam and His Sister
Pam can come on this show any time she wants. She arrived all Debbie Downer, gave Cam grief about being oversensitive and pretty much outed all his "farm" stories as hyper-exaggerated. It was the best. Watching Cam get told by everyone that they keep stuff from him because he tends to flip out over nothing was great. And even Mitchell was pretty cool about not overdoing it with the "I told you so's" or anything, instead being being a supportive partner (even if he had to bite his tongue a lot). It was all very well played and I'm hoping that I get invited to Pam's big day, though I could live without seeing her put her "drilling rights" to good use.

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