The Telefile

Modern Family: Make It Stop

by Rachel Stein January 17, 2013 9:50 am
<i>Modern Family</i>: Make It Stop

We're big fans of Jason Mantzoukas here at TWoP, in no small part because of his character Rafi on The League, Dennis Feinstein on Parks and Recreation and his musings on the How Did This Get Made? podcast. When we first learned he'd be playing Haley Dunphy's boyfriend in "Party Crasher," it was the most we've looked forward to an episode of Modern Family in a long time. It should come as no surprise, then, that after watching this mess, we're a bit more disappointed than usual.

I don't blame Mantzoukas for the failure this week -- he was entertaining, gross and exactly what his character was supposed to be. Instead, "Party Crasher," was overstuffed with the most straightforward sitcom tropes, very few funny gags and padded with ethos that the writers seem to rely on when an episode isn't delivering on any other front.

There was also that delightful joke Cam made at Lily's expense about how they knew there was a good chance of her being a bad driver -- because she's an Asian woman. Get it? My problem with this line is that it's supposed to be okay because we're supposed to know that Cam and Mitch and the rest of the Pritchett-Dunphys aren't bad people, yet we're told that rather than shown it, so when one of them says something racist, sexist or homophobic, it's more unsettling and in bad taste than it is even remotely funny -- especially when there's no sense of shame when a character says this kind of crap, and there very rarely is... but hey, maybe a quick cutaway or a silly look on the speaking character's face can make up for it, right?

Otherwise, "Party Crasher" had the ultra-predictable Manny hating his surprise party, Gloria having the baby on his birthday at the worst time imaginable, that weird slapped-together plot in the beginning where Gloria and Jay caused mayhem, Luke awkwardly popping in every few scenes to talk about the documentary he was making, Cam worrying that Lily is upset with him, Mitch misunderstanding Cam's sadness,and the aforementioned Haley trying to get her parents' attention with her seedy older boyfriend. Nothing interesting, certainly nothing worth highlighting, so instead I'll say better luck next week rather than dignify this episode with memorable quotes.

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