Modern Family: You Can Take the Boy Off the Farm

by Angel Cohn October 10, 2013 10:35 am
<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.

Modern Family: Take “Larry’s Wife”, Please

by Angel Cohn October 3, 2013 11:23 am
<I>Modern Family</I>: Take “Larry’s Wife”, Please

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:

Modern Family: The Best & Worst Moments of the Premiere

by Angel Cohn September 26, 2013 10:49 am
<I>Modern Family</I>: The Best & Worst Moments of the Premiere

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:

Modern Family: Goodnight, Gracie. Hello, Series Highlight.

by Rachel Stein May 22, 2013 10:02 pm
<i>Modern Family</i>: Goodnight, Gracie. Hello, Series Highlight.

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:

Modern Family: The Best Lines of the Night

by Rachel Stein May 16, 2013 10:40 am
<I>Modern Family</i>: 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:

Modern Family: The Best Lines of the Night

by Rachel Stein May 9, 2013 10:43 am
<i>Modern Family</i>: The Best Lines of the Night

Modern Family does well with backstories -- especially when it includes adding insult to injury. "My Hero" may have had a contrived and predictable framing device with Manny's school assignment, (though I like that Luke had the same essay to write) and the Phil-Gloria subplot was pretty much a huge waste until its genuinely hilarious conclusion, but it was a solidly funny and sweet episode. I credit that in no small part thanks to the writers getting the entire ensemble of "jumpy Protestants" together in a believable way (even Cousin Pete!) and to Eric Stonestreet's physical comedy. Before we get to the highlights, I do want to point out that Happy Endings had a similar storyline in its recent Season 3 (and perhaps series) finale this past Friday, "Brothas & Sisters." If you enjoyed "My Hero," I definitely recommended giving that episode a whirl -- you don't need much context going into it, either. Now, let's get to it:

Modern Family: The Best Lines of the Night

by Rachel Stein May 2, 2013 10:15 am
<i>Modern Family</i>: The Best Lines of the Night

Much as I love Rob Riggle, Modern Family does not need Gil Thorpe. His gross sexual harassment of Claire didn't jibe with the sensibility of the show, and there are only so many times I can see Phil get emasculated and take it simultaneously hard and relatively well. On the bright side, by the end of "Career Day," the writers nipped the idea of Claire working with Gil right in the bud.

Modern Family: The Best Lines of the Night

by Rachel Stein April 11, 2013 10:21 am
<I>Modern Family</i>:  The Best Lines of the Night

"Flip Flop" really wasn't so bad. I don't entirely understand why the conceit of the plots were "women intimidate each other and constantly feel inadequate," and "gay men are serious about buying houses," but whatever, both storylines were entertaining enough, I laughed out loud at the reveal of Workaholics' Anders Holm as the cool put-together young man interested in settling down (since his character on that show is the polar opposite) and it's always fun to see where Rob Riggle (who played Gil Thorp) is going to pop up on TV next. The two-month time jump bothered me since baby Joe did not age (good thing he was huge to begin with), but on the bright side, the house drama is over and we got a nice callback to Barkley. Here are the best lines of the night, since I am actively trying not to be the biggest grouch ever about this show, I swear:

Modern Family: The Best Lines of the Night

by Rachel Stein April 4, 2013 10:17 am
<I>Modern Family</i>:  The Best Lines of the Night

"The Future Dunphys" wasn't the worst episode of Modern Family ever, and I really enjoyed the visual gag of the titular future (and past) Dunphys. Manny and Jay's storyline was as predictable as it was humorless (though the actors are at least trying), and the Mitch, Cam, Lily and Gloria plot was terrible, but at least it acknowledged that these two gay parents with an adopted Vietnamese daughter don't know how to teach her about her culture or the very basics of her own body. I would have hated if that were the subtext, since it'd lead me to dedicating yet another whole piece about how problematic it is for a show that's supposed to be pro-gay to portray this family as grotesquely as it does -- but that being said, I've read convincing arguments in its favor, and maybe I would have even liked it if it was given more time to breathe instead of being stuck as one of three plotlines in a 22-minute episode. And besides, I really, really did like seeing future Luke, Alex and Haley, even if I was hoping for a just a bit more payoff. Here are the best lines of the night:

Modern Family: The Snark Factor

by Rachel Stein March 28, 2013 11:12 am
<I>Modern Family</i>: The Snark Factor

As a feminazi with no sense of humor, watching Modern Family is tiring -- but writing about this show is truly exhausting. To be clear, "The Wow Factor" wasn't all that bad, but also, I don't like genuinely hating shows... especially not comedies. I love being snarky and meticulously nitpicking what's wrong with Modern Family, but I take no pleasure in having to come here every episode and tell you why the half-hour of TV you enjoyed last night after your long day of work was actually, on my completely biased critical level, pretty crappy.

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