Modern Family: The Best Lines of a Bad Episode

by Rachel Stein February 28, 2013 10:33 am
<i>Modern Family</i>: The Best Lines of a Bad Episode

When did Modern Family start regularly making tasteless jokes at the expense of Asian people? The writers have always felt just a bit too comfortable making off-color jokes about gay people -- tonight, we got Elizabeth Bank's Sal delivering a quick line about Mitch and Cam's sex life ("Oh, well, this is a mystery solved," when Mitch was on Cam's back) -- but the jokes about bad drivers and serving cats for dinner seem relatively new, no?

Modern Family: The Best Lines of the Night

by Rachel Stein February 21, 2013 10:47 am
<I>Modern Family</i>:  The Best Lines of the Night

"Bad Hair Day" was a lesson in using the Modern Family ensemble well. Rather than feeling like a strained mash-up of characters, there was a flow to the storylines, and when everything fell into place for the Pritchett-Dunphy-Delgado men at the end, the big comedic reveal worked -- maybe not as well as it did in "Fulgencio", but still, not bad. If you ignore the missed opportunity for a Married... With Children reunion between David Faustino and Ed O'Neill and choose to overlook yet another jab at Lily's heritage and the moment when Mitch admitted that he and Cam are walking clich├ęs, then this episode was pretty fun and had a few funny lines:

Modern Family: The Best Lines of the Night

by Angel Cohn February 14, 2013 12:32 pm
<I>Modern Family</i>: The Best Lines of the Night

While last week gave me some hope that this show was on an upswing, "Heart Broken" took away most of those good feelings. It wasn't the worst episode, but having each couple get their own separate Valentine's Day storyline made me feel like the third wheel on all these dates, and that's not a good thing at all. Particularly, since making it three distinct acts with no overlap between the adult characters made the less entertaining segments (the ones without Phil and Claire) seem far longer than they needed to be. Also, is there a more annoying character on this show than Manny right now? Even Lily is looking better by comparison.

Modern Family: The Best Lines of the Week

by Angel Cohn February 7, 2013 1:47 pm
<i>Modern Family</i>: The Best Lines of the Week

I'm feeling a little guilty since I only offered to sub in for this week's episode because Rachel just couldn't deal with another awful installment of this show and "A Slight at the Opera" actually turned out to be one of the more enjoyable episodes of this season. There wasn't much of Gloria, Cam and Mitchell were entirely separated for the whole episode, Lily was kept to a minimum, the kids had their own storylines and Phil just got to be his delightfully weird self (and even play on the trampoline with Ty's real-life brother Duncan Burrell). Aside from everything related to Mitchell wanting his father's approval so desperately that he staged this elaborate golf outing with Pepper and the "Nancy" jokes, and with seeing Alex turn into just a bitter girl whose insults are getting less cutting and more mean spirited, t was good. And Nolan Gould singing "The Music of the Night" was far better than Russell Crowe in Les Miserables. And if you've got an episode tied together with Harry Chapin's "Cats in the Cradle", how can you not be a little bit moved? I mean, if you have any kind of heart at all.

Modern Family: Happy Endings

by Rachel Stein January 24, 2013 10:40 am
<I>Modern Family</i>: Happy Endings

"Fulgencio" had lots of fun twists at the end -- the only problem was getting there. The first two acts of the episode dragged on in the same way the entirety of last week's "Party Crasher" did, but in the third, we got the Godfather homage, the reveal that Claire was feeding Lily her snarky lines and the conceit of the plot about Gloria stealing her sister's life -- all the type of gags that reminded me of why I used to consider Modern Family mandatory viewing material. After so harshly (though I think fairly) slamming the show last time, tonight let's look the best moments of the episode... and you'll notice that none of them include the unsettling jokes made at the expense of the unseen lesbian neighbor Lee or Jay's weirdly homophobic rant at his son in front of his entire family at church, nor the quips about how impoverished Colombia is:

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.

Modern Family: The Best Lines of the Week

by Rachel Stein January 10, 2013 10:30 am
<i>Modern Family</i>: The Best Lines of the Week

Ah yes, the holiday episode that airs over a week after the holiday itself -- one of the reasons why "New Year's Eve" fell flat for me (and why we're kind of dreading Community this season). Much as I liked the pairings and some of the dialogue, this is just another contrived episode of Modern Family we can cite when we talk later about how a different show should have won the 2013 Emmy for Best Comedy.

Modern Family: Many Bad Ideas

by Rachel Stein December 13, 2012 10:53 am
<I>Modern Family</i>: Many Bad Ideas

"Diamond in the Rough" isn't what I'd call "funny" or "very good at all," but it did involve a fun storyline that we haven't seen before (at least as far as I can tell) in the dangers of group texting. I also like that the show addressed the fact that Mitchell is stuck being the scapegoat for basically everything, gave much-needed props to Claire (who we just named one of TV's Most Valuable Performers) and handed four of our main players a nice big project for the rest of the season with this house-flipping business. Other than that, we've got Jay and Gloria fighting about how bad Gloria's voice is (wasn't there an episode like this with pretty much the same conceit where she did karaoke?) and Luke and Manny exchanging awkward-but-sometimes-amusing lines to one another. I honestly don't think this episodes deserves much more of a breakdown beyond a few funny lines, so here they are, presented with minimal commentary.

Modern Family: Another Week, Another Stinker

by Rachel Stein November 29, 2012 10:31 am
<i>Modern Family</i>: Another Week, Another Stinker

"When a Tree Falls" was Modern Family at its most mediocre. The jokes didn't hit and the storylines were predictable, and even the highlights of the episode -- some of the interpersonal moments between the characters and the presence of guest star Paul Scheer -- weren't enough to make this an installment worth watching. I'm really hoping that Gloria has her baby next time so that we can finally have a new dynamic on the show to play with, because lord knows the writers aren't trying to come up with anything fresh. Actually, that's not true: there's obviously a little bit of playfulness coming from cut-away gags (like in this episode, Haley's mugshots), but they don't jibe when the rest of the show is exactly the same. At this point, Modern Family sometimes reminds me of the part of the E! True Hollywood Story about Full House when John Stamos said "I wanted some of the stuff to be a little more organic and not about, you know, poop jokes and let's bring a pig on and we'll have five laughs on that," only instead of a pig, we got a cat suit and an inflatable boxing ring.

Modern Family: Finally, a Phil Episode

by Rachel Stein November 15, 2012 10:57 am
<I>Modern Family</i>: Finally, a Phil Episode

If you don't factor in any plotline except for the boys' night with Phil and Dave (a.k.a guest star Matthew Broderick, who plays a gay man quite convincingly), "Mistery Date" would definitely be one of the best Modern Family episodes in a while. Sure, the show has done a handful of plots chock full of dramatic irony where we know one character is gay or straight, but one of the Dunphys definitely doesn't, or, like Phil's encounter in this episode, an outsider thinks a Dunphy is interested in them when we know they don't play for the same team. Just off the top of my head: Claire had a night out with Cam and Mitch's friend who turned out to be straight; Manny's pal who he met online revealed at the end of an episode that she thought Cam could be "the one"; the whole Is Shorty Gay? saga -- so yeah, it's been done. But what made this plotline so funny was Ty Burrell, and how his interactions with Dave were actually kind of Phil-lite in terms of what we sometimes see from his character. I'm shocked at how well he downplayed his accidental come-ons and innuendos. I seriously cracked up every scene he was in.

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