‘Modern Family’ Recap: Unplugged

S2:E5 Not bad, Modern Family. Not bad at all. Not terribly good either, but still, not bad. This week’s episode wasn’t the greatest ever but it wasn’t the worst either. It still had some laughs. Had you watched it for the first time, I’m sure hypothetically you would have thought, “yeah, this is funny, but I don’t see what the big deal is?” And you would be right. There were great moments in this story and it had crazy potential, but it just didn’t hit it out of the park.

The three story lines were all separate this week. The Dunphys instigated a technological blackout causing the kids to freak out. Jay and Gloria had to deal with a neighbor’s noisy dog. Cam and Mitchell attempted to get Lily into a preschool and go through the usual first time parenting scares. Which was the strongest? I think I’ll go with the Dunphy’s, if only because it had the funniest bits (thanks to Phil, as usual). The weakest? Probably the Cam and Mitchell one. Mitchell and Cam are so good at losing their cool but they could have dug up so many more nuggets of comedy if they stretched out the story just a little more. Regulating that to the B story got us the story but it felt rushed. Alas. Gloria and Jay were good, but they felt light. Seeing Gloria kill a rat was fun though. Nothing finer than a beautiful woman killing rodents.

So let’s start out with the decent stuff, then go to the crap, and then end with the goods so you are left with a pleasant feeling in your mouth. Hmm, I guess 10th grade English finally paid off.

Anyway, Gloria and Jay have a noisy dog next door that is keeping them awake. Manny is suffering at school and it is driving Gloria crazy. They try to do the right thing by talking to the neighbor but of course he is a jackass and won’t do anything about it. He’s cranky that his wife is off spending all his money in Europe, so Gloria takes it into her hands to fix the problem. Jay is scared. He’s seen what she is capable of, and she comes from a family of butchers. She has no problem with death. The look Jay gives is priceless. That is man who is scared.

Modern Family

The dog eventually disappears and Jay suspects foul play. He drives the neighbor off but he’s still suspicious of Gloria. He and Manny try to analyze the shovel that has brought the death of many rats (which she takes care of before church), but Gloria catches them like all killers: in a harsh, sharp light. She eventually confesses that she did actually take the dog out to the country where it will live with a good family. They also got a jar pickles out of it. Jay apologizes to her in the form of tickets to Colombia so he can fully understand her culture, which probably means the next few episodes should focus on that. I’m excited to see Gloria in her element.

Cam and Mitchell discover that all of Lily’s friends have started preschool in the worst way possible: by noticing they aren’t in the park anymore. They were faked out by some “skinny bitches,” (which, by the way, is the funniest thing anyone can say about crazy white women. See Shirley in Community two weeks ago) and they now have to hustle to get Lily into a school. They’re all freaked out thinking they are terrible parents but after Claire sets up an interview at her old preschool, the secretary tells them a little secret: Cam and Mitchell are the diversity gold mine. They’re gay with an adopted Asian girl, Lily will be getting scholarships out the butt in 17 years. This goes to their heads and they get cocky and shoot for the “Hogwarts” of preschools. However they get trumped when a lesbian couple with an African child walks in after them. And oh yeah, one of the women is in a wheelchair. So…rolls in after them.

Cam tries to fix it by pretending to be Native American. It was a little silly, but it made me remember how much I enjoy the stereotypical racist Native American accent. I’m pretty sure that no Native American ever talked like that and it was just made up by the White Devil, but still, that’s a funny way to talk. I might go through the rest of the day talking like that.

Then we go over to the Dunphys where Claire is sick of everyone and their electronic gadgets (of course). She tries to cut them off cold turkey and of course everyone (including Phil) tries to persuade her otherwise. But Phil, helpful as usual, turns it into a contest with Alex getting a computer if she wins and Haley getting a car if she wins. And Luke wanted Chicken Pot Pit because of course Luke wanted Chicken Pot Pie.

Luke is the first to crack. Like, it wasn’t even that difficult. He just wanted to see a Youtube video of a dog hang gliding. Alex caves next after she got a B on a science paper. Her remarks to Phil that a B “would be good for you” was awesome. It’s great when kids actually are smarter than their parents (not that I would know (but I totally do)) and that comeback was awesome. She quits for purely academic purposes, which leaves the devious Haley with Phil and Claire worried.

Claire tries to stay strong but the frustrations of dealing with the airline over the phone to see Phil’s family (possible foreshadowing?) causes her to regress and log on to the internet. Which leaves Phil and Haley. The parents think they won when they hear Haley talking on the phone and they rush in to gloat. With the contest over, Phil gleefully jumps online to update his fantasy football roster but then Haley pulls the ace out of her sleeve. She was talking to a bar of soap and totally just won (the means that teenagers will go through to get a car is amazing). Phil delivers the line of the episode when he says “Oh my god, we got Shawshanked.”

They have to go back on their promise of getting Haley a car and readily admit that what they did was stupid and bad parenting. I guess admitting you were wrong to your child is easier than getting her a car. Remembering how Haley drove and yeah, I would totally admit defeat.

Modern Family didn’t disappoint in laughs this week but the heart just wasn’t there. We got a few clues as to whats in store for the next few weeks so hopefully the heart starts pumping again. Ugh, why did I write that. Also, did you know maize is we call corn white man?

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