Modern Family – Episode 2-5 Review

Is Modern Family on a roll, or what? Every episode of this show has me cracking up, and I especially loved this week’s episode. Although there was very little overlap within the three stories, none of the three plots felt like a weak link.

At Jay’s house, Gloria created tension between herself and a neighbour when she complained about a barking dog. I was totally on Gloria’s side here – I hate when someone’s dog barks incessantly all day and night.

The gag where the neighbour complained about the Pritchett’s squawking parrot was fantastic. “What parrot?” Gloria asked, and then we see clip after clip of her screeching “Jay!” “Jay!” “Jay!” (Or “Yay”, as Gloria says it.”

Then, mysteriously, the dog disappears. Jay, and even Manny, automatically suspect that Gloria has killed the dog with the same shovel she uses to brutally kill rats in the alley. Apparently growing up in Colombia left quite an impression on Gloria, because Jay told us “She left the head out there to send a message to the other rats.” Eventually though, Gloria admitted that she’d just helped the dog move on to a better place. That didn’t help. She said he went to a farm where he had lots of room to run and play. That also didn’t help, but it was actually the truth – she stole the dog and gave it to a family she knew. It was a funny subplot that resulted in Jay presenting Gloria with a trip to Colombia so he can see her village. Gloria says it’ll never happen, but I’m rooting for another extended family vacation. If Hawaii was hilarious, I can’t even imagine what will happen in Colombia!

Meanwhile, Claire and Phil issued a challenge to their kids to see who could stay unplugged the longest. No computers, no internet, no gadgets. Luke was the first to go, which made sense. Phil idiotically let all the kids choose their own prize if they lasted the longest, and Luke had only selected chicken pot pie. Small beans compared to Alex’s choice of a new computer and Haley’s choice of a new car. Alex bailed next, because she only received a B on a paper she had to write using out of date encyclopaedias. A decent grade for Phil, perhaps, but not for Alex.

Next Claire was out when she got caught online trying to book their trip to Florida to visit Phil’s family. So it came down to text-crazy Haley and her iPad-loving dad, and that’s when things went from funny to awesome. Just as Phil was having an emotional breakdown because he needed to update his fantasy football picks and couldn’t, he and Claire overheard Haley cackling away on the phone in her room. They went in, busted her, Phil went online to deal with his fantasy football fiasco, and Haley dropped the bomb: She’d carved a cell phone out of a bar of soap. I’ve always been an Alex fan, but Haley and her crafty ways are quickly growing on me. Phil’s reaction of “Holy crap, we’ve been Shawshanked” had me cracking up. Poor Haley, though. She won the contest with that genius move and then her parents told her they weren’t actually going to buy her a car. Low.

My favourite storyline, once again, was Mitch and Cam’s. I just can’t get enough of these guys. After finding out that all of Lily’s peers were already in preschool, they had to hustle to get her in somewhere good. I think my favourite line of the night was when Mitch said “Leave it to the gays to raise the only underachieving Asian in America.” Ha! I love how Modern Family manages to make these jokes without sounding offensive.

When they arrived at the preschool where Claire got them an interview, Mitch and Cam found out that as a gay couple with a minority baby, they were every school’s dream. (This plot reminded me a bit of a recent Parenthood episode, and I still can’t believe how competitive schools for babies are in the States.) They liked the school, but decided to pass it up in favour of a better school where they had an interview scheduled. It looked like Mitch, Cam and their adorable Asian baby were shoe-ins…until a woman showed up with an African baby…and her disabled life partner of another ethnicity. “Disabled interracial lesbians with an African kicker?” Mitch said. “I did not see that coming.” So when they went in for their interview, Cam decided to try and up their appeal a bit.  “Well, my white-man name is Tucker,” Cam told the principal in a weird fake Native accent. “I am 1/16 Cherokee. Ready for child to soar like eagle.” I love when Cam humiliates Mitch. Now Lily will totally grow up to be middle-management material.

  • “It’s easy for you to ignore because you have the old man hearing.” – Gloria, on why Jay isn’t bothered by the dog barking.
  • “Who the hell is this kid?” – The Pritchett’s neighbour, vocalizing what everyone has been thinking about Manny.
  • “My kids are middle-management material at best, we didn’t want to spend a lot of money…” – Claire, joking that the preschool she sent her kids to isn’t that good
  • “Don’t most kids drink soda?” – Jay, to Manny who is drinking an espresso
    “Who knows what they do?” – Manny
  • “Can’t unplug my funny bone.” – Phil
  • “I always got picked first, I could throw a dodgeball through a piece of plywood.” – Cam, on how being the favourite in the preschool world is not his first time being the top pick.