Modern Family – Episode 2-11 Review

The holidays are over, and it’s time to go from spending time with your own crazy family to spending time with your favorite television family. Modern Family is back! I’m glad so many shows have returned in early January, rather than holding out for the end of the month or until February. It’s a great way to soften the blow of heading back to work, isn’t it? 
Even better is the fact that Modern Family kicked off 2011 with a killer episode. Seriously, how many great lines were there last night? I couldn’t even write them all down! Plus we had the visual joys of Gloria on a bike and James Marsden in a hot tub.
Hot to Squat
You have to hand it to the writers, they do know how to surprise. It was no secret that James Marsden would be appearing on an episode of Modern Family, and I’d seen the screen shot of him massaging (or whatever) Mitch. James Marsden’s pretty easy on the eyes (I’ll never forgive X-Men for both covering up his dreamy eyes and making his character incredibly unlikable) so I assumed that his appearance would be a part of a somewhat cutesy and predictable storyline about jealousy. 
Man, was I wrong! I owe the writers of Modern Family an apology – I did see the fact that Marsden’s character was squatting in Lily’s princess castle coming at all. And it was completely hilarious! 
I really found every aspect of the story funny. From the opening scene where Mitch and Cam observed with outrage that a stranger was in their hot tub only to go and join him once they got a look at his abs, to the fact that he was a hippie-dippie “Reiki master named Barry. What? His whole conversation with Mitch about Mitch’s incessant eye-rolling was fantastic. And, like I said, I really enjoyed the twist that he didn’t cause jealousy between Mitch and Cam, but instead was creepily camped out in the princess castle. I need to see the scene where Cam confronts him again, because I don’t know what was better – the way Barry freaked out when Cam tried to touch his arm, or the sight of two grown men fighting inside a tiny pink castle. 
Speed Demon
Claire and Phil had a pretty classic storyline this week, but that didn’t make it any less funny. Claire was outraged over an unknown neighbor who was routinely speeding down the street in a sports car despite the speed bumps. I liked the storyline for Claire because it highlighted both how she can be totally over-the-top and ridiculous (SLOW DOWN YOUR NEIGHBORS) and completely correct at the same time. Phil, of course, got stuck in the middle when he found out the speedster was actually his new client, a terrifying woman who’s sale would help him make top sales for the quarter. 
Of course, the whole thing came crashing down on him. You knew it had to. But the fact that Claire found out when she actually got into the car with the woman after meeting her at Phil’s open house was awesome. 
Wheels of Fortune
I’ve never been the biggest fan of Luke on this show, but he was downright hilarious this week. When Jay found out that neither Manny or Gloria could ride bikes (poor Manny almost went to school on training wheels!) he decided he had to teach them. Manny picked it up easily enough, but Gloria headed straight into the bushes. Also, the sight of her trying to ride the bicycle (what was she doing with her legs?!) will forever be one of the funniest things I’ve seen on this show.

Gloria decided she needed a kinder and more feminine teacher, but Phil was busy so Luke offered to teach her. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this situation, but it ended up really working. Luke delivered some hilarious lines (is it just me, or is the kid’s acting getting better?) and taught Gloria to ride the bike by chasing her down the street and squirting her with a water gun. Yes! Best. Teaching. Method. Ever. And it worked on Haley later, when he got her to give the correct answer to a study question by squirting her repeatedly. 

It was a hilarious episode with so many hilarious lines and moments that I couldn’t possibly get them all, but here are a few: 
  •  “She has to run everyday or she goes crazy, she’s like a Border Collie.” – Phil, talking about his wife
  • “Luke. I am your father.That’s what I said to you when you were coming out of your mom’s lady parts.” – Phil
  • “Why can’t you just volunteer at the museum or bring pudding to old people?” – Haley, humiliated by her mom’s neighborhood activism/craziness
  • “Sweet Valley High, it’s the lady from 7th Street!” – Phil
  • “Two thirds of my house can’t do what a billion Chinese do.” – Jay (Literally everything Jay said about the bike situation was hilarious.)
  • “There’s no reason you should stay upright, but it just works.” – Jay, comparing Gloria to a bike. (Best line of the night? I thought so.)
  • “Oh yeah, everybody loves Michael Jordan, but nobody thinks of Scottie Pippin. The only reason I remember him is because he’s named after my favorite musical.” – Phil
  • “I once saw a picture of myself at a friend’s poetry slam, and all you could see were the whites of my eyes.” – Mitch, in a moment of unprecedented self-deprecation
  • “I’ve seen that kid fall down on the moving sidewalk at the airport, so I didn’t have high hopes.” – Jay
  • “I’ve never taught anyone anything, but my play date canceled so I was wide open.” – Luke
  • Claire stealing Gloria’s bike to chase the speeding car.
  • “I wish I was one of those people who thrived on a double-life. You know, Bruce Wayne…Peter Parker…Hannah Montana…” – Phil (Second best line of the night?)
  • “I called the florist and order one dozen Mylar balloons. Good luck staying mad, honey!” – Phil, on his upcoming apology to Claire (What is he, the guy from Up?)