Did you miss Modern Family this summer? If so, you were in luck—because we were offered some salt for our wounds…and chocolate milk!
Was this the best episode of Modern Family? Probably not. But, it was still solidly funny, had some fantastic lines and once again reminded me why this extended family really works.
Speaking of things that “work,” my favorite storyline of the night was Cam and Mitchell attempting to build the princess castle for Lily. Mitchell and Cameron are always a great duo and are effective at being one step ahead of the other. That’s why Cameron arranged for Jay to conveniently “stop by” right around the time Mitchell picked up his power tools and put on his “working man outfit.” I loved when Jay recalled the disastrous time he helped his son build something else—it was his own personal Vietnam. I also loved Cameron claiming that if he gets injured in this project, he fears he would not made a very inspiring disabled person. Fortunately for everyone involved, only some rose bushes took a hit and Cameron can live another day to sweetly read celebrity tabloid magazines to baby Lily as if they were nursery rhymes (probably my favorite scene of the night!). I think I would be really good friends with Cam if he actually existed and I knew him.
Meanwhile, at the Dunphy house, Phil and Claire also want to spend some good old-fashioned time with their kids once they start going through their old car and reminisce about the past. Once again, Alex is sharp in flinging insults (I would be good friends with her too) telling her parents that she will not be responsible for taking care of Luke when they die. Phil is determined to make Claire’s wish of a time machine come true, and you have to admit that this guy knows how to give a sweet surprise (see last season’s renewal of wedding vows in Hawaii). The family car trip gone wrong offered some hilarious physical comedy. Sometimes I wonder, though, just how much the writers of Modern Family are consciously trying to make their show like The Office, especially Phil. Of course Modern Family also uses the mockumentary format and talking head interviews. But sometimes the parallels between Phil and Michael Scott verge close to identical. Both Phil and Michael crave acceptance but lack the social skills to achieve this most of the time. In tonight’s episode, though, we learned that they both use a similar “technique” for remembering names.
Finally, Gloria learns she must come to grips with Manny growing up when he has a girlfriend come over to the house for a date. This is actually Manny’s second lady friend, since last season Manny met a girl who turned out to be a grown woman in a Harry Potter Internet chat room. This new potential girlfriend (fortunately she was Manny’s age this time) also brought some laughs, but because she posed a threat to Gloria in vying for Manny’s devotion. Their competition for Manny’s love came to a head when he had to choose between regular chocolate milk or chocolate milk with a dash of salt recommended by his girlfriend.
In the end, because Modern Family has a heart, we learned that it is OK to ask for help when outside your comfort zone, that Burger Kings can turn into Starbucks in the blink of an eye because time is fleeting, and that sometimes a little salt doesn’t hurt. Oh, and Manny has a burgundy dinner jacket. Because Manny is awesome.