The notion of affection was explored on tonight’s Modern Family—mainly how Jay and his adult children are often too uptight and emotionally closed to show any. This episode was a great example of how various plotlines with similar themes could play out throughout the half hour and intertwine nicely at the end. It also gave each actor—both adult and child—some great comedic moments. So, without further ado, allow me to publically show some affection for this episode…
At the Dunphy house, Claire struggles to get Alex to open up to her about a potential boyfriend and lands in hot water with her daughters after putting Hayley on the case. First of all, I don’t know about the boy, but I am kind of “in like” with Alex, so any storyline that puts her front and center is fine by me! Always the hilariously self-centered and shallow one, Haley is concerned her younger sister is on the path to lesbianism thanks to her taste in sandals and her “late” bloomer status (well, later than Hayley bloomed at least, since her first kiss was at age 11 and “it was beautiful.”) After this sisterly pressure, Alex works up the courage to go to her crush’s house and quote Notting Hill. I think I cringed FOR her as she uttered these lines and then discovered her boy’s friends were standing behind him. Now she’s ‘just a girl running away from a boy she likes, asking him not to make fun of her.’ Unfortunately, a text message travels faster than a mortified girl, because word quickly spread about her embarrassing encounter. The resulting argument that erupted between Claire and her daughters was one of the show’s highlights: You READ my texts??? THAT’s why you made me talk to her???? Look at her shoes!!!
Meanwhile, Phil has his hands full over at Jay’s house trying to help install a new printer. Phil’s muffled squeal of glee at Jay asking him to help with technology was priceless. And, I appreciated the callback to Phil using children’s songs to help his family members learn “complicated” systems…lest you forget, you can watch Phil sing a song about the air conditioning unit to Claire from season one. Jay can barely stand Phil to begin with, but that little diddy of a song is enough to allow Jay to excuse himself to get a “beer beer beer” before he hits Phil in the “head head head.” Jay had more important tasks to tend to anyways—like slapping a chicken.
Jay may have had to slap a chicken to follow Columbian customs and prove his love to Gloria’s (of course Gloria was screwing with him) but it turned out to be Gloria and Claire who slapped some affection back into him. At the big family dinner that night, the real kiss on everyone’s mind was between Mitchell and Cam. Out here in the real world, fans of the show started Facebook campaigns and wondered why Modern Family had never shown a kiss between lovers (“we don’t use that word”) Cam and Mitch. The show addressed this issue by writing this episode around Mitchell’s reluctance to PDA and how it stems from his own father’s lack of affection growing up.
Spurred on by their more emotionally open counterparts, everyone got the kiss they deserved (even Cam and Mitch sweetly kissed after Jay’s awkward displays of affection). I liked that the script made such a big deal about kissing in front of others (and us viewers!) by making an entire episode about it, and then had the most buzzed about kiss be an understated, organic moment (actually, it was a blink-and-you-missed-it moment). I do wonder if they will continue down this path of affection on the show.
And what of Alex and her crush? Well, it turns out neither was too chicken to kiss, but they mutually decided to let their relationship blossom from texting to face-to-face time before they get all “Dateline” on ‘mommers’ (aka Claire).
A few more funny moments from this episode:
- “He blew his lid when she tried to contain him” (Phil making up reasons why containers and tops get separated).
- While debating between which shirt to buy, Cam asks, “If the house was on fire and you had to pick one item, which would it be?” Correct answer: their DAUGHTER, Lily.
- “Better they fall short to the fake you than the real you” (Former naughty-girl Claire explaining why her kids don’t need to know what she was really like before she had them).
- Luke and Manny would make a great odd-couple detective team.
That’s all for now, as I am off to bed…goodnight kiss to all! (Hmm, that sounds a bit creepy).