Season 3, Episode 13
Little Bo Bleep
Tonight’s Modern Family was one of the strongest episodes in a while because each story line brought it own brand of funny. Further, each story stayed consistently funny all the way through to the separate families coming together for two big events: a debate and a wedding.
A Puggling Problem
We have seen Jay and Gloria argue over Jay’s obsession with doggie Stella—and Gloria’s resulting jealousy—but tonight this conflict entered physical comedy heaven as Jay jumped into the pool (multiple times) to save Stella from drowning. To make matters worse, Jay is convinced that Stella is suffering from a suicidal complex thanks to the hostile attitude Gloria gives off. Even Claire’s opponent at the debate—proud winner of The Puggle Award—confirms Jay’s suspicion. So when the family is getting ready for a wedding later that day and Gloria sees Stella head out to the pool to fulfill her doggie death-wish, it is a comedic delight as Gloria tries to give the dog a ‘don’t jump’ speech and ultimately jumps in the pool in her evening gown to save the dog. Turns out Stella simply wanted her squeaky toy out of the pool drain.
- “Why are you swimming in your clothes?” (Gloria); “Because I’m self-conscious about my body” (Jay)
It was nice to see the show pick up the plot line from earlier this season in which Claire decided to run for local office against Duane Bailey. I wish they had done a better job of sprinkling in references to the campaign in some previous recent episodes just to show that it is ongoing, but having a debate-focused story was truly special (and unlike Luke’s teacher, I do mean that as a compliment). A public access-televised debate was a fresh way to examine Claire’s “angry and unlikable” polling results since it gave her family a solid reason for pointing out her flaws—other than the usual reason of just being snarky. The living room practice session with debate-champ Alex as moderator, Phil as Duane, and Luke and Hayley with their noisemakers (Luke used the buzzing sound from the game Operation!) gave everyone a chance to shine. The Dunphy clan expressed plenty of critiques for Claire to work on, which included eye rolling, face touching, finger pointing, Superman hands, sarcasm, and showing her bad side (if they can agree which side is the bad one). Things only got worse for Claire at the actual debate when Duane dug into Claire and Phil’s sordid sex life (i.e. the time Clive Bigsby accidentally scared a woman in the wrong hotel room). Of course Phil’s explanation only got more awkward, and that’s how Claire’s debate went viral…and got auto-tuned.
- For the people who think Claire is ‘angry and unlikable’: “To those voters I say, wait til she sees this” (Phil)
- “My company adver[pause]…used to advertise with that paper” (Phil regarding the paper that published the negative poll)
- “Like that look…I would lose that look…Spooky, but better” (Phil, as Claire attempts to adjust her look)
- “Can we get started?” (Alex); “We haven’t started?!” (Claire)
- “It’s like watching the Hindenburg” (Jay’s reaction to watching all of Claire’s bad habits explode at once)
- “I, like a lot of men in this town, enjoy making love to my wife” (Phil’s not-so-carefully worded defense)
Little Bo Cheap
Mitchell and Cameron are quite excited for Lily to be a flower girl for the first time. When the dress arrives it is…special (and this time I don’t mean it as a compliment). The battery pack-included tacky ensemble makes little Lily look like a Lite-Brite. Nevertheless, they are determined to groom her into the perfect little lady walking down the aisle…until their only concern becomes making sure she doesn’t drop the F-bomb! This episode received plenty of [absurd] criticism prior to airing over having a little tot pretend to utter a cuss word for a realistic story line that I am sure many parents have dealt with. The thing that I found most jarring was not the bleeped out F-word, but rather hearing Lily speak so much in one episode! Lily manages to keep quiet at the beginning of the ceremony—or at least quieter than her extremely loud light-up dress that almost gives Luke a seizure. Quite frankly, the bridal party attire was the most offensive part of this episode!
- “Ships at sea wouldn’t miss Lily” (Cam)
- Lily saying the F-word over and over in the church…and everyone laughing.
What did you think of this episode that brought out some bad habits needing correction in these modern families? Will the viral “pervert” video hurt Claire’s campaign or give her a helpful numbers bump? At least she won the respect of daughter Alex—who admires her mom for doing something cool and nerdy like running for office.