Season 3, Episode 22
It’s time for another Modern Family outing, and this time it is to the happiest place on earth! As long as “happy” includes a painful child leash, painful shoes and a painful reaction to rides! But hey, if any family makes painful funny, it is this modern family. Hi Ho, Hi Ho…it’s off to Disneyland we go!
Mitch and Cam get to bring Lily to Disneyland for the first time and make some magical memories. The only slight problem is that Lily has entered her “runner” phase—which basically means she runs off at any chance she gets. Cam is insistent she wear a “child safety tether” that pretends it’s a back-pack but really it’s a child leash. Mitch is very self-conscious at the judgmental looks they receive, and I don’t blame him. The only other time he gets these kinds of stares is when he forgets to bring his own reusable bags to Whole Foods. It is Jay who finally finds a solution to the problem: buy Lily some pretty princess heels and the kid can barely walk let alone run off into the crowd!
- Seeing Lily’s leash get tangled with two twin boys’ leashes…they pretty much looked like hyper puppies.
- Cam saying “Toonton” rather than Toontown and Mitch falling into the PBS trap by saying “Downton Disney.” They would definitely be fans of Downton Abbey. Not gunna lie, this was my biggest laugh-out-loud moment of the night, probably because I really miss that show right now!
It’s a Small World After All
The Dunphy parents have some very specific goals in mind for this family day-trip to Disneyland. But first things first: eat a hearty breakfast at home because it may be the happiest place on earth, but it is also home to the most expensive churro on earth. Claire not-so-subtly tries to play matchmaker between her friend’s ‘nice college boy’ son, Ethan, and her needs-a-good influence daughter, Hayley. So she invites Ethan to join this Disney excursion in hopes that Hayley will hit it off with a stable, mature young man. While her plan actually starts to work—it doesn’t hurt that Ethan looks like he is from “Tommy Hilfiger catalog” (according to Cam)—she doesn’t count on Alex actually liking this older boy. Kudos to Alex for flirting with nerdy musical jokes, and actually getting some flirting in return! Ethan + Alex = Music to My Ears! Claire also doesn’t count on them running into Hayley’s ex-boyfriend at Disneyland either. Hayley goes from liking Ethan to tracking down former-flame Dylan after they spot him at the entrance. Turns out Dylan is back from Wyoming and working at Disney, but didn’t want to tell Hayley until he was firmly “established.” What a small world after all! I for one have missed Dylan, but the rest of the family doesn’t share that sentiment when Hayley announces they are back together.
Meanwhile, poor Phil just wants to be the fun-loving dad to his fun-loving son. Phil has been waiting since Luke was in his mother’s womb for his son to be tall enough for all the cool rides. Now that Luke finally is, Phil starts to realize (and drastically feel) that his middle age may betray him on the rides. The motion sickness becomes practically unbearable, but Phil can’t bear the thought of bailing on adventures with Luke. He attempts to trudge on before having a heart-to-heart with Luke after a particularly nauseating ride on Thunder Mountain. Phil and Luke have got to be the best father-son duo on TV. They are each other’s partners in crime, and Luke promises to always be that way, even if it means pushing Phil’s wheel chair in his old age and popping some wheelies. Fortunately, old age may not be as soon as Phil thinks—it is quite possible he simply has the flu, like everyone else in his office who drinks from the same juice carton!
- “This is gunna be so awesome! …In 45 minutes this is going to be so awesome” – Phil could hardly contain his excitement, until later when he could barely contain his stomach. His facial expressions on the rides were pure Disney magic.
- The entire boy rivalry between sisters Hayley and Alex, and Hayley’s ultimate confrontation with ex-boyfriend Dylan in a bear character costume. Seriously, is that bear actually from a movie? Dylan didn’t know either!
The Perfect Fit
Over on the Pritchett-Delgado side of the family, Jay plays the role of Prince Charming by finding the magical slipper that fits. Gloria foolishly refuses to wear sensible shoes for a day of walking the park and her attitude begins to reflect the pain. Jay can no longer take it, so he buys corny foam “slippers” for his Stiletto Beauty. It’s a perfect fit and Gloria is immediately transformed into a smiling and happy woman. The only thing that would make the day better would be if she could convince Manny to take a break from brokering trades for a school project to enjoy life and be a kid. Winnie the Pooh doesn’t deserve the cold shoulder, Manny!
- “Know how many bars I had? Zip-a-dee-doo-dah.” –Manny just can’t stop commanding his school project from his cell phone, even on Splash Mountain.
- Jay cleverly realizing that a different kind of shoe can solve the problems of Gloria’s painful feet AND Lily’s fast-moving feet.
What did you think of Modern Family’s Disney adventures? Were you happy to see Dylan’s return? And how about the narrative structure that had Jay telling the audience about taking Claire and Mitchell to Disneyland as young kids, and that experience influencing him to stick out his first marriage until his kids were grown?