KIP MOONEY: I could be wrong about this, but I think Modern Family’s headed for a detour into the absurd in Season 3, and I couldn’t be more pleased.
After two seasons of doing their best—and almost always succeeding—to put fresh spins on old sitcom plots, it seems as if it’s a short trip to Crazytown.
Without two seasons of watching these characters, I don’t think we could buy Phil attempting to walk a tightrope, or Gloria putting Jay’s loafer in her mouth in an attempt to get their pet dog to chew it up.
But because the actors are so game, and the timing just right, we do buy it, and the show can keep breezing along like it’s been this ridiculous all along.
Tonight’s show didn’t attempt to connect any of the four storylines, but I’d rather the writers focus on making each of them funny, instead of finding a common thread, which they did tonight.
While Phil and Luke get started on their tightrope-walking experiment after watching a documentary very similar to Man on Wire, Mitch and Cam start a juice fast. Claire tries to patch things up with Haley and Alex, who are at odds again now that Alex is showing Haley up in the advanced math class. (Well, it’s advanced for Alex. Haley’s a little behind.)
Plus, Claire gets to deliver a great speech at a particularly snippy traffic cop. Sure, she ends up handcuffed, but I was definitely cheering for her as she unloaded on her.
Jay and Gloria argue over their pooch, which until recently was a sore subject for Jay. Now, the dog proudly sleeps in the same bed and, in one uproarious scene, showers with him. Does Jay love this pup more than his own wife? Of course not, but considering how distant Jay was, seeing him open up even more is a delight to see.
I wouldn’t call this episode a classic, but I’m excited to see it try something different—unlike last week’s season premiere, which tried to re-do an earlier episode and didn’t pull it off. And any episode that features Cam and Mitch running into the ocean in a hunger-induced search for a missing sea lion is one I’ll want to see more of.
Cam: “So what? Should I put off my quest for wellness until we’re no longer socially in demand? That’ll never happen. I’m too charismatic.”
Haley: “I knew it would suck having my sister at the same school.”
Claire: “Well, hang in there. A couple more years and you’ll have it all to yourself again.”
Cam to Mitch: “Away from me, temptress! And I never thought I’d call you that in a negative way.”