Modern Family: Little Bo Bleep

KIP MOONEY: For the second week in a row, Modern Family revolved around disastrous public speaking engagements. It also continued to be consistently hilarious.

Let’s start with my favorite scene: the mock debate at the Dunphy house. See, Claire has to debate the smug Duane (David Cross) in her race for city council (remember how she was doing that this season?) but a new poll in the Weekly Saver has deemed her “angry and unlikable.” In other political news, Mitt Romney is kind of a bland guy.

So with the kiddos as the audience, Claire debates Phil (playing Duane) and they continually buzz in with things they find “unlikable” about Claire. The list includes pointing fingers, raising her voice and showing off the “bad side” of her face. It gets a little mean-spirited after a while, but it’s nothing as dark as on, say, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. This scene was so quick-witted and seemed to take up a good chunk of time. A great call by the behind-the-scenes guys to let this play out. Easily some of the best-constructed comedy they’ve done all season.

Of course, none of this is really that helpful to Claire, who’s even more nervous once she arrives at the debate. “Don’t go viral,” is her advice from Alex, who’s actually the most supportive. Famous last words, it turns out. Duane resorts to dirty tricks and pulls up the police report from last Valentine’s Day, when Phil was arrested for “lewd and lascivious conduct.” If you’ll remember, Phil wandered into the wrong hotel room and waited for Claire, naked.

Never one to let an awkward moment pass by, Phil stands up from the audience and defends his actions in the most embarrassing possible way. “I, like a lot of men in this town, enjoy making love to my wife. Their wives! I mean their wives!” It only gets worse from there and Phil ends up a YouTube sensation (a neat callback to when he and Luke tried to get a basketball to bounce off Phil’s head and make a basket).

The other families are dealing with their precious little ones who keep getting into trouble. Phil’s beloved pooch Stella keeps jumping in the pool. So often, the family thinks she’s suicidal. This leads to Jay and Gloria, fully clothed, jumping in after her to “save her life.” This storyline was pretty ridiculous because, as far as my canine understanding goes, all dogs can swim or at least stay afloat. Still, we got some nice barbs between Jay and Gloria and a great sight gag at the end, where Jay asks Manny to get a towel and proceeds to dry off the dog while a soaking wet Gloria stands there, fuming.

Over at Mitch and Cam’s, Lily has picked up a new word, one that starts with an F. They obviously don’t want their four-year-old cursing like a sailor, but it tickles Cam way too much. He can’t help but laugh every time she says it (and she says it a lot). They put her on “verbal lockdown” during a wedding they’re going to—an incredibly tacky one at that. Lily is the flower girl, forced to wear the gaudiest dress in the history of weddings. They don’t want her ruining the ceremony with her foul mouth. But once she sees Cam crying (it is a wedding, after all), she just wants to make him laugh, so out comes that word again.

Tonight’s episode had just the right amount of touching moments and sight gags. Keep it up, guys.

BEST LINES:
Cam: “We’ll tell them we’re not going to any more weddings until the gays can get married.”
Mitch: “Oh, now we’re political? We leave town on Gay Pride Weekend because we don’t like the traffic.”
– love how Cam refers to them as “the gays,” a phrase I’m not sure anyone uses anymore

Luke, commenting on Lily’s dress: “She looks like a Lite-Brite.”
– highly doubt Luke is old enough to remember this fad (I sure do, though!)

Phil: “Some bastard Auto-Tuned me!”

About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney is a recent graduate of UNT's Mayborn School of Journalism and big-time opponent of going to grad school. Working as a freelance writer in the DFW area, he's always ready to go in-depth with his opinions on film, television, music, religion and the sorry state of politics in America. He continues to work independently, as each of his non-college jobs has resulted in the company experiencing serious financial troubles once he leaves, including Blockbuster and the trashy restaurant D's Country Kitchen. (The lesson here is hire him, but don't let him leave.) His literary heroes include Roger Ebert, Donald Miller and Matt Taibbi. Kip has written for The Dallas Morning News and Pegasus News and served as editor-in-chief for the North Texas Daily, but he is perhaps best known as the inspiration for Christian Lander's well-known blog Stuff White People Like.
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