Modern Family: Leap Day

KIP MOONEY: Tonight’s episode featured every character acting like a drama queen. You can imagine how grating that would be.

For some characters, this is just an extension of who they are. But having everyone get to this level, many all at once, proved to be too much, devolving into many scenes with characters yelling over one another.

All the problems tonight seemed pretty inconsequential. First, Phil, Luke and Manny feel the hurricane of emotions as all the Dunphy ladies’ menstrual (or “monster-ating” as Luke calls it) cycles sync. It’s a barrage of anger and tears, and the former’s not without reason. Phil tries to keep the fun day he had planned intact but leaving the emotional ladies at home. Claire senses his plan and essentially takes Luke hostage. Phil comes back on a rescue mission that involves fake blood, but they’re soon found out and sent through an emotional gauntlet.

Meanwhile, Mitch is planning a Wizard of Oz-themed birthday bash for Cam’s 40th (or since he’s a Leap Day baby, 10th). But he begins to worry if, after his family in Missouri experienced the devastation of a tornado, it’s too soon to celebrate “gay cinema’s most famous tornado.” The party set-up was easily the best part of this episode, but after Mitch decides to cancel, it soon became a frenzy of bad ideas and jokes that fell flat.

Then we get a really poorly executed plotline about Jay wondering if he’s manly enough for Gloria since he doesn’t punch some jerk who harasses her at the bar. There’s a great sight gag of him in a pink bath robe blowing on his soup, but that laugh isn’t worth devoting all that time to this story.

The episode ends with everyone venting their frustrations at the carnival, and I’ll cherish the image of Cam and Mitch on the Scrambler (at least that’s what I remember it being called at the carnivals I went to as a kid) in a moment of pure exuberance, but that’s all this episode had going for it: a few nice moments.

The show has set the bar for us to deserve more than that, and recently it’s risen to the occasion. This week, unfortunately, it didn’t.

BEST LINES:
Luke: “It’s like puke married poop and had the ceremony in my nose.”
Manny: “You paint with words.”

Mitch: “Follow the birthday flag!”
Cam: “What did you call me?”

Mitch to Cam: “You’re still the sexy little eight-year-old I fell in love with.”

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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