Modern Family: Tableau Vivant

KIP MOONEY: Well after that 30-minute ad last week, it was good to see the show back in peak form (good writing, nice moments and rapid-fire jokes). This episode won’t count among the show’s all-time best, but it was truly, genuinely funny and not overly busy.

Luke is set to receive an award for putting out a fire, much to Manny’s chagrin. Not only because Manny has been an exemplary student, but also because Luke set the fire in chemistry class trying to make “Luketonium.”

Meanwhile, Mitch and Phil are in a classic Modern Family set-up: Each wants to get out of something without hurting the other’s feelings. Mitch wants to quit helping out at Phil’s office and Phil wants to fire Mitch.

And then there’s the Cam and Claire fight, which actually made me side with Claire for once. The source of the fight: Lily, who keeps flicking on and off the lights and generally being annoying. Cam’s trying a new technique where he doesn’t say “No” to her at all.

Finally, Gloria snipes at Jay because he’s a little too cozy with the regular waitress at the local diner. All of these fights are kind of ridiculous, and it all culminates at “live art” event for Alex’s art class, with them yelling at each other under their breath. But after the fallout, each person starts to realize it, and it’s really touching because we’ve all argued over stupid things before.

This was a solid episode of Modern Family, and hopefully we’ll get another one in next week’s finale.

BEST LINES:
Alex: “I’ve just never had a teacher not like me before.”
Phil: “What about Ms. Davis?”
Alex: “She’s a gym teacher. She is to teaching what Dr. Seuss is to medicine.”
Claire: “And to think she didn’t like you.”

Claire: “I say no every day in this house.”
Phil: “At night, she’s a Yes machine.”

Phil: “She’s the second-best hugger. Who’s the best? Burt Reynolds. Story to follow.”

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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