Friday, November 20, 2009

What I’m Watching: Modern Family

Modern Family: Season 1, Episode 8 “Great Expectations” (B+)

Taking a week off from this show makes its return even more exciting, and it doesn’t disappoint at all. Phil isn’t like the typical sitcom husband who forgets his wife’s anniversary, but instead he has a whole slew of presents lined up for her while she can’t hope to find anything that might be remotely please him. His list of ideal gifts was terrific, and the fact that he thinks it’s not tough to get him any of the nonexistent futuristic items he desires makes the comedy even richer. Claire’s delight at finding something that she thinks he’ll love is made spectacular by his perplexed, dumbfounded reaction to this band he’s never once spoken about during the entire course of their marriage. Edward Norton’s guest spot is funny, and it’s great to have him stop by. My question is, why isn’t this man, one of the best actors I’ve ever seen (see “American History X,” “Primal Fear,” and “25th Hour” if you don’t believe me), guest-starring on TV instead of making more movies? It’s also nice to have the lovely Elizabeth Banks on the show, and this is the perfect role for her. Having Cameron and Mitchell trying to figure out whether she actually threatened the life of their baby was hilarious, and it’s good to get them out of the house. Jay’s family night is a wonderful idea, and Haley’s fervent desire to get away from the night was fantastically turned on its head when her savior Dylan ended up being seduced by Jay’s Sloppy Joes and “The Gunfighter.”

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