Monday, October 18, 2010

What I'm Watching: Modern Family

Modern Family: Season 2, Episode 4 “Strangers on a Treadmill” (B+)

There's nothing I love more than mixing up characters who don't traditionally interact and seeing what happens. This show has done that fairly regularly from the start, but the pairings we get in this episode are actually rather fresh (three of them, in fact). I think that the way the plan was hatched by siblings Mitchell and Claire was hilarious – described by Mitchell as the perfect crime, with movie allusion and everything. Anyone talking to Cameron about his bike shorts is going to be funny, and I very much enjoyed his reaction both to Claire's criticism and his overheard quip by Mitchell about her failure to achieve success. Mitchell really didn't do very well with Phil, of course, though it was entertaining to see Phil start to attack him for not laughing. Claire hiding Phil's notes could have been disastrous, but fortunately it worked out for the best and earned Claire a nice big smooch from her husband back at home. Jay's stupidity was entertaining, though hardly the strongest arc of the night. The best part of the episode, in an unusual twist, was the dynamic between Haley and Alex as Haley tried to turn her younger sister into a version of herself. Watching the phone conversations unfold was fantastic, especially when a teary Haley lost it when Alex accidentally said she had homework to do and reverted back to her apologetic, slave-like self. This show really does have something for the whole entire family, and excels in every department.


Andrew K. said...

YES. Haley and Alex completely sold it that girl that plays Alex is just brilliant with her line readings.

Greg Boyd said...

I didn't much care for the Alex-Haley stuff, actually (nor for Jay's mix-up). I adored everything else, though.

This episode reminded me: I need to watch "Strangers on a Train" again. It's been a while.

Richter Scale said...

You left out the best scene, the one where Phil and Claire find Alex alone in the dark in the middle of the living room and she says "I don't have any friends". Ariel Winter's reading of that line was amazing, and it made me wonder why they didn't use her more last season. Although really, that scene was also amazing because of that moment Phil and Claire had before and I must say once more that they are my favorite couple currently on TV right now. I loved Phil saying "we fall down a lot, I guess you're the one who picks us up." Although Mitchell shaving his beard was also a truly adorable scene and the fact that he would do that really shows how much he loves Cam.