Monday, February 14, 2011

What I’m Watching: Modern Family

Modern Family: Season 2, Episode 14 “Bixby’s Back” (B)

This officially marks the first time an installment of this show has earned a grade lower than a B+ from me. Fear not – there’s nothing wrong with this episode; it’s just not quite as funny or clever as all those that have come before it. One plotline does stand out, and it’s actually the biggest gamble taken in this half-hour. Only two seasons in, it might be a bit risky to essentially repeat a plot that has already been done. Yet it’s what this show has always been about – slightly larger-than-life characters doing fairly believable things to which ordinary viewers like us can relate. It makes sense that Claire and Phil would want to try their Valentine’s Day magic that almost worked last year, and it also tracks that they wouldn’t make the same mistake again but would manage to fail in some other way. Phil taking the wrong key by accident is hardly a surprise for the bumbling husband, and it was still entertaining to see them end up in different rooms even though it was very obvious from the moment he took that key, despite being shot as if to indicate that they were in the same room. Jay’s attempt to give Gloria the ultimate surprise backfired humorously, proving that it’s never a good idea to pretend to have forgotten something or to not get something in order to reveal a superb gift. Manny’s crush on Haley isn’t a great plotline, but it’s just so hilarious to hear him talking to her that it’s not a terrible route to travel.

1 comment:

Greg Boyd said...

Glad to see you gave this episode a lower grade. I liked it decently, but it certainly was weak compared to this show's usual level of quality.

Last year's Valentine's Day episode was so much better.