Thursday, April 14, 2011

What I’m Watching: Modern Family

Modern Family: Season 2, Episode 19 “The Musical Man” (C+)

This show certainly doesn’t deserve being condemned as being in the middle of a sophomore slump, but it’s fair to say that this outing is probably the show’s weakest yet. Even an unfunny installment of this series is much better than most other comedies on the air, but the problem with this week was that everything was so blatant and obvious, and the show didn’t let up trying to show just how obvious its jokes were. Take Phil’s van, for instance, which was a mistake from the get-go and went on far too long as both Claire and Haley received a considerable amount of cat calls from random passersby. What’s nice is that the dramatic ending worked decently with Phil revealing that most of the calls were, fortunately enough, for her, thereby reassuring her that she still has good years ahead of her to which she can look forward. Cam’s direction of the school play was more than a bit over-the-top, and we’ve seen far subtler, more effective similar storylines in the past (this actually happened recently on “Parenthood” as well, and was much better handled). The presence of Jay’s brother was considerably more dramatic from the get-go, and it’s fun to see Jonathan Banks, better known as Mike on “Breaking Bad,” step into a less serious role. That all felt a bit obvious too, though, and didn’t go anywhere terribly surprising. This show is capable of so much more, and it’s a disappointment to see a lackluster episode like this.


Richter Scale said...

Funny, I actually saw a different review calling this one of the best episodes of the season. I actually agree, because despite the obviousness of certain things, I was laughing, and I love a good laugh, no matter if the joke is obvious or not. I loved Jay's relationship with his brother, and the whole thing with the play worked because it's Cam. We love Cam, but we know he can do these kinds of things and that's why we laugh. And the van thing may have been obvious, but it's Phil. We know this is the kind of thing that would happen to Phil, and that's why we laugh, because we recognize this character. This is why Modern Family works so well for me, and why this episode worked so well for me.

Greg Boyd said...

I thought this was hilarious, although maybe it was a bit obvious. The play stuff was priceless. To each his own, I guess.

Movies with Abe said...

Agreed, to each his own. Richter, you raise good points - these are good characters, and they can make things work much better than they might in other situations.