Sunday, September 30, 2012

What I’m Watching: Modern Family (Season Premiere)

Modern Family: Season 4, Episode 1 “Bringing Up Baby” (B)

This show won its third consecutive Emmy for Best Comedy Series last Sunday, and many feel that it’s past its prime. I’m not sure I agree with that entirely, but this premiere is hardly its best effort. That was the case with the season three premiere also, so I’m not overly concerned, and part of why this episode wasn’t entirely effective for me is that I saw way too many ads during the Emmys which included the episode’s most memorable punchlines. Jay turning sixty-five provided the usual opportunity for some old age jokes, but also the chance for a botched kidnapping which involved Jay to fall into the water twice. Lily is becoming ever more bratty, and the search for a kitten provided some of the episode’s more literal moments featuring the animals atop their car. Cameron and Mitchell both getting upset about the notion of having to go through a lengthy process to adopt a cat was entertaining, and it’s far more fun to see them in action being themselves than trying to deflect an awkward pre-choreographed situation. To me, Claire punishing Haley for getting drunk at prom was more worthwhile than all of Gloria’s pregnancy business. Jay’s heartfelt comment about having something new coming in his life was sweet, and a perfect moment of tenderness from which to fast-forward to Gloria more pregnant, Dylan living with the Dunphys, Phil with a beard, and Cameron and Mitchell back from a trip to London. My favorite line from the episode, delivered exquisitely by Chazz Palminteri and received with skepticism by Jay, was “Between you and me, I’m thinking about pickling my own cucumbers.”

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