Modern Family: Season 4, Episode 5 “Open House of Horrors” (C+)
This was hardly the best Halloween installment this show has produced. I’m trying not to let the overkill of Emmy enthusiasm for this show influence my perception of it, but I am feeling like the same plotlines are being recycled, and they’re not that funny anymore. We understand that Jay is both old and intolerant, and that Gloria’s moods are fueled by hormones during her pregnancy. Seeing it over and over again isn’t positive, and there’s not enough creativity in how it’s being showcased. As an older, talking character, Lily hasn’t proven as productive as she was when she was merely a silent baby. Thinking her mother was a princess and forcing Mitchell to scramble to hide that fact from Cameron weren’t entertaining, and that couple has hosted much more enjoyable parties in the past. It was nice to see Manny do his best to capitalize on his accidental antiestablishment action, attempting to earn a place in the cool kids’ crowd, but that plotline didn’t go nearly as far as it could have, and the angel and devil bit was too obvious. I did like the throwback to Claire’s excessive Halloween obsession from years past which resulted in her being shunned by frightened trick-or-treaters. It’s fun to see the usually more stoic Claire indulge her passion for messing with her husband, whose idea to have an open house on Halloween didn’t quite pan out as planned. Credit is due to Ty Burrell, whose facial expressions and speaking style enhanced his so-so material.