Sunday, December 2, 2012

What I’m Watching: Modern Family

Modern Family: Season 4, Episode 9 “When a Tree Falls” (B+)

This wasn’t an especially inventive episode, but it was a good classic one. Cameron’s antics were probably the most memorable, with his tree sit-in interrupted by a call to the stage, prompting him to return with typical flair in full costume. Eric Stonestreet is always enormously capable of handling physical comedy, and it was fun to see Mitchell get up there too to help him take a stand. The antics Lily has developed as a result of being raised by her fathers, mainly Cameron, are somewhat entertaining but not always entirely effective. Claire taking a forgetful Gloria to Costco turned into an amusing role reversal, with Paul Scheer nailing a typically obnoxious and seedy part as the overly entitled store manager determined to mete out justice for Claire’s accidental sweatshirt theft. Gloria faking her water breaking was pretty terrific, and I enjoyed her overenthuiasm when the cop was about to pull them over after Claire blew threw a red light. Jay resorting to telling embarrassing stories about Phil after Phil encouraged him to stay and be social at the Olympics party was hardly surprising, and Phil beating on Jay was rather brutal but also not undeserved. As always, Manny is a soul infinitely older than his age, and it was funny that he too opted to tell stories about Phil to earn the respect of his classmates. Alex’s desperate efforts to photograph Haley in a humiliating state predictably went off track, and her resilience and Haley’s reaction, were the best parts.

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