Saturday, May 25, 2013

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

Modern Family: Season 4, Episode 24 “Goodnight, Gracie” (B+)

This season has not been entirely even, with a handful of good episodes at the beginning of the season and scattered throughout, and a mostly disappointing slate otherwise. It’s still much better than most sitcoms even at its worst, but it’s reassuring to see a strong if not entirely hilarious episode as the finale to this show’s fourth year. Starting off with Phil’s mom’s dying was a dramatic gamble, but it paid off well since the episode was laced with humor and some sentimental reactions to her legacy. Phil getting yelled at by the security guard for wanting to feed the ducks was a fun start, and it was entertaining to see his improvised reaction to Claire’s aggressive action, which ultimately turned out to be a positive step that led to a heartfelt crying session for Phil. The gifts that each of the grandchildren got were appropriate, and I like that Alex didn’t realize that she had to open the note and that Luke had his own theories about why there was a chain for the pocket watch. It’s no surprise that Manny felt comfortable with the pace and feel of Florida, though I think that the episode’s final scene with him and Luke was a bit forced. Mitchell’s flair in the courtroom was funny, and I enjoyed the callback to his “Shame!” that he got in while exhausting the judge by flamboyantly representing everyone with an appointment and then getting Gloria off simply by provoking the judge to not being able to tolerate him anymore. Cam creating drama in the book club was predictable but still enjoyable. Jay’s situation was amusing, and it was good to see him occupied while Gloria was off trying to prevent herself from being sent to jail. I know this show still has quality in it, and I hope that the fifth season demonstrates that rather than trying to overextend itself on a regular basis.

Season grade: B
Season MVP: Ty Burrell as Phil