Sunday, September 29, 2013

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

Modern Family: Season 5, Episodes 1 and 2 “Suddenly, Last Summer” and “First Days” (B+)

I’m very gratified to find both of these episodes highly enjoyable, especially since I found the third and fourth season premieres underwhelming. It comes at an especially good time after this show won what feels like an automatic annual trophy for Best Comedy Series, depriving every other show on the air of that award. But this hourlong premiere demonstrated what’s best about this show and what, nearly one hundred episodes in (that milestone comes in October), still works about it. Mitch and Cam trying to one-up each other with a proposal after the legalization of gay marriage was a wonderful plotline that wasn’t as much funny as it was sweet. Mitch was actually very well used in both these episodes, showing his sentimental side to Cam in the first installment and then standing up for once to his boss and protecting his niece in a storyline which also featured a great guest appearance by Justin Kirk as his boss. Cam getting a substitute teaching job and dressing up to teach Alex’s class was amusing, and I’m sure that having him as the football coach should prove much more productive and quite entertaining to boot. Claire’s bad first day was terrific, and I liked watching her try so hard to be liked only to accidentally deliver some damaging news before ending on a smiling note with her father. Gloria and Phil bonding over their children not needing them anymore was a welcome new angle for both of them, and a chance for them just to be parents. I’m hopeful that this is a sign of more enjoyable episodes to come this season.

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