Sunday, March 30, 2014

What I’m Watching: Modern Family

Modern Family: Season 5, Episode 18 “Las Vegas” (C+)

This was a very carefully choreographed episode, one which had a revolving door of set pieces and whose humor was structured almost entirely around its physical setting. I wasn’t too enthralled by any of this episode’s plotlines, and felt the absence of any children. The adults on this show are more than competent of carrying an episode, yet this installment didn’t emphasize any of the show’s creativity or depth. Instead, we got a rather basic and lazy storyline that involved Gloria trying to block Jay from seeing the female version of Barkley, while he couldn’t be any less interested because he was so busy trying to be as fancy as possible despite increasing numbers of floors. While it was fun to have Stephen Merchant and Patton Oswalt, two great comedic talents, on the show, they had truly odd roles as on-call butlers and shavers for the guests of the premium floors. Phil auditioning for a secret society of magicians was among his sillier plotlines, and it’s hard to believe that he would put so much effort into a trick that would be perceived as completely ordinary, and that he would be seen as credible only because of the coincidental presence of Gloria dressed in the maid’s clothes. Fred Armisen’s guest spot was disappointing especially in comparison to his recent appearance on “House of Lies,” and he was really just there to make Cam and Mitchell realize that they don’t always want the same things. This episode ultimately just got too staged and confusing.

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