Monday, December 8, 2014

What I’m Watching: Modern Family

Modern Family: Season 6, Episode 9 “Strangers in the Night” (C)

This episode didn’t feel very grounded to me, mainly because none of the threads were connected and it felt like a completely ordinary half-hour that wasn’t particularly funny. The Dunphy family got just one plotline that revolved solely around Alex, and like most Alex plotlines, it featured her talking and no one listening, certain that they understood the situation while they actually didn’t have a clue. Some of her behavior really didn’t suit her, mainly calling Africa stupid since her boyfriend was headed there, but ultimately it was just an instance of the family thinking Alex was crazy and not believing that someone might actually be romantically interested in her. Taking a break from Gloria’s nationalistic challenges, the Pritchett-Delgado household found Jay in one of his weirder moments, getting way into a dog party that Gloria couldn’t really stomach. Manny interfering was hardly unusual, and his reading of the summary of the movie he could now watch in peace – “The Sting” – was smile-worthy but not a justification of the whole plotline. And then there was Kristen Johnston, who dumbed this show down a bit with an extremely over-the-top guest spot that managed to out-dramatize Cam, which is quite a feat. Brenda was literally the worse houseguest ever, completely ignorant of boundaries and determined to damage her unwilling hosts’ brand-new white couch. This show can do better, and putting a TV veteran like Johnston is such an unchallenging and unfulfilling role is a disappointment, though unfortunately it is something this show has done before and will inevitably do again.

No comments: