Sunday, March 1, 2015

What I’m Watching: Modern Family

Modern Family: Season 6, Episode 16 “Connection Lost” (D)

This episode irritated me most because of its gimmick, which I didn’t find to be productive at all. Setting the entire half-hour on a computer screen as Claire desperately tried to get in touch with Haley might have seemed like a clever, cutting-edge device, but I didn’t find it charming at all. Instead, it underlined just how grating some of the elements of this show have become. The characters seemed much less likeable when seen on video, especially because of how distracted they were while still managing the answer the phone immediately every time Claire made a call. And then there’s the whole story with Haley, who somehow went from having gotten mad at Claire for giving her grief about not cleaning the kitchen to presumed to be married to Dylan in Vegas rather than asleep upstairs in the very home that Phil and Alex were sitting in the whole time. I think this show relies too much on assumptions to drive forward its comedy, and then throws in more direct humor like Mitchell’s new hat or Cameron bugging Claire about the popcorn so much that she poured it all out. I know I express disappointment with this show on a regular basis these days, but this episode felt particularly inspired, even as it tried to do something creative. Technology isn’t always a solution, and here it was more of a crutch that just served to drag out an unfunny storyline over the course of a whole episode, making this show feel highly irrelevant and far from inviting.

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