Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What I’m Watching: Modern Family

Modern Family: Season 8, Episode 5 “Halloween 4: The Revenge of Rod Skyhook” (B)

To think that this show has already had three separate episodes about Halloween is hard to believe, and it forever grounds this show as a traditional sitcom even though, when it started seven years ago, it was anything but. I do believe, however, that this installment was substantially better than a lot of recent episodes and far more reminiscent of the days of Clive Bixby than a lot of the fare that has served as the plot for much of the past few seasons. Manny dressing up as Dalton Trumbo in his tub was a particularly fantastic moment, something that of course went way over everyone’s hand and was only made worse by his stowing of fish in the tub – his declaration of “For no reason, I’m just carrying around this red herring” was clever – but at least he got to meet an equally dorky and misunderstood Dorothy Parker at the end of the episode. Haley’s offer to promote Luke’s party didn’t amount to much since she ran into her old weed dealer, and who would have guessed that a costumed Phil would rock the party in a way that actually got things started and made it a cool place to be. Claire ruining Sophie’s party by acting like a mom was fun too. Cam having a Halloween nemesis who took way too much candy provided some good fodder for humor, and it managed to tie in with the serious and relatable concept of defending and agreeing with a partner even if you know they’re not right. Jay dressed as Jesus deciding to forgive Earl just to mess with him was far from as noble as he meant it, but closing that particular plotline was made far more sentimental by the show’s tribute to actor Jon Polito, who passed away two months ago.

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