‘Modern Family’ Pursues Its Dream of Walking on a Tightrope

What a delightful episode that was! Everyone had a funny, not-annoying plotline that was true to both their character and the show’s strengths. Well done, well done! I have nothing more to say to you.

Ty Burrell and Nolan Gould on this week's episode of ABC's "Modern Family."

What? Oh, all right, I’ll say some things.

This really was a very strong episode. Gloria is jealous of the attention Jay is giving to the new family dog. “Where I come from, it goes wife, mistress, dog.” She tries to get the dog to chew up one of Jay’s shoes by leading by example and putting the shoe in her own mouth, much to Jay and Manny’s amusement. The episode was light on jokes regarding her boobs but high on them regarding her English. Success all around! And Manny comes into the episode when he accidentally eats the cupcake-shaped treats Jay has been buying for the new pooch. Something for everyone.

Cam and Mitchell go on a juice diet together because Mitchell wants to avoid the finger pointing that usually happens when Cam’s diets fail. This was a pretty typical story for our married gays, but it was funny without Cam being super annoying, and the makeup scene (in the ocean outside Mitchell’s boss’s house) was heartfelt and funny. That’s not always accomplished with these two, who do seem to fight and make up every single episode. But who knew that Mitchell could do the crying thing just as dramatically as Cam? “You know who else needed air? SNORKLES.”

And lastly, we have the Super Dunphys. Luke is binge eating the candy dropped off by his dieting uncles, Haley and Alex strike a deal to cheat in their mutual math class (“You’re a senior, what are you still doing in second year math?” Alex asks. “Not still, again,” Haley retorts.), Claire gets into it with a school parking cop, and Phil is trying to tightrope across the lawn. My personal favorite was Claire saying, “Well I’ve got news for you, Law and Order: Special Parking Unit,” but pretty much all of the writing in the Dunphy section was really strong. I love Haley and Alex in small doses at each other’s throats. I love Phil and Luke being idiots together.

Great episode. Third season is going strong. I bet all those Emmys don’t hurt.

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