'Modern Family' Recap: Phil & Claire Make Drunken Fools of Themselves

Modern FamilyLast week, Modern Family struck a winning chord with a story-line about Dunphy middle child Alex. This week, sensing they had a winner on their hands, they tried the same story-line again ... only this time, they subbed in Haley. The Dunphys got sloshed at dinner trying to get Haley to talk about her plans for the future, only to learn she has them well in hand and that THEY are the ones at sea. In a word: WRETCHED. 

A sad and drunk Phil and Claire are not a duo I want to watch. I basically spent the whole episode convinced it was going to turn into a low-rent take on Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf culminating in Phil sobbing on the stoner-waiter's shoulder and Claire demanding divorce. Luckily, we were spared such gravitas. Thanks for that at least, ABC.


This wasn't the episode's only attempt to get us to develop a serious case of the feels. We also saw Jay struggling to apologize to his friend Shorty, whose planned move to Costa Rica he sorely disapproved of. This ended in predictable weeping, declarations, and man-hugs. Lame meet lamer -- I was not a fan. The show is capable of really affecting its viewer. I say this because I know it has affected me or did in the past.

The show is at its strongest when the interconnecting story-lines match tonally. You can't have two lines be mad sappy and then one be a study in French farce like we had this week. Better by far for each story-line to toe the measure of both, no? Then again, it's not like we're dealing with high art here. And I say this as someone who is passionate about sitcoms -- also dinosaurs, but that is neither here nor there. On the whole for me, the episode fell flat on its face. Even Cam and Mitchell's bits were soured by the primary story-lines. 

Did you think this week's episode was a tad heavy-handed, or was it just me?


Image via ABC

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