'Modern Family' recap: Seeds of change

Let me start off by saying, nice butt Julie Bowen! When she unknowingly flashed Haley’s boyfriend on video chat, we sure saw a lot of her, and she was looking pretty damn good – especially for someone who was hiding her pregnancy behind laundry baskets in the pilot episode. Tonight’s overarching theme was about change – big and small. From guest star Kristen Schaal’s makeover to Jay’s slow acceptance of his friend’s supposed (but ultimately false) homosexuality, to Claire’s ability to handle technology and admit she can be wrong. But this being Modern Family, no one actually changed that much (and thank goodness for that, we love them all as they are) — just 15 percent.

I love how Family continually embeds some sort of deep message but never takes it so far that it enters into sap-ville. The other theme of tonight was technology and our continual fight with inanimate objects. Who hasn’t smashed a remote on the floor or fought out loud with a car’s voice command? My second favorite interaction of the evening was between Mitchell and his car, which went something like this, Car: “Enter a destination.” Mitchell: “Hell!” The car: “Mexican Food.” Mitchell: “Shut up!” Funny stuff. My first favorite interaction? When Claire and Phil were discussing which of their children is the dumbest. Only this show can make something so seemingly un-PC so hilarious.

While last night’s episode continued on Family‘s hot streak of guest stars with Flight of the Conchords‘ Schaal as Whitney, Manny’s much-older Internet date, and Chazz Palminteri (of A Bronx Tale and Usual Suspects fame) as Jay’s old friend Shorty, the core family stole the night with their zingers. Below are some of my favorites of the night.

“You guys look like a scene out of Jersey Boys. ” – Cam, when meeting Jay’s friends who are gathered on the sidewalk outside of Papa Don’s Deli looking tough.

“I had to actually come out to my dad three times before he acknowledged it. I’m not sure if maybe he was hoping he heard it wrong, like I said ‘Dad, I’m grey.'” – Mitchell on coming out to Jay

“My gaydar is never wrong, and it is pinging like we’re at a bath house,” Mitchell to Jay, about his friend Shorty who Mitchell claims is gay

“In my country there’s a saying, ‘Love is just around the corner.’ I come from a neighborhood with a lot of prostitutes.” -Gloria (maybe my favorite line of the night!)

“We’re guys, we don’t open up. We talk about sports and cars and getting up in the middle of the night to pee.” Jay, reluctant to talk to his old pal Shorty about his possibly being gay. On that note, guys do get up a lot more to pee in the night, why is that?

“Cheerleading in my college was cool. The football players were so jealous they wouldn’t even let me and my buddies, Trevor, Scotty and Ling go to their parties.” –Phil about his cheerleading days in college. Of course he was a male cheerleader! Could that be more perfect?

Favorite exchange over a flower arrangement:

“I got all medieval on the florists.” –Cam, after demanding that the florist bring him a new arrangement when his flowers appeared to be droopy

“Cam, I heard you on the phone, you said you were displeased, but that’s hardly going medieval.” –Mitchell

“Excuse me, I said very displeased and I used my cowboy voice.” –Cam

“Look at that, two things flaming at once.” –Mitchell (while pointing at himself), to the flower delivery dude after Cam’s flowers burst into flames.

So what did I miss? What was your favorite line of the night? Your favorite interaction? How many remote controls have you broken out of frustration? And who is dying to see clips of Phil cheerleading? Me!

Comments (182 total) Add your comment
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  • Spike

    Phil: “The snowflake button makes it cold, cold, cold. Set temperature makes it hold, hold, hold.”

    I’d love to hear the rest of that song!

    • Amy

      I had tears in my eyes from that part.

    • Damon

      I couldn’t contain myself..Phil deserves awards for his performance..

    • Alan

      I agree!!! Funniest part of the episode for sure…He’s so awesome.

      • Sarah

        Oh my God, I’m laughing just reading that again. My other favorite part was Cam’s reaction to the flowers catching on fire. Good stuff.

    • darthwilson

      They are all funny, Phil is hands down my favorite. Everything that comes out of his mouth is priceless!

      • J’s Grandma

        Phil and Cam! And, of course, Jay!!!

    • Mo

      OMG…loved it and the reaction she had to it

  • Sharon

    I loved that the Breaking Away celebrations on screen matched the celebrations in the living room almost exactly. Love that the movie is on a loop in that house

    • Justin

      Good call, Sharon.

  • crispy

    Even when this show is not non-stop belly laughs, it’s still hilarious. Something about Phil’s friend building his own helicopter and then dying tragically had me giggling inappropriately.

    • Ambient Lite

      Me too! And of course, I loved that Manny hooked up with a lonely adult woman in a Twilight chatroom. Perfect.

      • Will

        He’s an old soul.

  • J

    When Jay told Mitchell how tough his friends were he said “After lunch today Hugo ordered a Sanka… That had my husband and I cracking up!

    • Wes

      So glad to see my wife and I aren’t alone with the Sanka reference. We were laughing about that an hour later!

    • SmittyTV

      We had to re-wind because we missed the next few line laughing so hard.

    • Mags

      How many hipsters are ironically drinking Sanka today as a result?

  • Bruce

    I’m glad Phil got a win in this episode and showed some competence. Don’t get me wrong. I love the show and his character, and I know that this show is about intentionally over-the-top archetypes, but it’s nice to see every now and again that he has more to offer the family than just good intentions as he literally and figuratively falls all over himself.

    • ugh

      he’s gotta fix that step

    • Mark

      What’s so great about this show is that it never falls into ridiculous sitcom “idiot dad / perfect mom” stereotypes: Phil and Claire are equally good at some things, and make mistakes on others.

      • Alan

        Good point. Who here isn’t sick of the Kings of Queens/According to Jim/Everybody loves Raymond type of sitcom where the husband is only goofy, wacky and irresponsible and the wife is only perfect and boring?

      • Season

        I didn’t like the pilot and had decided not to watch the show because I thought Phil and Claire were just going to be stereotypes. Now, I love them.

      • wkrp

        So glad to see a sitcom couple where both partners are likeable, unlike the bit**s that Debra Romano became . . . and Carrie Heffernan always was.

      • @Alan

        You must have NEVER EVER watched King of Queens Alan, Carrie (the wife) could NEVER be described as perfect or boring.

  • mydove

    What about Phil’s friend who’d built his own helicopter? Phil’s says to Clair: “If he were alive today…”

    • Chris

      Best line of the ep. I almost fell off the couch from laughing.

      • Dave

        I love how subtle it was!!! One of my favorites from the night (next to the thermostat part)

    • Allison

      My husband and I were howling over that line! The best of the night.

    • Amanda

      Don’t talk about Ling, it makes you sad.

  • tdunf

    i found this show a couple of weeks in, and have laughed non-stop ever since. last night i caught a re-run of the pilot and i nearly pee’d myself when phil meets baby lily and comments “but won’t that name be a little hard for her to say?”

    most laughs at a show since arrested development!!

    • wimerella

      I’ve seen the pilot before and missed that line the first time. I thought it was absolutely hilarious!

    • HotMama

      To this day, I still don’t get that line. Can someone please explain to me why its funny? Is it because Jay assumes Lily will speak Vietnamese?

      • Alex

        Because of the stereotype that Asians can’t pronounce their L’s – you know, Ri-Ry.

      • Joe

        Because it implies Asians can’t pronounce their L’s correctly. They come out more like R’s (see A Christmas Story final scene “Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra”). Borderline racist, but still funny.

      • crispy

        The funniest thing to me about that line is that Phil thinks she’ll grow up with an Asian accent… despite being raised by American parents.

      • HotMama

        Thanks everyone! My friend is Chinese-American with ESL, but her daughter’s name is Lily, so it was a little hard for me to get. I guess that’s why its called a stereotype.

      • Jill

        What about Jay saying, ” Let me see that little potsticker.”

    • kay

      I never could tell what Phil said at that moment, thanks! Hilarious!!

      • Fee

        Jay actually said Let me see that little FORTUNE COOKIE

      • no fee

        NO..he said little potsticker!

    • Susan

      I just caught the pilot last night – OMG…I laughed out loud, especially with the “Circle of Life” song playing while introducing Lilly, all the while Mitchell insisting Cam isn’t dramatic!

      • 6nnnnnns

        My absolute favorite moment of the season!

      • Justin

        OMG! That part made me fall out of my chair laughing!

    • Lauren

      You are so right!! I hadn’t seen the pilot and when Phil said that my husband and I were laughing so hard we missed the 30 seconds or so after!

  • Jack

    Great show last night — the Sanka reference and thermostat songs were fantastic. Manny had some great lines last night — is he too young to get an Emmy nod?

    • Ceballos

      There are no age restrictions that I’m aware of, but Rico Rodriguiez is absolutely deserving. (I loved that his date Whitney’s gaydar was as bad as Mitchell’s is apparently good.)

      Then again, it’s hard to single out anybody in this cast, since they’re all SO good and they all can’t possibly get nominated.

      • RPM

        I asked my wife last night, “What does it say about me that Manny is my favorite?” Man, he is hilarious.

    • Johnny

      Keshia Knight Pulliam was 6 years old when she was nominated for the Cosby Show so I don’t think there are any age restrictions.

  • Amanda

    My mom said labor wtih me took 36 hours because I came out of the womb like this. HELLO!!!!!!!
    Cam is ALWAYS FUNNY.

    • Damon

      But it’s Mitchell’s facial expressions that make it even funnier!!!

      • Katie G

        and jazz hands

    • wimerella

      Probably my favorite line of the night! Cam is the best!

      • Amanda

        The jazz hands absolutely helped that line!

  • Mark

    Hey Rock Golf, could I get a clarification on your drinking game rule: does Gloria actually have to say “In Columbia…” or does “In my country…” also qualify (I counted two of them last night)?
    And before anyone writes to say I’m taking this game much too seriously, first you have to take two shots. Of bourbon. At work. Before noon.

  • Tammi

    The show just flat kills me!! Finally something good to watch on regular tv…and on Wednesday night to boot. The Middle and Cougar Town, which sandwich the show are also hi-larious!

    • Mark

      And as we keep begging ABC, just slot “Better Off Te” in at 8:00, and you’ll have the funniest lineup of comedies since the NBC Thursday schedule of the mideighties (for you youngsters who weren’t born then, trust me: it was great)

      • Sue

        What about some Scrubs love too?

      • Jack

        I would be happy wither either BOT or Scrubs in that timeslot — it’s so weird, ABC keeps running repeats there, as if they’ve written it off. What the heck are they waiting for?

      • Mike

        ABC has Scrubs scheduled in the 8 pm spot for the first two weeks of February (I think it’s those weeks). I don’t know why they’ve waited so long to do so. They should have plugged Scrubs and BOT in as soon as Hank was canceled. I don’t buy their argument that the shows aren’t compatible with the rest of the night.

      • Ambient Lite

        Ah, it WAS great! And we didn’t have DVR then and would actually have to avoid making plans socially so as not to miss an episode of ‘Friends’!

      • jk

        “Friends” wasn’t in the mid-eighties, Ambient Lite, although I thought the ’90s “Must See TV” line-up was NBC’s best – “Friends”, “Will & Grace” until the last few seasons, etc.

      • Ambient Lite

        Ohhh…you’re right. I misread, and was thinking of the “Must See TV” run in the 90’s. Thanks.

    • LAJackie

      I love The Middle. I wish it would get a little more “buzz”.

      • Viv

        I KNOW! The kids are what make the show so hilarious.

  • ragu

    I loved when Haley asked Claire why dad couldn’t show her how to use the remote and she said “because we’re married.” Sooo true!

    • mkaffeine

      Right on, Ragu: in a show full of great lines, that was my fave, too!

    • Rio

      one of my favorite lines last night!

    • Amanda

      My favorite was when Phil encouraged Haley to learn the remote by urging her to “remember every time your mother was wrong. That’s my girl.”

      • Justin

        YES! Also, the look Phil and Haley gave each other, like they were completely on the same page and determined to succeed! I cracked up!

    • treee

      that kinda made me tear up. it was very very true and touching.

  • Holly

    Love this show! The whole exchange with Phil and Claire about cheerleading killed me!!!!
    And everything Cam says is hilarious.

    And DANG Julie Bowen! Who knew she was in such great shape???

    I thought at the end Shorty “outed” himself by complimenting that guy’s haircut and inviting Jay to a Michael Buble concert and picnic.

    • Ceballos

      Interesting: I interpreted that last scene as Shorty intentionally messing with Jay.

      I definitely agree on one thing though – Julie Bowen is looking good!

      • Anona Muss

        And my hubby missed that scene so hooray for me!

      • lefty

        …you don’t like your husband to see actresses in their underwear? yikes.

      • Mark

        That’s how I saw it too, Ceballos. I thought if this wasn’t Chazz Palminiteri in a guest spot but just a new charcater, this could become a running gag for the rest of the season.

    • Gill

      you know Julie Bowen just had twins last year and another child the year before? The sight of her crawling out of the room when she discovers camera is on-priceless! Reminded me of my Mom and I hiding on the floor inour living room when the Jehovah Witnesses came tot the door(we were fully clothed however).

    • blp

      Yes, I absolutely thought that too!! The guy WAS gay! Too funny!

  • Jack

    When Mitchell talked about how his dad used to call every day when he was in law school, until he came out, then he talked a lot to his Mom — it was a nice touch of heartache in an otherwise very funny episode.

    • llevinso

      I know, I was like “Oh, poor Mitchell.” But I love how Jay is trying a lot harder now. This show does a great job of mixing the hilarious laugh out loud moments with the nice heartfelt ones. But it doesn’t beat you over the head with them. That’s why I love it. It’s just right.

  • Mavis

    I just love this show! I think my favorite line of the night was “Now look, two things are flaming in this house” I just loved that Cam set the flowers on fire and started screaming like a girl and running around. Too funny!

    • Damon

      Best line of the night!

    • Marti W

      I loved that, too. I noticed that Lesley Savage said “…while pointing at himself” but I really think he was referring to the flowers and Cam. Man, I love everything about this show.

      • Chappel

        He wasn’t pointing at anything. He briefly held his hand in front of his chest with two fingers out to signify there were two things that were flaming.

    • Andreas

      Wow, superb blog laoyut! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is fantastic, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about China Tokyo | Restaurants in Palm Beach .

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