'Modern Family' react: The all-too-familiar plot disappoints

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Image Credit: Jordin Althaus/ABC

Tonight’s episode of Modern Family had a tough act to follow after last week’s back-to-back laugh fest. Unfortunately, it didn’t deliver.

The all-too-familiar plot — Jay keeps a secret from Gloria because he doesn’t want to hurt her feelings; Cam and Mitch try to prove to each other that they’re capable of taking on each other’s roles as homemaker and breadwinner, respectively; and Claire and Phil find themselves drifting apart from their children — and low-impact one-liners made for a relatively dull half hour.

Here’s what happened.

Pritchett-Delgados: Jay and Manny have trouble coping with Gloria’s latest pregnancy side-effect — snoring. Instead of addressing the issue, like Manny tries to do by buying nasal strips, Jay runs away from it. His day-long business trip to San Francisco (don’t call it Frisco) is cut short, so he uses the opportunity to stay at a local hotel and get a good night’s rest. Gloria eventually finds out, of course, after Manny snitches on Jay. She shows up at the hotel, the couple talks it out, and the problem gets resolved. Does the plot sound familiar yet?

Pritchett-Tuckers: Cam’s first day on the job as Manny and Luke’s class music teacher proves to be disastrous, while Mitch struggles to take on Cam’s daily chores in addition to taking care of Lily. They end up realizing by the end of the episode that they shouldn’t take each other for granted. It may be a touching sentiment, but we’ve seen it before.

Dunphys: Luke wants to quit taking magic lessons, but Phil doesn’t allow it. Aside from being convinced that Luke is a prodigy, he also fears that not being able to share this hobby together will ultimately lead to having nothing in common. Meanwhile, Claire realizes that Alex is acting out because she no longer has a sparring partner — Haley’s absence has left her household unbalanced.

The show itself feels unbalanced. Whether it’s Haley’s lack of air time, the lack of cohesion between tonight’s three disparate story lines, or the lack of elements of surprise in this episode, it’s not fitting for a three-time Emmy-winning comedy. Let’s hope that this was an exception and not indicative of trends at large. Upcoming guest appearances by The League’s Jason Mantzoukas and Paul Scheer, Matthew Broderick, and Shelley Long ought to bring more laughs.

Here are tonight’s 10 best lines:

“Which is it Manny? I’m an old man, a dog, or a pig?” –Gloria

“I wouldn’t be surprised if I got slow clapped out of my class.” –Cam

“Daddy always zipped it for me.” –Lily
“Maybe you should zip it.” –Mitch

“And don’t say Frisco. They hate it when you call it Frisco.” –Jay

“Look in the dairy case.” –Cam

“Son of Alcazeal, you’ve done it!” –Phil

“The shop teacher spilled juice on me and said it was an accident, but it wasn’t an accident.” –Cam

“Is this going to work its way around to a thank you, ladies?” –Claire

“I didn’t want to hurt your feelings, but you’re huge and you’re loud. Its like sleeping with Rush Limbaugh.” –Jay

“When I first got nominated for junior tumbling congress, my parents had to sign a release.” –Phil

Read more:
‘Modern Family': Jason Mantzoukas to guest as Haley’s new boyfriend
‘Modern Family’ react: The laughs roll in back-to-back
‘Modern Family’ season premiere react: The episode lives up to its sweet and simple roots

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