It's one misunderstanding after another on this week's Modern Family

B

“On The Same Paige” begins with a misunderstanding. Claire wakes up and comes to the kitchen, grabbing Phil’s ass and making a horrendous joke about “peaches” that only a coupled married for so long could make. The cute/cringeworthy moment gets worse when “Phil” is revealed to be one of his students. He’s started…

On Halloween, Modern Family grieves when a death shocks the family

A

When, earlier this year, Modern Family’s showrunners and producers mentioned that a major death would come this season, most speculation centered on Jay. He’s the oldest in the family, and his death would certainly give the show a lot of different stories to tell. Well, if this week’s episode includes the major death…

Modern Family resolves its love triangle, and finds comfort in familiarity

B

After spending much of last week’s episode indulging in rather meaningless storylines, this week’s episode of Modern Family, “Torn Between Two Lovers,” gets back to one of the season’s predominant bits of conflict, which is the love triangle developing between Haley, her boyfriend Arvin, and her old and incredibly…

Appropriately enough, an uncertain future marks the beginning of the end for Modern Family

B

If there’s a single takeaway from the final season premiere of Modern Family, it’s that kicking a season off with storytelling that’s built around actual actions and consequences is a smart choice. Too many seasons past have started off with lackluster episodes that have trouble situating the characters in any…

Modern Family co-creator takes a stand against Fox News, immediately backtracks

Following the lead of Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane—who followed up his tweet about being “embarrassed” to work for Fox with a $2.5 million donation to NPR and its L.A. affiliate, KPCC, earlier today—a growing chorus of Fox creatives are criticizing the company for its role in such craven lies as “it’s not an…

Jokes about strokes dominate an exhausting episode of Modern Family

C

About halfway through this week’s episode of Modern Family, Jay is doing everything he can to steal a family fishing cabin out from under his sister Becky’s nose. He’s tried tricking her into giving him the security codes, and when that doesn’t work he starts to think he can trick her into believing that their father…

Modern Family successfully muses on the complicated influence of family 

B+

Cam and Mitchell must have a bevy of dark secrets in their past, because karma just keeps coming for them. They’ve been through a lot this season, their marriage pulled in a number of directions due to kitchen renovations, an intrusive Pam, and Mitchell’s uncertain job status. But they’ve always managed to pull…

Modern Family briefly remembers that characters should have lives and jobs

C

Every now and then, Modern Family remembers that its characters have jobs, life goals, and a number of decisions that revolve around those things. It’s not all that often, perhaps only a mention here and there because, for the most part, it doesn’t really matter what these characters are doing with their lives. Modern…

An exploration of insecurity results in a poignant Modern Family 

B+

This week’s Modern Family, “Royal Visit,” does the rare thing of building around a central idea. Every single storyline, one way or another, explores the idea of insecurity. The stories themselves are relatable. We’ve all been there, when someone new comes into our life and we can’t help but compare ourselves to them.…

Wine tasting, hip hop dancing, and Oprah is all that Modern Family needs to succeed

B

For the most part, Modern Family has two approaches to its episodes: there’s either a dominant A story complemented by a few meaningless B stories, or one large, overarching plot that includes every single person in the main cast. Both kinds of episodes have their charms. The former allows for a more focused, personal…

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