Modern Family has an alright recovery from last week’s dismal episode, but it still worked about 50/50 for me this week.

My favorite material of the week was centered on Manny, and it was the best episode for the character in a long, long time. Manny’s door opening montage had me laughing pretty hard, but the cutaway to Manny as a cheerleader was one of the best the show has ever done. Also, major props to Rico Rodriguez for selling the moment and going all out, sparklers and all. The inevitable .gif is going to be a favorite of Modern Family fans for some time to come. These scenes were built around Manny inviting the most popular kid in school over for a play date and Jay assumes it’s because he looked so cool on his motorcycle. That angle didn’t work in the slightest as I don’t buy Jay caring what this kid thinks, but the stuff surrounding the kid being obsessed with Gloria’s boobs and Manny using the kid to get to his sister made me laugh quite a bit.

The Dunphy’s get wrapped up in a couple of plots that go nowhere and aren’t very inspired on top of that. Claire getting into Facebook and harassing Alex and Haley to accept her invites was about three years too late, and even if it was timely it wasn’t funny anyways. Phil and Luke on the other hand are trying to thwart Phil’s bitter rival, Mitzi, after she steals a big listing from Phil. Phil acts like a pathetic pushover that is embarrassing to watch, and outside a couple good lines from Luke the through line fell flat at every turn. It was also another waste of a guest star, this time Ellen Barkin, and it is shocking how often Modern Family blows it with the majority of the stars that stop by. Also, why can’t Phil have a guest star that is a friend, always gets stuck with a new adversary when someone guests stars on the show.

Mitchell and Cam were able to get off to an interesting start with a clown funeral, but their storyline fizzled out by the end of episode. Mitchell has next to nothing to do here as Cam reconnects with his buddies from the clowning days; his old partner Lewis in particular. Cam had “broken up the band” a few years back and it seems Lewis hasn’t taken the break up too seriously. Outside Clowns carrying a casket and a cheap clown car bit nothing really got me too excited with these guys either this week.

Sure there were a couple good lines here and there, every plot had a couple good one liners, but the show continues to fail week after week at giving me any reason to care about anything that is happening. Why do the stories have to be so slight and underdeveloped; especially when they keep everyone apart like they did this week? A little bit of connective tissue would be great for the show so we could have a little something to invest in. They are trying with Phil and his new job, but I feel like the character has suffered since they introduced this plot. And what happened to Claire’s council run and David Cross? Modern Family continues to be a roller coaster of a show this season, but thankfully it has recovered from that all-time low last week and hopefully it continues on the way up. Until next week...

Bullets:

-Clown funeral! This better be hilarious.
-Such a respectful pie on the coffin.
-“Social notworking;” terrible.
-Stella has a nice scrap spot.
-Did the dog just react to that name?
-One of my favorite Manny bits in a while, “I just invented a language.”
-I don’t buy Jay caring about this kid in the slightest.
-“Because she sold a lot of houses on Elm St.”
-I am pretty sure Larry David lived in this house a few season back on Curb.
-Phil, grow some balls.
-Mitchell has nothing to do so far this week.
-They held that shot of the car just long enough to get me to laugh even though it was a terribly easy joke.
-“Teach me to juggle!”
-Are they making fun of clowns or is this supposed to not be funny?
-Gathering bit not working.
-“You, keep talking.”
-Oh my god, why does Jay care.
-Oh Manny, “Who’s hot.”
-“He’s just like my teachers back in school.”
-“Remember when I told you?”
-Where did that pole come from?
-“Oh, like I had a choice.”
-This whole real estate battle thing is terrible with Ellen Barkin.
-Love that Manny is playing Griffin for his sister.
-Little Fizbo!
-Surprising no one, Luke crying was a scam by Luke and Phil on Mitzy.
-“The Three Stooges are all dead.”

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