Modern Family Review: "My Funky Valentine"
NAKED CLAIRE! NAKED CLAIRE!
We apologize. We know Modern Family is a kid-friendly sitcom that caters equally to both genders, but the fact that Claire (the positively gorgeous Julie Bowen) spent significant time on "My Funky Valentine" without any non-trench coat clothes on stands out the most from what was probably the least funny episode of the season.
Perhaps we should clarify: the least laugh-out-loud funny episode of the season.
At this point, we love simply spending time with the Dunphys and the Pritchetts, so much so that any half hour with them is enjoyable, even if there are fewer memorable one-liners than usual.
This installment fell a bit flat, though, because we questioned the actions of a couple characters: Jay and Manny.
The latter is mature beyond his years. While his quote about his male rival at school possessing a natural confidence ("I admire it and fear it") was one of the best of the night, it didn't seem consistent with what we know about this young fella for him to back down from a confrontation.
We could also see Mitchell's use of his beloved closing argument coming from the minute he complained, at the outset of the episode, about not having a chance to use it in court.
But the worst out-of-character culprit was Jay. His storyline with Gloria this week was the weakest of the season.
She's gorgeous and he's old. It may be painful to be reminded of that in a public setting, but this has been the basis for numerous jokes since we met the pair, many by Jay himself. It seemed like a stretch for him to suddenly be so offended by a few zingers.
Fortunately, the Claire/Phil role-playing scenario was a winner - and not just due to the aforementioned, quasi Claire nudity.
Phil showed up as Clive Bixby, "in town for a trade show. I design high-end electro-acoustic transducers," to which Claire replied: Wow, that is very specific.
We cracked up at Phil's initial, living room-based attempts to be get into character ("Perhaps I'll be Reginald Appleby, an English gentleman in town for a polo match.") and then chuckled when he almost ruined the night by referencing his wife's annoying lists.
He then saved himself with a do-over that actually went a long way toward explaining Modern Family's appeal: It's not just hilarious, it actually possesses more heart and realism than any other sitcom on TV. If his role-playing character was married, why was Phil there with Claire?
Because he respected his wife too much to do the things to her he planned on doing with Claire. Yowza!!! This actually was a very sexy come on, the kind a husband really would say to a wife in this kind of situation.
It then led, of course, to Claire's coat getting stuck in the escalator and pretty much everyone the couple had ever met walking up to them. Great stuff.
We also must give a shout-out to Dylan. We're not sure what's funnier: his slacker appearance, attempts at kindness ("All women should look as tasty as you when they're old") or Phil's constant admiration of "D Money."
Of all the Modern Family quotes from the episode, which was your favorite?