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Modern Family Review: "See You Next Fall"

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Hola, mi nombre es Enrico and I was never Treasurer of my High School Spanish Club and I was certainly never valedictorian of my middle school.  But it doesn't matter, because I still found my way in the prestigious line of Modern Family reviewers, and I'm here to cover "See You Next Fall."

Phil, Claire and a Pug

This is certainly a tough show to review given how reliably funny and smart the show is each week, but I'm going to try anyway.  First, I'll cover what I considered each of the four separate stories that tied so closely together this week:

Alex and Haley. These lovable sisters are usually given a major role in the Dunphy story lines, but rarely do these two get to headline the main story. I'm usually not a huge fan of the kid-focuses story lines (save for the obvious exception of adult-in-a-child's body Manny).

It's not that the kids are bad actors, except for maybe Nolan Gould as Luke, but even his bad acting only plays into his character's strength.  It's just that they face such ridiculous competition from their adult co-stars that I rarely want to sit through their high school problems when I could see Phil bumbling around like an idiot.

But this week, I feel like Alex and Haley actually did a phenomenal job holding their own.  No, all the cheesy jokes at Haley's stupidity may not have had me laughing out loud, but Alex's use of Haley's "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Get this party started" song references in one line certainly did.

Not only did the girls had me laughing, there was ridiculous heart factor as Alex and Haley did some much needed bonding.  Plus, I felt as choked up as Phil and Claire when Haley was hungry.  Well, maybe not, but on to my two favorite Dunphy's that just wanted their daughter back:

Phil and Claire. They're easily my favorite comedic duo of any episode and this week was no exception.  As you can see in my Modern Family quotes from this week, Phil dominated no matter how much I tried to give credit to others.  It's just every time the man spoke Spanish or complimented Jay's butt, he was killing me.

But really, seeing the two of them relish over the moments when little Haley in pajamas was so excited to see her father come home had me choked up.  What this show does better than anything else on television, is just step back and point out moments in all our lives.  Sorry, before I get too sappy, it really was just wonderful watching these two rush to make their daughter's speech.

Cameron and Mitchell.  Usually, given more intelligent joke, Cameron and Mitchell were brought in for the physical comedy as they tagged along with the rest of the family.  Normally I hate the physical comedy (unless it's Chris Farley in Tommy Boy), but the fact this is Modern Family, they at least took it to the next level and made a meta joke about the physical comedy at the graduation ceremony.  But still, my favorite gay duo on television were way under-utilized.

Jay and Gloria.  Oh beautiful Sofia Vergara.  You are often too gorgeous for me to even appreciate you as a comedic actress, but you really were fantastic this week.  Don't worry, your hilarious sarcasm still comes through that ridiculous accent.  Jay's botox and Gloria's champagne problems were as reliably funny as ever.  Oh and bonus points for continuity?  Showing the pug from last week's episode.  It made up for the lack of Lily.

In the end, the episode really came together for just being about a short drive to a high school graduation.  Really, only Modern Family could take a plot device as silly as a gate not opening and turn it into thirty minutes of comedic gold.  

So muchachos, what did you all think?  Not of my review, but of the episode?  Leave that criticism for Matt when he returns for next week's season finale.  And remember guys, don't stop believin'.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (45 Votes)

Eric Hochberger is the programmer of TV Fanatic, so please forgive his mediocre writing. His programming is far better. Follow him on Twitter and/or email him. Just don't request threaded comments. They're coming.

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agreed, Nolan Gould is a terrible actor, the constant eye blinking and gaping mouth when delivering his lines, much like a young child when theyre lying about something. He also seems to have a speech impediment. The child who plays Lily may in fact be more convincing, and that fat Mexican kid is just annoying.

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I was watching this episode with my family and the scene when Phil and Claire have their moment after their bike broke down had my mom in tears. She could certainly relate, me being in high school and my brother also graduating from middle school, and it really showcased MF's ability to encapsulate so many emotions in a single episode. One of the best episodes of the season imo.

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i tried to watch community but couldnt really get into it the way i thought i would. ill probably watch the first season next week when all our shows are done. i love chevy chase. and i watched this episode again and i really liked it. the first time i didnt catch why phil was trying to make claire sad until i caught it today. and i wasn't really watching the last 10 mins but that was where most of the best parts came together like cam laughing at phil and claire and gloria telling alex she loved how she put the song titles together and hailey goes "my idea". it was one of the better episodes this season but i think last season had more lol episodes like fizbo, the bike thief, coal digger and the vacation episodes among others. i hope the dvd for season 2 has deleted scenes. manny get ur gun, unplugged, and caught in the act are my favorites this year.

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"parks and recreation is by far the funniest show on tv right now" Yep. Well, if you meant "after Community", that is. But Community isn't just about being funny, it's about exploring the TV medium itself. Community is just another league, it's the sitcom we will remember 20 years from now. Modern Family isn't, but it still a smart, funny show, especially whe you compare it with the run-of-the-mill Chuck Lorre-helmed hit sitcoms.
Yet I agree with everything jmaddi said about Modern Family's shortcomings.

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Funny show -- and likely fine for the long run. I do think there's been some growth this year, although maybe some of what they were doing initially is more regular sitcom now. Alex and Hayley as sisters have grown into being "sisters" rather than cliches of their caricatures. Jay and Gloria are much more like a married couple than their initial "Are you her father?" kind of relationship. Manny is solidified and Luke is more than the kid jumping on the trampoline. With any TV show, some episodes are better than others but I get a lot of laughs watching Modern Family!

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i dont know what people r saying. this season has been a step down from last season. the episodes are just nonsense with no realy story related to the actual story. mitchell laughing at cam? really? jay hiding botox? really? this just wasnt funny at all. parks and recreation is by far the funniest show on tv right now. im sorry that modern family fell from its top spot after a sub par second season. the hawaii vacation 2 part was hilarious. they kept the dylan and hailey story going from the beginning of the season. this season showed no growth. manny got less screen time and his lines arent as funny. gloria and phil are the only characters that bring it every week. and y do we see cam and mitch argue every single episode. is that what gay people really do? they dont even seem like they like each other. maybe if the show was an hr it would give the stories more time to play out and the jokes wouldnt seem so rushed. just my 2 cents. still like the show though. but last season was better.

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Great episode. I liked Jay and Gloria's storyline, and loved the dunphys. It was a nice moment with Phil+Claire's breakdown. And it was hilarious when they were falling down the hill into the ceremony.
The mitchell cameron story felt forced. The laughter was terribly fake. But lily was there at the beginning when cameron fell into the pool. Still the moment of cameron walking into the door was funny.
Jay's storyline could have been touching and been about how we all try to be perfect or something, but instead it went for awkwardness and laughs. That's okay, because we got some funny bits including Jay's balance bracelet, and Phil knocking him over.

Modern Family Season 2 Episode 23 Quotes

"My wife won't let me go to Vegas." Trust me that is not a phone call you want to make to a group of ex-college male cheerleaders. They will mock you with a hurtful rhythmic taunt.

Phil

I remember the speech that won me treasurer of my high school spanish club. "Mi nombre es filipe."

Phil
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