Modern Family Season Finale Review: An Insult to Gloria

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Modern Family concluded an uneven season with an uneven finale.

As will always be the case when you have such great characters as Phil and Manny, there were plenty of funny moments on "The One That Got Away." I'm still chuckling over what the latter uses a tennis racket and a baseball mitt for.

But there was also the repetitive use of such storylines as Gloria's speech impediment and Jay's apprehension to embrace his family.

Happy Birthday, Jay

I'm not asking for major character development here. It's a sitcom and I just wanna laugh every Wednesday night. But Gloria's gift to Jay was simply insulting and nonsensical.

It's one thing for the show to use her Latina heritage as a source for occasional jokes and misunderstandings, but is that really the only well writers can go to with her? Moreover, are we really meant to believe she can't understand a simple request such as a "saxophone?" She's not stupid or hard of hearing. She just has an accent.

Similarly, the conclusion of the episode would have been more moving if we hadn't seen it in a variety of situations already this season. On an almost weekly basis, Jay tries to get away from his family (how much golf does he play?!?), only to be drawn back in, act exasperated over their needs and behavior... only to realize hos lucky he is in the end.

Like the man himself, it's getting a bit old. And no amount of Botox can fix what feels like stale storytelling.

The finale did make very cool use of call-backs to earlier episodes, however. The Haley, Alex and Luke-produced mess of a video was a fun way to look back at Claire's attempts to slow down a neighbor, Gloria's frustration with the dog next door and other season two highlights.

And Phil's got Claire! It's about time he realized that his wife is quite the looker herself, despite never wearing the sort of outfit Gloria is donning above. (Yowza!)

Overall, Modern Family is still appointment television for me. But I fear the sitcom could fall into the Friends trap of making everyone caricatures instead of actual human beings. Next season, let's hope Phil isn't simply a bumbling fool each week, Claire isn't just neurotic and Gloria is more than a foreigner with big breasts.

Of course, all this said, as long as it keeps churning out such hilarious Modern Family one-liners, I'll be tuning in.


Editor Rating: 3.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (65 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


I hesitated to watch this episode because of the review (and still haven't watched the Cam directing children's theater because of the review, but was finally curious enough to see what all the conflict was about ... This wasn't a very good episode. I believe in giving comedies a break week to week because there are always some laughs and an episode that's terrific really is terrific and I'm still going to turn in the following week if I don't care for one week's story, even when the show's about a dangerous bum moving into the princess house for laughs or the gay characters acting like impotent cliches over getting a restaurant reservation and hiding a spill on a carpet. This episode, though, was pretty sick. I guess the joke of the week was sex (from pulling out the Halloween clip of Hayley in a bunny costume for Grandpa to look at and Phil trying to pass off Gloria, who treats him as a friend and family, as his wife, which is see-a-psychiatrist-and-restraining-order sick, to suggesting Gloria would have never heard of a saxophone, because--why?--she's bimbo dumb or because her husband has never spoken to her about any of his interests other than her breasts). It wasn't that this show was the worst episode of "Modern Family"--Manny and sports was funny--but it really crossed the line of poor taste like no other I can think of.

Matt richenthal

@delphincik: I appreciate your reading, but you seem to very confused by the concept of a review: this is anything but objective. It's the definition of "subjective." It's my opinion on the episode, which is what any review by any critic on any website is. I welcome and embrace all other opinions, as well, which is why we ask readers to chime in and rate each episode. We also welcome any comments such as these, as the goal is to open up a dialogue about a show - but I'm unsure why you seem to be saying that I'm not allowed to have a point of view.


well said evan. they need to give the emmy for best comedy to community or parks and recs when it comes to a near perfect season. manny better get more interesting stories next season. i was thinking the same thing when i saw that big ass boat and everything inside, who helped him out? i also think theyve killed the heck out of that damn step joke. no house is perfect. we get it already. and i dont think theyll ever stop ragging on gloria. she even said on jimmy kimmel that her 18 year old son rags on her accent so i guesss its part of her character. the haunted house episode was hilarious when she tried to speak proper english to get back at jay. but the sexy phone thing just seemed like they were trying to hard to get the joke across. the baby cheeses was better played. i like how they were still all over the place. and phil yelling I GOT CLAIRE! was a series highlight for me. ive had a thing for claire (julie) since happy gilmore. i hope ty burrell gets the emmy this year, phil dumb-fy is one of the funniest characters on tv.


Not that the episode was bad, but why would you expect the writers to lay off the Gloria is a foreigner jokes when they are always the weakest parts of the episodes. They lean so heavily on stupid Gloria misunderstandings or word mispronunciations that it brings the episode down whenever she is on screen. They really need to stop it. Another thing about the episode is Manny. Are we really suppose to believe that he could drag a boat any distance when he apparently can't even throw a baseball without diving to the ground and injuring himself. It was so out of character. Overall, this season was wildly uneven. About half the episodes were funny while the other half were packed with cliched storytelling and flat jokes. I knew they wouldn't be able to top season 1 where they brought the funny every week but I still thought it should have been better than this. @Matt: Go back to writing more reviews because I really miss your thoughts about shows. Also, ignore the haters who refuse to see whats wrong with a show and attack you for pointing out a shows flaws when they refuse to see them. Even thought the flaws are there.


@Matt Richenthal if your review would've been objective then your score would match the average score from users, it's a big difference from your score 3.9 and users 4.8


I found both heart and character development in the Modern Family finale, namely the growing warmth between Manny & Jay. And Manny & his uncle Cam. How nice to have Phil finally appreciating his wife's beauty as well as her quirkiness. Mitchell expressed his love & appreciation for his sister for the first time. I love seeing Gloria's genuine growing adoration for her niece. It was a big group hug on Modern Family and it remains TV's most well-written & acted comedy.


Hmm, if this show ends up being like Friends and runs for 10 seasons, I think we'll be okay. ;) I laughed hysterically during this episode as I do almost every single one, so I'm a hard person to judge comedic gold.

Matt richenthal

@delphincik: I should have someone else write reviews because I didn't love the finale? I don't follow that logic. Being a critic doesn't mean fawning over every installment. I pointed out some problems with the season, and still gave this episode a rating far above average.


you should consider giving this show for someone else to write reviews, 3.9 seriously ??

Matt richenthal

@dontt: I have a life, thank you. It involves being a TV critic and occasionally I may not gush over every episode of every show. I used one joke here to represent a larger point of how this season was weak at times.
I apologize profusely for not sharing your exact opinion, nor for having the same sort of open, analytical mind as you do.

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Modern Family Season 2 Episode 24 Quotes

I only used it once, and that was to take a torte out of the oven.

Manny [on his baseball glove]

Jay: Sausage-of-the-month club really nailed it in May, but honey, no offense, they almost lost me last month with that chorizo.
Gloria: Why no offense? It's a sausage, it's not on our flag.