Modern Family Midseason Report Card: B

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It's piled up a number of Emmy Awards, but how does Modern Family fare when it really counts?

That's the question Leigh Raines answers below, as this TV Fanatic writer tackles the ABC sitcom in the latest edition of a Midseason Report Card. Read on and see if you agree with her season three assessment...

Jay Down!

Best Character: Phil Dunphy. Buffalo Phil, the male cheerleader, is the eternal optimist. This season, we've learned he can give a man a mean massage, walk a tight rope and will survive getting tasered!

Worst Character: Claire Dunphy. I know Julie Bowen won an Emmy for this role, but 95% of the time I find her character to be annoying. She’s always so down on everyone and everything. Claire is her best when she throws out the rulebook.

Best Episode: “Go Bullfrogs.” As I mentioned above, Claire needs to loosen the heck up. See how fun and hilarious she can be? Sexy guest star Gilles Martini, Cam and Mitchell’s concern over their potpies and Prius and a special father/daughter bonding trip just rounded out the perfect episode.

Worst Episode: “Punkin Chunkin.” It had a good intention with the theme that the realists and idealists balance each other out, but, ultimately this one just fell short. It wasn’t funny. Too much nagging and not enough laughing.

Favorite Quote: It’s so tough to choose, but Cam’s “It’s ironic, like ‘The Gift of the Vagi” line when he was hitting on Leslie Mann was pretty classic. Speaking of, can we please bring back Leslie Mann?

Surprising Development: Haley and Alex are so fun when they team up together! I’m glad to see they’re venturing out of the “I fully hate you” sister zone and into the “There’s a thin line between love and hate” sister zone. Nobody get away with busting your balls like your sister.

Hopes for 2012: More Jay! Jay secretly has this huge heart and I love when we get to see that side of him. Hmmm... what else? Claire letting loose, maybe a boyfriend for Alex, Phil just being Phil, and Gloria still wearing tight clothes (fellas, that one’s for you.)

Overall Grade: B. Modern Family is so well written, but sometimes it just pigeonholes its characters. Also, the nagging has gotten boring to watch.

Agree? Disagree? Weigh in with your own grade now!


I have to disagree. I think they just had their best season yet. I love Claire as she is and I love the nagging because I find it realistic. :)


I think a B grade is fair. I like the family -- and think that there's more "story" in Modern Family and that that maybe cuts down on the number of jokes per episode. I do like the Alex-Hayley developing relationship (but think it started last season in the Who get's Lily episodes when they were arrested for vandalizing the school together). I also like Claire, and like her better than Phil who is sometimes too incredibly stupid. Claire's character is realistic in the sense that you can see she's Jay's daughter (and Mitchell's sister). Phil can be annoying in that he's strictly a sitcom character. Another character I think has been fleshed out a little more realistically without being any less idiosyncratic is Cam -- his farm stories, the truck driving, saving the cork, all a lot better than befriending someone to get a reservation to an exclusive restaurant, which is just so "gay". I agree that Pumpkin Chunkin was the worst episode. The scene that I liked the best was Jay giving Phil advice, and just so matter-of-factly acknowledging that Phil's done a good job of supporting his family in tough economic times. It kind of struck me like Jay might roll his eyes at Phil's surreal antics, but he hasn't missed that Phil's a damn fine match for his daughter.


Most overrated show on tv along with GLEE. There are a dozen much funnier comedies on tv right now. The show isn't as funny as the first season either


I think I'd have to give this season a C- purely because in comparison to the other comedies I watch it doesn't make me laugh nearly as much. I only watch for Phil, Gloria and Luke because they are the only three consistently funny characters.

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Modern Family Quotes

By the way, do not look up peeing games on the internet.


He's like Batman, but straight.

Mitchell [on the gardener]