Modern Family Review: Friend or Foe?

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One of Phil Dunphy's greatest qualities, yet biggest weaknesses, is his genuine nature. In "Send Out the Clowns," he set out to land a major listing by being himself and proving that nice guys can finish last.

Too bad for Phil his rival - Mitzi Ross played by the sensational Ellen Barkin - had other plans. It didn't take long for Phil to start scheming after Mitzi pretended Phil shoved her in a bush and had anger management issues.

Sad Clowns

Real estate is a competitive business so I'm sure this isn't the first time Phil has had to fight for a listing; especially with other barracudas swimming around like Mitzi. Fortunately, Phil has an idiot savant for a son and Luke was able to lend a hand.

The trouble with adversaries like Mitzi is that they know all of the schemes out there. The spy pen was obvious and laughable. Phil had to dig deeper and play on Mitzi's sympathy for her to bow out of the competition. There's nothing as convincing as playing the sad kid card. Luke was great and Barkin pulled off Mitzi's catty demeanor flawlessly.

Claire was intense as usual this week, but she was actually cracking me up. How many kids have faced the dilemma of their parents trying to friend them on Facebook? Pictures and walls get blocked as the paranoia seeps in. Facebook didn't come out until I was in college so by the time my mother signed up she knew all about my wild ways. 

The best part about Modern Family is how relatable people find it. Maybe not the part about a clown career, but definitely the argument that Cam and Mitchell had about Mitchell not supporting Cam's clowning. I think it's important to support your partners passions and interests no matter how silly or trite you think they are. The only thing Mitchell was right about was that Louis was a loose cannon. Then again, if you lost Cam as your clown partner, wouldn't you be pretty sad?

By the way, the toddler spitting in your face for fun bit is completely relatable and more or less a part of my daily life with my nephews. Just another example of how great this show can be!

I'd have to ask my brothers if anyone was ever friends with them so they could get a look at our mother, but then again I'm pretty sure one of my girlfriends would even gawk and drool at Gloria. My father sat down on the couch last week the second he saw Sofia Vergara on our screen. Poor Jay, though, he should realize he's already the cool stepdad and ditch the Fonzi jacket.

The ending was probably my favorite part. When the girls found a picture of Claire funneling on Spring Break in 1990 and Claire started screaming "What is tagging!?!" I was in stitches laughing. This is why parents don't need Facebook!!

Did you all relate to this episode? Is Luke an evil genius? Did you find Ellen Barkin as perfect as I did? Don't forget to check out the best Modern Family quotes and hit the comments! 


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (70 Votes)

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I love this show, but this episode didn't really do anything for me. It was the first episode I ever muttered at my tv what was going to happen next. Sure, many episodes are predictable and you can see things coming a mile a way, but this was predictable in the unfunny way.
Cam just said Mitchell eyerolls....cue Mitchell eyerolling...Yep.
Phil brought a spy-pen to Mitzi's office, cue Mitzi stealing spy pen in 3, 2, 1...yep.
Luke's performance will have be an elaborate setup by Phil....yep.
Even the banter between Haley and Alex was dull and has been done before. Who didn't see Alex taking offense to the clothing comment? I can easily give this episode a pass since so many other episodes have been gems.




This episode did not really live up to its comical side but apparently there are things that were evident and completely, as Leigh put it, completely relatable to family life. My mom keeps asking me to tag her on facebook! I mean WTH! HAHA! Hopefully, we will have more Gloria moments next episode. She is just so hot and funny at the same time. :D


Usually Modern Family gets a 5 from me each week cuz it's so consistently funny and true. I had to downgrade it to a 4 because of the clown story. Clowns are creepy, not funny. Rest of story great as ever.


So Cam gets in serious trouble with his "friend" during a show. Fast-forward about a dozen years and you'll see that all of the kids who attended the party now have a deathly fear of clowns. : ) My daughter and I had a discussion about this show - and we agree that its popularity resides in the fact that, no matter how awful things get in the stories, there's a sense of affection and respect for each other that hums away in the background. You know these people love each other - they just have odd and funny ways of expressing it. But no matter how bad the delivery, they always get it. Man - I can't tell you how much I like this show!


I liked the facebook part, Been there before with my kids. One defriended me when he got mad at me.The Fizbo part was funny. Cam needs his Fizbo life but without Louis.


CLOWNS ARE CREEPY no funny. I didn't watch Cam the Clown, sorry Fizbo, cause yeah clowns are creepy. But the whole Claire and Facebook was funny cause it's so true.


Love this show, it makes me laugh and that is a wonderful thing. Ellen Barkin was so perfect too.


this episode wasn't funny at all. I didn't laugh once. For one thing, fizbo is a lot funnier when phil is scared of him. the actual clown- not so great. the manny story went nowhere, and it was ridiculously obvious that what luke was doing was a ruse. sloppy

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Modern Family Season 3 Episode 18 Quotes

Social networking or social not-working?


Claire: Hey how come you guys haven't accepted my friend requests?
Haley: I didn't know you were on Facebook.
Alex: Yeah you said it was only for teenagers or people who wanted to have affairs.