Modern Family Review: Dad vs. Dad

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Despite my adoration from Eric Stonestreet's Cameron Tucker, I was a little disappointed with the introduction of his father, Merle Tucker (Barry Corbin), on this week's Modern Family.

"The Last Walt" was an episode with a couple of different storylines running, unfortunately the dinner with Cam's dad was probably my least favorite. 

Cam's Father Visits

It would figure that Cam and Mitchell's fathers wouldn't be fans of each other. 

They ended up in a pissing contest about whose son was less feminine. Yes, they are from a different generation, where gender roles were more clearly defined and same sex couples weren't the norm, but times are different and I found it really weird that the writers included this in what is supposed to be a sitcom. A modern, liberal sitcom no less.

It felt small-minded and dated that Merle and Jay only bonded once they both admitted that they weren't 100% used to their sons' sexual preferences. Their argument over whose son was more feminine with the faux laughter may have been intended for real laughs, but it was all very meh. Besides, most of the men on this show are fairly feminine. Have you met Manny or Phil?!?

Manny had a minor storyline but it happened to be my favorite of the night. I love love love that Haley was able to outsmart her parents, Jay and Gloria by convincing them that she had a suitable chaperone. As we all saw, Manny was more than capable of acting like a babysitter. I adored when he lectured the girl on the steps about how she wasn't ready for sex.

Phil and Alex were cute. Only Phil would spend an entire day trying to make sure he could create a lasting memory for one of his children. Too bad he probably gave that waitress a nightmare to last a lifetime! But in all seriousness, it was especially sweet when he left Alex's initials on the moon sign at the diner.

Claire's awkwardness with talking about bad news is more common that you'd think. So is her prevalence for leaving the blinds open. Claire, haven't you ever heard of a peeping Tom? Well, I hope she gave Walt a good show while he was alive. May he rest in peace.

So was everyone as underwhelmed by this week's episode as I was? Hit the comments, write a eulogy for Walt, and don't forget to check out the best Modern Family quotes from this week.


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (63 Votes)

Yes, the episode was underwhelming, but even an underwhelming Modern Family is better than most sitcoms out there. As far as the dads, ultimately, they were proud of their sons, and isn't that what matters? This show always brings a smile around my house. We watch clips just to crack each other up.


Disagree with the reviewer's notes about the pissing match between the two fathers. For one reason only: it's real. In the real world, there are still older generational guys who, while they may have grudgingly accept the idea of gays, haven't been able to figure out how it all works. I can totally see arguments like this occurring in real life. If anything, the writers of the show toned it down less than what would have happened in the real world. At the end of the day, we're still left with the underlying, quiet (almost silent) ever-present theme of affection. It's the link that holds them all together, despite their differences. And it's the one factor that keeps me watching this show. I LOVED the interaction between Alex and Phil - and the fact that Alex saw what he was trying to do, and why.


Sorry but I was disgusted with this episode, not because of the gay issue but because of the assumption that it was okay to joke that the feminine role was the lesser of the two."let's just agree that our two sons are equal and that neither one is the wife" Who writes and approves these lines?


Your review is so far. Jay is basically a carbon copy of my father and although nobody in my family is homosexual, if they were he would treat the situation like these two men did. That was some of the most realistic dialogue this amazing show has ever presented to the audience. I think your review speaks to the fact of you being marginally offended by it. You have to realize that grown men who were born in the 50's and 60's, still have a lot of trouble accepting the gay community. My dad couldn't even watch Will & Grace with my mom because it made him quote "sick." Is he wrong for thinking that? No, he's from a different time, and he;s learning as he goes.

Sarah silva

I thought this was a great episode!
I love this show and it always has funny moments & sweet moments!


I thought this episode was RIGHT ON.......Yes, TIMES are different now, however there are PEOPLE living in THIS TIME, that were brought up very different,some time it IS hard to teach an OLD DOG new tricks.......I was happy that it was written that way, maybe an OLD TIMER watched this show and NOW has a better understanding.


And, so, it makes perfect sense to me, especially when also considering how parents/families have dreams/plans for their children concerning carrying on the legacy and family name and maybe not losing the family farm -- none of which is fair to any kids and, I think, unless you're a Kennedy and your older brother is killed and you're expected to now step into your father's plans for your older brother, all of these parental/family weights fall away as the "real" people the children are are accepted, although maybe not so easily if there's something as fundamental as being gay involved. Cam and Mitchell have at least gotten through it ... and their dads probably never will completely.


I thought the two fathers plotline was quite consistent and that it was consistent that Cam would be oblivious regarding his own father and that Mitchell wouldn't be regarding his father. Jay is affectionate with his kids in that it's always obvious he loves them (like he's always there for them no matter how it discombobulates his state of mind, like when he had to pick them up when they went to get there pictures taken where they grew up or whatever), BUT, he's never been entirely at peace with his son being gay, and deals with it sometimes with some "hurtful" jokes -- and can still say, father to son, "Who are we kidding?" we both have mates who can put up with us (or approx. like that).


Loved this episode. It was real, and had such honest emotion, and not manufactured like last week's, and so many this year. Loved that the stories actually had an ending. And Julie Bowen so funny with her reaction to death. More episodes like this, not like dreck clown funeral.


OMG ! Cam is the half sister of Brenda Lee Johnston (The Closer). Well, they have the same (tv) dad. Cam and Dwight Hendricks (Memphis Beat) are also half-brothers. They share a (tv) mom.

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Modern Family Season 3 Episode 20 Quotes

Thank you Uncle Manny!


It was very peaceful. Not the letter, that was full of threats.

Phil [about Walt's death]