This week's Modern Family tries something very experimental, and the results are fantastic!
On Modern Family Season 6 Episode 16, the entire episode takes place through Claire's computer, with the characters interacting by video chat, instant message, and social media. In fact, "Connection Lost" was filmed entirely through those various devices, for one of the most brilliant episodes of Modern Family we've seen in a while.
Sitting anxiously in the Chicago airport, Claire is worried about the fact that she can't get a hold of Haley after a fight they'd had. She tries to communicate with the rest of her family through video chat in hopes of getting answers before she boards her plane.
Now, we've always known that Claire was tightly wound and a bit of a workaholic, but seeing her life through a computer just makes that part of her character even more obvious. She multi-tasks through every conversation, checking Pinterest (her "organization porn" board) and email multiple times. It actually seems like her inability to focus on a conversation further exasperates her anxiety about Haley.
By the way, we also get to see that fight with Haley, because Claire has it on video. And what else would we think when Haley talks about her nausea and a need for pickles and peanut butter? Those are cliche pregnancy clues, right?
Claire: I asked you to clean up the kitchen nine hours ago when I left for work. I come back and it's the exact same mess PLUS pickles and peanut butter.
Haley: I was running around doing stuff for my crazy boss all day, and then I got hungry, and then the smell from the garbage almost made me throw up!
Come on, you guys. You knew that was too easy.
The entire family spins out of control assuming that Haley is pregnant, and that she and Andy have run off to Vegas to get married. Granted, their assumptions make perfect sense, but those assumptions are all the result of too much technology (that's the point here, isn't it?).
Claire has a fake Facebook page that she uses to spy on Haley, and it's there that she sees a change in marital status for Haley. That conclusion makes even more sense when Claire tracks Haley's phone to a chapel in Las Vegas.
Again, the pickles and peanut butter signals pregnancy, but when a package arrives for Haley from Amazon, Phil opens it to find a copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting. Obviously, the conclusion that Haley is pregnant makes perfect sense, but how the family gets to is it actually kind of terrible.
That's also the point, which Alex, in her infinite wisdom, is happy to share. No one is respecting Haley's privacy, regardless of how easy it is to violate it.
The reactions to Haley being married and pregnant are actually pretty fantastic, especially when Jay comforts Claire and compares Andy to Phil.
So what is really going on with Haley? Claire finally gets a hold of her, and she's been home in bed the entire time. Phil, who has been distracted all day by a new video game, actually hasn't realized Haley is home. Even worse, the family uses every piece of technology they have at their disposal, yet no one thinks to knock on her bedroom door.
Turns out, Haley's marriage status is a joke about a cronut (they are all the rage these days), and she left her phone in Andy's car before he headed to Vegas for a friend's wedding.
Overall, "Connection Lost" is another hilarious episode of Modern Family, but it's also very well done. The fact that the whole thing is done through laptops, phones, etc. is fascinating, and the point is one we should all pay attention to! Of course, I say that with a laptop and phone nearby, prepared to Tweet at any moment.
What did you think of "Connection Lost"? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!
Need to catch up on past episodes of your favorite sitcom family? Remember that you can always watch Modern Family online via TV Fanatic!