It’s Go Time!
Um, did Modern Family just jump the shark? I’m hoping not – I’m hoping this was just a weird blip…a weird blip of way over the top product placement that got taken to too much of an extreme. Because that just felt weird. Did it make me want an i-pad? Yes, more than anything in fact. Did I want an i-pad before I started watching? No, not really. Will I still want one in the morning? Meh, probably not so much. And how much endorsement cash did Modern Family get for a completely i-pad centered episode?…I’d love to know – if any of you readers know, please do comment it below. The weirdness of the apple thing is a real shame because the episode had so many other great things going for it!
I quite liked the asshole-neighbour-turns-out-to-be-incredibly-sweet-neighbour storyline. Most of all, I loved Cam’s attempt to be super secret spies with the mail carrier. And while Mitchell’s attempts to be a tough guy were certainly endearing, who wouldn’t want to see pictures from Cam’s time as a crossing guard?
What we really got tonight, though, was a sense that there’s something more to Gloria than a big accent and even bigger boobs (seriously, my husband and I gasp every time she moves…HD or no HD, those puppies could hurt someone!). But Gloria is perhaps the least well rounded (ironic pun intended) character in the show. Unlike Cam, Manny and Phil, she has no quirky hobbies or even quirks. She doesn’t have the emotional breadth of Mitchell. And she doesn’t have the complex family connections like Jay. Everything about her is a play on her Colombian ethnicity – spicy food, loud talker, bad driver. With her mad chess skills tonight, we got a sense that something else is going on with Gloria – that there’s a brain in that body…and an interesting brain that that! Developing this could really bring some new dimensions to the ever more complicating set of relationships on the show.
Even with these two great storylines, though, I felt like tonight missed the boat (if not jumped the shark). Besides the weird i-pad storyline, the characters were just meaner tonight than they usually are, and I found it quite tiring. One of the things that I love about this show is that it manages to be funny without being mean. It manages to entertain without the characters being self-centered and cruel (seriously, look back at an old episode of Friends and you’ll see what I mean – those kids were so selfish and mean to each other, I can’t handle watching it anymore!). Tonight’s Modern Family took a turn in that direction – Claire’s thoughtlessness was just frustrating; Haley’s refusal to put down her damn cell phone got on my nerves; Phil’s mopiness at the end was just too much; Jay’s ripping open of Phil’s gift before Phil even had the chance to look at it and everyone’s general disregard for his birthday…it was all too mean! Thank goodness we had Gloria’s winning attempt to be a better wife than chess player and Cam’s attempt to save a marriage. It’s easy to go down the path of picking on people to get a laugh – I sure hope Modern Family doesn’t take that easy way out.
What do you think, dear readers – am I being too harsh on the episode? Did you think the i-pad thing was a well integrated plot of product placement? Am I over-reacting to the meanness of the characters? Does every season of a show get to have one really really bad episode – a freebie? And what gems of great hilarity have I missed in my review tonight? What stopped this episode from completely missing?
Posted by Natalie