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October 7, 2015

Review: Modern Family - Coal Digger

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 22nd 2009 12:38AM
Modern Family: Coal Digger(S01E05) I'm glad this issue was finally addressed. No matter what you see on the surface, if your older father marries a stunningly beautiful piece of... well, you know... like Gloria, then you're going to have some concerns. Especially if the old man looks like Ed O'Neill. Let's not mince words here, I love O'Neill but he's no Cameron!

As usual, there was a lot going on in this episode, but still plenty of rooms for laughs. We're five episodes in now, and Modern Family hasn't laid an egg yet. That's a pretty impressive performance out of the gate for any show. This week, we got the extended family together again, where they could work out some of those unresolved issues.

It also allowed the show to continue bucking stereotypes at every turn. The most stereotyped minority group on television these days has to be the gay community, and while Mitchell and Cameron do flesh out some of those perceptions, there was a very nice turnabout this week with Cam.

Just looking at Cameron, it should come as no surprise that he might have played a little football in his day. But I loved how passionate he still is about it, to the ongoing dismay of the prissy Mitchell. I love that it's Mitchell who's a snobby elitist about everything. It makes him such a great counterpart for Cam, who's usually game for pretty much anything.

Loved the line when Cameron poked his head out of the bathroom half-painted for the big game. "Am I straight?" he asked Mitchell. Mitchell's response: "I don't know what you are right now." I'm glad to see this couple like any other straight couple TV likes to give us. They have different interests and passions (scrapbooking, Mitchell? Really?), but they love one another unconditionally.

Speaking of love, I really enjoy the layers Ty Burrell is giving to the character of Phil. I have a feeling that at some point the show is going to have to address his unhealthy obsession with Gloria. He's always wanting hugs and misunderstanding her accent in the worst possible ways. He does it right in front of his wife, too, which is just incredibly awkward.

But he does love his wife and he cares for the right reasons, as shown by him going up to talk to Gloria on Claire's behalf regarding the "golddigger" comment from a year prior. In that same scene, we got to see the layers that Sofia Vergara is giving to the Gloria character. It would be so easy to just be the hot, foreign younger wife, but there's a lot more to Gloria than that. For whatever her reasons, she loves Jay and Jay loves her. They're good together; we can see that already.

They got a lot of laughs out of Gloria wanting to give back all the nice things Jay has given her over the years. Claire opening the door to see Phil sitting there covered in Gloria's underwear, and then the call back later about all the colors she has for Jay. You know Jay is loving every minute of this marriage, God bless him.

There were so many funny moments in this episode, as there are every episode. I'm going to let you fill the comments with yours, but I'll just say that I had to rewind and watch twice the scene where Cameron chastises Mitchell one last time by holding Lily through the doorway. Lilly looks toward Mitchell at just the right moment. Classic stuff!

[You can check out clips and full episodes of Modern Family at SlashControl.]

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I probably laugh the least watching this show but enjoy it the most. It's humorous at times instead of laugh out loud funny. The writing is fantastic!

October 22 2009 at 9:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Modern Family has been the most consistent and funniest new comedy this season. Five episodes and all have been high quality and full of laughs. This week Phil was totally hilarious with his fixation on Gloria and attempts to smooth things over. Full review of the episode.


October 22 2009 at 7:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved the moment where Gloria took of her ring and bracelet in front of Phil and his wife. And Phil didn't say 'no' when Gloria asked to give back the dress.

This show has already five brilliant episodes in a row, never misses a joke. That is something you rarely see nowadays with any sitcom, I am wondering when or if it will ever fall down like a cardhouse.

October 22 2009 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My favorite was when Mitchell said "I'm a fan of musical theater" and Cameron yelled "Surprise!" Cameron's face showed so much after saying it.

October 22 2009 at 3:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Instead of trying to find it funny, why not try to find your sense of humor? Probably be a better time investment...

October 22 2009 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really don't understand how people find this show really funny, i tried watching it from the first because people have only been saying good things but i find that i find myself rarely laughing, which is odd since its a comedy. I enjoyed the characters and watching them but i just didnt find it very funny.

October 22 2009 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"I hate to see my two girls fighting."

"How is she 'your girl'?"

lol too funny.

October 22 2009 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the football scene at the end of the episode was a great bonding moment for Jay and Cam. Also seeing Claire jumping into the pool to be forgiven by Gloria was great! I have never liked Sofia Vergara since she was a bimbo jumping on hot sand saying "¡Caliente, caliente!" on a soda commercial in Colombia years ago but she is finally showing some signs of a bit of talent. Way to go, Sofia!

October 22 2009 at 9:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Erika's comment

I'm a fan of Ms Vergara (for the obvious reasons) but agree she hasn't been the greatest actress. A friend from Bogota gave me the link for the Pepsi commercial she did at age 17. Since breaking into US productions, her acting in shows like Dirty Sexy Money was hardly emmy-caliber.

But now, not only does she inhabit the comedic stereotype, but her improved acting is making the dramatic moments work. I'm happy she's finally found a show that helps her break through.

October 23 2009 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Dick Butkiss, Dad that's offensive.

October 22 2009 at 2:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My favorite part was definitely Cameron telling Jay he was a hot and he would go for him, had a little cashola and all. "You know you're a 9!". And Mitchell's horrified reaction was great.

October 22 2009 at 1:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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