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October 9, 2015

Review: Modern Family - En Garde

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 5th 2009 1:50AM
Modern Family: En Garde(S01E07) I love more and more every week that we have these three different families we can pull from for our main focus. On most family shows, you're limited by the one family dynamic you're dealing with, and by the age of the kids involved. Here, in one show, we have a gay couple with a baby, a traditional couple with kids ranging from pre-teen to teenager, and an older man married to a younger woman with her young son.

That's like at least three different shows worth of material they can pull from each week. How can they possibly not find simply tons of moments of funny with that much to work with? So far, they've managed to pack every minute of each episode, and this week was no exception.

The main story was Manny's fencing tournament; of course it would be fencing Manny would excel at ... why not? From there, we extrapolated into the general parenting desire to have children who are great at something, and the desire of children to receive praise from their parents.

Every episode of Modern Family seems to find a theme like this to explore through their different family dynamics. With Jay expressing great pride and joy at Manny's success, a deep-rooted resentment rises up in Mitchell regarding Claire dropping figure skating. I loved that she argued back to him that it was probably a little unlikely to think that Mitchell wearing a red unitard would be the thing that would earn him praise from their father.

When she stood in the parking lot and struck a pose for him to perform the routine with him, I almost cringed a little bit. This is going to be too corny, I feared. There's no way they can make it work. But when the family walked out and saw them there, and of course Cam started doing his thing with the camera, I found myself laughing. Yes, it was ridiculous but actually not all that far-fetched. My family's done equally bizarre things in parking lots.

As much as I sympathized with Jay and Gloria's concerns about Manny having to take on a sick kid, as it turned out, in the finals of his tournament, I'm glad he went through it and came out on top. That girl was there, and she wasn't looking for any special treatment. Jay and Gloria were just overly sensitive to her situation, which has no relevance in the ring. Nothing should be taken away from Manny's moment. As Jay said, "Guilt fades. Hardware is forever."

Modern Moments

  • Jay pounding on Phil and slapping him on the back in enthusiasm, and Phil cringing and whining like a baby.
  • The best game of catch I've ever seen a father and son play; so hilarious!
  • Alex convincing her siblings that rubbing batteries on their hair and putting iPods in their mouths will charge them. I'm enjoying getting to know Claire's kids more and more.
  • Gloria sounding pissed on the phone in her native language, but actually being happy.

Which brings us to a segment I'll get in as often as I can. There are just so many great lines in each episode, I have to spotlight a few. Be sure and add your own in the comments.

Modern Quotes

Mitchell (on Cameron's filmmaking): "Your nephew's first birthday."
Cameron: "That's not fair."
Mitchell: "You brought a wind machine."
Cameron: "Who puts wheels on cribs?"
Cameron (to Mitchell): "You made figure skating sound even gayer."

Claire: "Luke already is the best at something. Being my son ... That sounded a lot less lame in my head."

Gloria: "So take back your sword and go fight this sword like a bull!"
Manny: "Okay."
Gloria: "I can't hear you."
Manny: "Okay!"
Jay: "I can't hear you!"
Manny: "That's really as loud as I can go."

Mitchell: "You had your own moments. You had cheerleading, and high school plays, and making out with the quarterback...
Claire: "Oh come on, you made out with him, too."
Mitchell: "Yeah, but we had to keep it a secret."

[Watch clips and episodes of Modern Family at SlashControl.]

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The best line was from Phil:

"I could sell a fur coat to an eskimo."

I'm not convinced...

Great show!

November 08 2009 at 2:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What happened to the baby? They put her to bed then went to the tournament. I thought it was going to be some joke where they left her in the car, but she wasn't seen from again. Unless my DVR cut it off.

November 05 2009 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sherri Feldman

BEST line of the night was Mitchell commenting on Cam's yellow shirt: "It makes you look like the sun". I swear I missed the next 5 lines b/.c I was laughing so hard! Best new sitcom of the year. Brilliant writing and acting every week.

November 05 2009 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John H.

Okay, I have to get this off my chest......

Phil annoys me. He so wants to be something more than he is. He seems to be a good dad, even when he tries way to hard. Why can't they just make him a good Dad and not such an idiot? I mean last week with the race, and then pushing Luke to be the best? I doubt Phil was ever the best at anything, other than chasing Gloria in secret.

Okay, that said, I love love love this show.

November 05 2009 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My favorite quote by far was when Phil said he knew the ABCs of real estate "Always Be Closing, Don't Ever Forget Great Home Ideas Just Keep Lurking..."

November 05 2009 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Upset's comment

always be closing. what was the whole quote?

November 06 2009 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Always Be Closing. Don't Ever Forget Great Home Ideas Just Keep Lurking, Mostly Nearby. Often People Question Realtors' Sincerity. Take Umbrage. Violators Will...

November 06 2009 at 6:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Manny: "That's really as loud as I can go."

That kid is a comic genius! Yes, it's all from the writers, but his delivery week in and week out is always so spot-on. When he uttered that line last night, I about lost it.

Then again every actor here is immensely talented with fantastic comedic timing.

November 05 2009 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love that Jay also still have a picture on a prominent place of his two kids in their iceskating costumes.

November 05 2009 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is by far my favorite NEW comedy. I loved all the little storylines this week that all tied together.


November 05 2009 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Right you are Chrisis, and correcting myself that it is
Cameron who is the filmmaker.

November 05 2009 at 6:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I too caught Claire's T-shirt and I chortled every time I saw it. And spoiled by previews but who doesn't love 'fire and nice'? Mitchell's filmmaking had me roaring. Who are these writers? I want to send them flowers for giving me so many belly laughs in 27 minutes.

November 05 2009 at 6:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Lisa's comment

It's actually about 21 minutes. Which makes it even more impressive.

November 05 2009 at 6:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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