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October 13, 2015

Review: Modern Family - Great Expectations

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 19th 2009 11:31AM
Modern Family: Great Expectations
(S01E08) I don't know if enough credit is being given to the child actors on this show. All four are doing top-notch work... five if you count Lily. We already knew that Rico Rodriguez is amazing as Manny, but so little is being said about the Dunphy children. They haven't had as much screen time, yet, as really anyone else on the show, but who can deny how funny it is watching Ariel Winter as middle daughter Alex just torturing her dimmer siblings.

Sarah Hyland is channeling her best Mila Kunis in the role of eldest daughter Haley, who's just so tortured by how mean and horrible her family is. This week, she matched wits with her grandfather, only he'd been down this road so many times with his own daughter, and to a lesser extent his son, that he knows all the tricks by heart.

I was laughing so hard I had to rewind and watch the whole scene again when Haley got up from the table and stepped outside, only to find Jay out there already changing a light bulb.

There were an interesting pair of guest stars this week, one of which worked much better than the other. Edward Norton as a bass play for Spandau Ballet was a bit of a stretch; I'd argue too much of one. The idea of Claire completely missing the mark as to what her own "song" is with Phil is 100% plausible, as is her thinking five coupons for free hugs is a good anniversary gift.

Phil is so much more in touch with his romantic side than Claire, it's kind of amazing. All of that I was able to enjoy, but Norton just pulled me out of the story too much. Either he's too big of a star, or the character he was playing really wasn't working, but I found the extended living room "concert" sequence a real drag on the rest of the episode.

Elizabeth Banks, however, was just flawless as Sal. She completely sold me on the years of history between her, Cam and Mitchell. You could completely believe in the three of them partying it up in their younger days. And I think, after we start our families, we have those friends who are still living in that single world that we used to call our own. Of course, they're usually not threatening to kill our babies, or throw them in the ocean, but they are usually resentful of our life changes.

I've already mentioned Jay's light-bulb changing incident as a highlight of the night for me, but I also loved it when he actually did spray Manny right in the face with a water bottle for coming on too strongly with Haley. Later in the episode, they got me again when Mitchell was forcibly not allowing Sal to touch Lily at all.

Modern Quotes
  • "Are you kidding me? I love it. Coupons for hugs... which are usually free, but this makes it official."
  • "Is Grandpa dying?" -- Luke
    "Didn't they tell you?" -- Alex
  • "Well hello there, Haley." -- Manny
    "Take it down a notch there, Jethro." -- Jay
  • "Now I can see everything that goes on around here." -- Jay (changing a light bulb on the porch)
  • "How did you know I was here?" -- Dylan
    "This is how I first met Phil." -- Jay
[For clips and free episodes of Modern Family, be sure to check out our friends at SlashControl.]

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I loved the line, when Mitch asked if touching Sal's breasts would make Cam jealous, Cam responded, "You're drinking a strawberry peach daquiri. Go for it." Sorry if I didn't quote it verbatim. I'm working off memory.

November 22 2009 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was a kick for me to see Ed Norton on the show last night since Ty Burrell had a role in Norton's "The Incredible Hulk" movie last year.

I hope they are good friends in real life. I like the idea of that. Maybe more Ty Burrell in movies? That would be a joy.

November 19 2009 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really, really like this show, it's entertaining on so many levels, they really did a good job in conceiving this type of comedy.

November 19 2009 at 7:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought Elizabeth Banks was wonderful while Edward Norton was terrible. I think it was more the writing than the acting, but still, there was a noticeable difference. I love Luke's cluelessness and how he though Jay would die. He's just so cute and funny. Full review of the episode.


November 19 2009 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Would would have thought you get a show on ABC where they say the line "If you bring the baby I'm going to throw it in the ocean."? LoL

November 19 2009 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Robot dog, night vision goggles, GPS watch, bug vacuum, speakers that look like rocks... I can't NOT think of things that I want!" (phil)

"Oh, the perm." (claire)
"Yeah. It really framed my face." (phil)

Another A+ episode full of quotables!!

November 19 2009 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jcoolio's comment

This scene made me laugh so hard because this is exactly how it is with me and my girlfriend.

November 19 2009 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

On the flipside, I didn't even notice that was Edward Norton. But I didn't get the Spandau Ballet references either... they're too before my time (I'm 23).

November 19 2009 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's refreshing to see Claire be the dork in the relationship for once.

November 19 2009 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hilarious! Just simply hilarious! I was worried ABC had given away the key funny moments on previews, but there were a lot of other ones, including the grandson's preoccupation with grandpa's imminent death, the water in Manny's face, the lightbulb, the three musketeers w/ Sal playing the role of Lily. And I was definitely with them on the sweet moments between Phil and Claire.

November 19 2009 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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