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October 8, 2015

Review: Modern Family - Not in My House

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 14th 2010 2:00PM
Sofia Vergara(S01E12) I want a dog butler now. Sofia Vergara managed to do so much with her simple reactions to this dog, and Jay's interactions with it, throughout this episode, she had me laughing without saying a word. In fact, this may have been one of the funniest episodes of Modern Family yet.

Misunderstanding was the theme for all three families this week. You had Gloria misunderstanding Jay and Barkley's relationship -- Barkley being the dog butler. Cameron's big heart led to all kinds of Latino insanity in their household, to Mitchell's horror, while it was Phil's fear of his wife that allowed several instances of misunderstanding in the saga of the big bare breasted tractor rider (*Ahem* It's a combine).

When Claire found the aforementioned picture on the computer, she freaked out, assuming it was their son, Luke who was looking at it. Instead, it was Phil who'd received it as a joke from a friend he won't mention (It was Gilthorp). Meanwhile, someone's been reading Haley's journal on the computer, so she defaces Alex's picture of Maya Angelou in revenge. That's all you need for a great moment of confession from Luke.

He opens up to his mother in shame because it was he who read Haley's journal. She thinks he's admitting to Phil's topless woman picture. Hilarity ensues, capped off by him saying it makes him wonder about Haley. So many great lines throughout this one, you can't even pinpoint them.

As for Barkley, I started laughing at Gloria constantly getting startled and terrified by it. Then you had Jay straddling it while trying to repair it in front of her. She came up on him outside holding hands with it -- he was waiting for glue to set -- and declaring to Mitchell that he looked forward to coming home to her every day; Jay talking about Gloria, but it looking like he was talking about Barkley. By this point, we almost knew what to expect later at Mitchell and Cameron's, but it was still hilarious.

Cameron's bleeding heart and broken Spanish led to the gardener hiding out in their bedroom, which apparently led to the entire wedding showing up at their doorstep. The guys were supposed to be taking their "little fortune cookie" to a Russian marionette show, but instead Mitchell went alone after they fought.

By the time he returned there was a full-on wedding under way in the house, and all was resolved and happy for the Latino couple. And the set-up was perfect for Gloria's final encounter with Barkley. Jay showed up to gift the dog butler to the boys because he knew Gloria didn't like it. Meanwhile, they had called her to tell her about the wedding. So when she showed up asking about it, there was Jay standing in front of the priest, holding Barkley's hands.

Damn, there was such smart writing throughout this episode, I am so thrilled that ABC announced its renewal. It was probably inevitable anyway, but who knew their gamble of all new comedies on Wednesdays would net us such quality programming through three-quarters of it.

[Find clips and full episodes of Modern Family at SlashControl.]

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I continue to be surprised by my growing admiration for Sofia Vergara. Most similar characters in sitcoms have to utter a series of predictable lines; however, the whole interaction with Bradley is done almost completely devoid of dialogue. Also, she is so hot she's a parody of hot.

January 15 2010 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mark's comment

Yes, while Ms Vergara hasn't been the greatest actress out there, this role is perfect for her comedic ability. And regarding her hotness: ever since seeing her in "Fuera de Serie," I've thought: If I could envision a perfect woman a la "Weird Science" (having never seen SV), I STILL would fall short of her beauty and sexiness. Yowsa.

January 19 2010 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree. One of the funniest episodes this season. I laughed so hard and so many times. I love this show!

January 15 2010 at 8:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ron P

Did anyone notice the scene where Phil was sitting in front of the house, talking to his son about that photo of the topless lady? Notice on how he is, at the same time, playing with those 2 basketballs. Priceless!!

January 14 2010 at 8:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Funniest moment: Phil smacking Lukes hand and then moaning. Then in the next scene asking "Can I be on the bottom now?"

January 14 2010 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Didn't Claire explain her reaction during the episode when she talked about Luke being her baby and wanting him to stay that way forever?

I would agree that it was far from the level of the birthday party episode, but it was still funnier than 95% of the crap on tv these days.


January 14 2010 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

love the broken step!
how about luke asking if it was hot and phil thinking he meant the topless picture then finally realizing he meant the weather...perfect ahaha.

January 14 2010 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lauren's comment

My major complaint about this episode was how a picture of a topless woman on a tractor was such a big deal to claire. c'mon! it's 2010, i get worse than that on a daily basis from my father-in-law! talk about conservative. i found that to be kind of an unrealistic plot line.

January 14 2010 at 4:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

that broken step gets phil everytime, which gets me everytime.

the ol' balls and chain. heh heh heh

January 14 2010 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Yme Sandelmann

Also didn't think it was the strongest episode so far, but still very funny. I love every character, this rarely happens on a show. It is hard to pick a favorite but I would say mine is Phil... I liked how - in this episode - he kinda was the reasonable parent. A mother should NOT talk to her 10-year-old son about pictures of topless women and how they make him feel :)
The broken step is becoming one of my all-time favorite reoccuring gags. And I have to agree: Glorias reactions to Barkley were pure comedy gold. Pitch perfect.

January 14 2010 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C. Hernandez

I'm going to have to agree with Nougat885 on this one. I didn't think it was a *bad* episode, but far, far, far from the funniest.

January 14 2010 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"In fact, this may have been one of the funniest episodes of Modern Family yet." What? I love this show, but I thought this episode was the weakest episode they've done so far. Gloria thinking Jay would actually marry a dog butler statue? Come on, too wacky, too Three's Company. Doesn't come from character either. My favorite of the season was the birthday party episode. Everyone had something funny going on and it was all from character.

January 14 2010 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to john's comment

My thoughts exactly. The dog-butler shenanigans felt like something out of a different show, and I also was thinking Three's Company. And I LIKE Three's company, which, while not conspicuously "intelligent" comedy, is breezy, enjoyable farce. But that type of farcical material doesn't suit Modern Family.

January 19 2010 at 5:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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