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October 9, 2015

Review: 'Modern Family' - 'Moon Landing'

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 4th 2010 2:22AM
The Dunphys, 'Modern Family'(S01E14) Sometimes I wonder if I could just write up a review of 'Modern Family' by listing all of the great quotes that come out of this show. Line for line, this has to be one of the cleverest series on television today. Even the episode title, 'Moon Landing,' recalls a great moment.

The action this week was split between Jay and Cameron heading off to the gym to play racquetball, Mitchell helping Gloria with a traffic-related legal problem, and Claire's reunion with an old work colleague from before Claire became a stay-at-home mom. Minnie Driver was well cast as the friend, Valerie, but her performance was completely overshadowed by the brilliance of the episode itself.

The comedy of errors at the Dunphy household leading up to Claire bringing Valerie by to see how great her life is as a full-time mother was classic sitcom, but it was still hilarious. That's why they become classics. I'll give it up for the kids, too, as Nolan Gould, Ariel Winter and Sarah Hyland were all three brilliant in this sequence, along with Reid Ewing as Haley's boyfriend.

It all happened so naturally, too. But to culminate in Phil locked in a porta-john in the front yard wearing a fake mustache, Luke sitting on a chair in his boxers over a soaked carpet while Alex chases down a mouse with a broom, and Haley and Dylan fighting and making out all over the house is comic genius. Yes, we saw it coming a mile away, but it didn't take away from the sweet perfection of how it played out.

It was all about preying on Jay's discomfort with the homosexual community that drove the humor at the gym, and particularly the locker room scenes. But the final moments with Jay giving repeated "splash downs" to a perfect stranger was the icing on that particular cake.

Across town, Mitchell and Gloria were actually dealing with a fairly serious issue: Gloria is a terrible driver. It was an interesting development for Manny that he ratted his mother out to Mitchell when she was arguing the accident was the other driver's fault. Most of their scenes played out very naturally, including Gloria storming off and coming back with apologies.

I expected that she had just had another accident, but I did not expect her to blame a giant cupcake affixed to the building for it. As I said, though, the brilliance of 'Modern Family' so often lies in the dialogue, so here are some of my favorite bits this week:

--Phil: "Five months later we were -- four months away from having this little bundle of joy." (indicating Haley)
--Jay: "For me, it's a locker room. For him, it's a showroom." (referring to Cameron)

--Luke: "What's Jaegermeister?"
--Phil: "Well, you know how in a fairy tale there's always a potion that makes the princess fall asleep, and then the guys start kissing her? Well, this is like that except you don't wake up in a castle. You wake up in a frat house with a bad reputation."

--Claire: "Phil, what are you doing?"
--Phil (from the port-a-john): "Just concluding a little business. Very successfully, I might add."

--Cameron: "This can't be your first moon landing." (Jay and Cameron's bare butts touched)
--Jay: "You've got a name for it?"
--Cameron: "It's very common. You got off easy. At least it didn't happen after a shower. We call that a splash down."

--Cameron: "When you're gay you just walk around giving butt bumps to everybody. It's like a high five. It's a low two."

--Cameron: "How big of a hurry are we in?"
--Jay: "Biggest hurry of your life." (realizing he's been giving a stranger "splash downs")

--Manny: "Once an old lady yelled at her at a crosswalk. She honked so long, the horn ran out." (referring to Gloria)

--Mitchell: "Dad, did you know that the accident was Gloria's fault?"
--Jay: "Yes. I mean I wasn't there, but she's a horrible driver. If she hit ten cars I wouldn't be surprised."

--Gloria: "You're like everyone else, huh? You blame the Latino driver. Where I come from they always blame the Latino driver."
--Mitchell: "Where you come from, isn't everybody a Latino driver?"

[You'll find find more great quotes with clips and full episodes of Modern Family at SlashControl.]

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I definitely felt that they made the interactions at the house feel more natural when Claire brought her friend home. With most sitcoms you would say that would never happen all at the same time and this show made all those things feel organic. And the ending with Claire coming home and not apologizing was perfect. Sometimes a direct apology is not needed.

February 04 2010 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What was the name of Phil's radio show in college? I couldn't quite catch it after rewinding it several times.

February 04 2010 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Piper's comment

Daybreak with Dunphy, according to Phil it was a "coveted" time slot lol

February 05 2010 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved Dylan's unfamiliarity with "Say Anything".

Phil: "Say Anything".
Dylan: "Nebraska".

February 04 2010 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved when cameron yelled 'Your father and i had a moon landing!' to Mitchell as Jay was finishing his phone call with his son.

February 04 2010 at 9:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Grover's comment
B. Lawrence

YUP, the locker room scene was no doubt the best part of that episode. The hunky guy with Ed O'Neil at the end in the locker room is a guy I used to work with at Universal. His name is, Brian Oerly. Hey Brian if your out there. Great scene...

February 05 2010 at 12:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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