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October 13, 2015

'Modern Family' - 'Truth Be Told' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 11th 2010 4:42AM
Ed O'Neill, 'Modern Family'(S01E17) Dammit! Wives are more right than we'd like to admit, aren't they, guys? I was convinced Claire was completely overreacting to Phil's Faceook communications with his ex-girlfriend. My wife and I both have several people from our pasts that we talk to online, and it is completely innocent.

If anything, perhaps the events of this episode could be criticized by saying that they are promoting negative sexual stigmas attached to social networking sites. While the sites do have their dangers, they're certainly not worthy of fear-mongering.

But I'm not going to jump on that soap box. Instead, I'm going to say that this episode was absolutely brilliant. Everything from Flyza Minelli to "A little bit louder" was pitch perfect comedy. I laughed out loud more at this episode than I do entire seasons of most comedy series.

In the middle of all the laughter, we also got a major change in the status quo of these characters for the first time. I'm not sure if they're going to keep things this way, but Mitchell finally standing up to his boss and walking out on the job is a huge thing for the character, and for their entire household. I trust the writers to be able to keep the show great while following this life change.

We've spent long enough learning the status quo, so it's time to start messing it up and watching this big modern family go through the constant changes that life throws at us every day. There are so many brilliant things they can do with Cam and Mitchell already, I really look forward to seeing them work through this transition, with the family there to support them. They've already gotten amazing support from Jay with that awesome motivational framed poster.

Who needs money when you can know that things that don't kill you make you stronger?

The poster didn't make Manny's turtle stronger. It killed poor Shel Turtlestein (love the pet names in this episode!). Gloria was smart to stay out of it, while guilting Jay into doing the right thing. I feel for Jay in trying to make up for all the mistakes of his past with Manny, and in doing so making new ones. Still, it was pretty funny seeing him set up a fake crime scene and craft an outlandish tale of a four-toed scrappy daywalking raccoon brawler. Too bad Manny's such a smart kid.

I appreciated the genuine honesty Jay had when he did finally come clean to Manny, even if he let the poor kid blame himself all night first. The trueness and heart of these characters is what makes the buffoonery we often see so much more palatable. It takes it from broad comedy to character studies we can appreciate and care about.

Which isn't to say buffoonery doesn't abound. A simple thing like Phil taking out the lamp after guest-star Judy Greer showed up as his ex-girlfriend and started coming onto him adds the perfect hint of desperation to the character's performance. Greer is a comic tour de force when she appears on television, and she brought every bit of her awkward manic energy to bear in this episode.

The coordination throughout the scenes in the house where Greer's character was trying to manhandle Phil, he was trying to get away from her and Claire was oblivious to all of it -- I'm not sure sure she was through all of it; she's pretty quick -- was a work of beauty to behold. There are no greater masters of the sitcom format on television right now than the creative forces behind 'Modern Family.'

[For clips and full episodes of 'Modern Family', visit our friends at SlashControl.]

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I love that Gloria pronounces her husbands name Yeah instead of Jay...she has such a great accent.

March 11 2010 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Amazing episode. Lots of really good bits. The best was definitely the "little bit louder now." It probably took me a bit longer to realize what he was doing than it should've so it really got me.
On the other hand...I'm getting a little tired of the "wise beyond his years" schtick from the Manny character. They're just laying it on a little thick.

March 11 2010 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

this is the best show on TV - that said OF COURSE she was going to go after him and Claire was going to be right - the "this is your real mom" stuff was fantastic too

March 11 2010 at 11:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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